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The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
We’re not sure what’s going on over at Google but either incompetence or the trolling bug has seized control of operations. Last week we saw a purposeful redirect of maps.google.com send Windows Phone users to the search page instead of allowing them to use Maps (Google later backed down) and now today it’s affecting YouTube.
The behavior is specific: head to m.youtube.com and click any video. In the past, such an action would launch Internet Explorer’s HTML5 video player, allowing Windows Phone users to watch just about everything that was mobile (assuming it wasn’t a Flash-only video). Now on Windows Phone 8 devices we get prompted to install an app.
While installing an app to watch a video may not seem like such a Herculean feat, we have to remember one thing here: we don’t have a YouTube app. Okay, technically we have the Microsoft YouTube player, which is just a front for the website, but the App prompt won’t actually reveal that. Instead, when a user clicks the “Search for app in the Store?” dialog box they are met with “Sorry, no apps found”.