By Gilbert Falso :: 9:52 PM
Users of new Windows OS phones recently discovered that using the Internet Explorer browser that came pre-installed on their devices prevented them from accessing Google’s maps site. When Windows Phone users tried to navigate to maps.google.com, they were instead abruptly redirected to the Google homepage, and Google Maps did not load.
Google has released a statement (below) that explains why it redirected Windows Phone users, and pledges to rectify the issue shortly:
We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.
In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.
Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.
Many Windows Phone users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Google’s move, immediately assuming that it was done by Google in retaliation against Microsoft for some unknown reason. Google’s statement offers some closure and evidence that this was not the primary reason behind their inability to access Google Maps.