In an interesting post by Microsoft on one of their Technet blogs, they reveal in legal jargon fashion why their YouTube app on Windows Phone is just a redirect to the YouTube mobile web page:
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.
I must say this explains a lot. I was always puzzled by the minimalist YouTube solution provided on WIndows Phone when you consider how important YouTube is to the average consumer. The HTC YouTube app is very nice, but even their app is very limited in a number of ways. I would also like to see more integration with YouTube be added eventually into the Zune hub. Hopefully this blog post causes Google to play nice with Windows Phone, so the up-start OS has a chance against competition like iOS and Android.
You can read the post in its entirety here.