Just recently, we learned about a rumor that claimed Google was blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps via Internet Explorer. Google responded to these rumors stating that since Internet Explorer does not have Webkit support, users would be redirected to Google.com instead when trying to access Google Maps.
Microsoft eventually responded and stated that this was not true. Microsoft mentioned how Internet Explorer has the same rendering engine on Windows Phone and Windows 8, so would Google Maps work on Windows 8 and not Windows Phone? A video was even created by an app developer who documented how Google was actively blocking Windows Phone users from visiting Google Maps. Google has finally responded to these claims:
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.
Google based its decision of removing access to Google Maps in Windows Phone due to performance reasons and was a “product decision” and apparently not a move to limit access to Google services on Microsoft products for competitive reasons. Google plans on removing the redirect that was in place on Windows Phones, which would redirect users to Google Search rather than Google Maps.