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back to article Google tells Microsoft to yank its new WinPhone YouTube app

No sooner has Microsoft managed to get a full-featured YouTube app running on Windows Phone 8 – something it long maintained was impossible – than an irate Google has asked it to immediately remove the app from the Windows Phone Store. The Verge, which editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky has described as "a news site which covers …

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Ballmer desperate to copy Google

Why doesn't the fat tart think of smthg new?

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Trollface

Re: Ballmer desperate to copy Google

Show Balmer something new to copy then, I'm sure he will be glad to copy something new.

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Mushroom

Re: Ballmer desperate to copy Google

Lol @ Microsoft sticking 2 fingers up to The Borg....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ballmer desperate to copy Google

"Ballmer desperate to copy Google

Why doesn't the fat tart think of smthg new?"

Bull shite.

Google need to play fair! Allowing you tube apps on other OSes is fine but not for windows phone? Smells to high heaven, just like Google bull shite and evern worse than the comments made by the commentards in here.

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Re: Ballmer desperate to copy Google

What in the name of all that's holy are you talking about Troll? What does that comment have to do with Microsoft doing something for their customers, something original by the way (if you had opposable thumbs you might be able to try it for yourself) Google don't want a good YouTube app on Windows Phone because the Windows Phone version is nicer than the one they have on Android and iOS. And yes, I have used all 3 so I'm not just saying that.

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Anonymous Coward

So, it would appear that

Microsoft doesn't recognise copyright or terms of service. Does that apply to their own products and services?

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Re: So, it would appear that

So what about the fact that Google isn't allowing Microsoft access to their ad-serving APIs? And yes, many will scream bloody blue murder because the Xbox YT app shows ads, but that was developed by Google, and not Microsoft.

The ad-serving part is amusing anyway. Google has two issues with the Windows Phone app - the one is ads, and the other being able to download videos. I'm not in a position to comment on the implications of downloading, but the ad thing makes for amusing speculation - does Google feel threatened by Windows Phone's miniscule market share?

Revenue from ads on YT for content owners is miniscule in comparison to what Google keep, so I can't bring myself to take the revenue argument seriously.

What I'm really trying to figure out is motive (Google's). And find myself coming up short, other than "war with Microsoft", which strikes me as a little petulant. I'm starting to think that Ballmer and Page are as bad as each other.

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Re: So, it would appear that

"the Xbox YT app shows ads, but that was developed by Google"

Didn't Google develop most of the youtube apps on other platforms?

Could it be that Google didn't develop a full feature app for Winphone because MS don't give 3rd party developers enough access?

Then MS wine that Google will not give them full access?

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Nothing to do with copyright, and unclear how TOS applies

In what way are the application developers bound by the "terms of service"? I mean, Google are free to block individuals who access Youtube by whatever means they choose, but I don't see how that extends to actually banning distribution of an application.

Even for things like copyright violation (which violating a TOS is not), applications like bittorrent software are not illegal.

Does this mean that adblocker extensions (e.g., for Google Chrome) are in violation, because a website might say you can't block ads in its Terms of Service?

Indeed, why stop there - I could write anything I like in my Terms of Service, such as "Google Chrome may not be allowed to view this website" - does that mean I can get Google Chrome pulled, unless they block access to my site?

I don't care about defending MS - I'd be annoyed if it was the other way round.

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Childcatcher

Quid pro quo

Although it certainly appears that Google is being churlish, the fact is it's also entirely justified in giving such a hostile opponent as Microsoft the shaft.

After Microsoft's "Screw Google" campaign, which is still ongoing, what exactly did they expect ... a big hug?

If Microsoft's going to behave like a bunch of thugs, then it shouldn't feign indignation when it's treated as such.

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Re: Quid pro quo

Couldn't agree more !

Ballmer & Co never hear the phrase "What goes around comes around" ?

Poor Microshaft, there's not a dry eye in the house.

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The google crap with trying to screw Microsoft over WP has been going on since well before the adverts about privacy came out. You should check your facts first.

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Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

How long has the industry been waiting for Microsoft to open up the specs to many of its products and services?

Take the Microsoft Office format for example. Did they actually open up the legacy format for people to implement? No, they invented a new standard, slapped the word "Open" in the name, and released that instead. To their credit it is more "open" than previous "standards", a good move, but it only addresses part of the problem.

How about NTFS? Are there specs for that? I'd imagine if there were, OSes like Linux and MacOS X would have much better support for it.

So that's how Microsoft plays when it comes to their toys. Funny how they don't like it when another company does the same.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

To be honest, I'm getting all confused here - it's not like Google is exactly benign either, so I'm unsure who to root for here. Neither, I think.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

I would argue that whether MS have opened up their file systems/file formats is not particularly relevant or helpful in this discussion. These things can be replaced without 99% of end users being inconvenienced or even noticing.

On the other hand, access to Youtube is something that affects the end user, and it is not unreasonable for the end users of WP8 to expect to have access on the same footing as Android and iOS users, even if you disagree with their choice of OS. Up to now, video playback via the website has been excellent in terms of quality of video, but navigation was clunky.

Neither MS or Google are in the right here, I suspect, and they have both pulled similar tricks in the past (Chromeframe springs to mind), but the solution to this should be (as MS said because they are right in this, whatever their motivation for saying it might be) in the best interest of their 'mutual customers'. That would be for them to work on modifying this app to allow the ads.

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Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

The answer as to who to root for is, the customers. MS have been particularly evil in the past, but they've been slapped down a few times, and had to learn a few humbling lessons from the market. I'd argue they're no longer evil, they've improved in quite a lot of ways and they're just like any other corporation. Which doesn't mean nice, but profits in themselves aren't evil.

I worry that Google could turn evil, and they've got an awful lot of people's personal data with which to do it. But now, equally, I think they're just another big corp out to make a buck. Of course they did publicly say 'do no evil' so they can't complain if they're held to high standards.

However it's ironic to see Google making these points. Funny how they're so concerned about other people's revenue now. As opposed to when they're using their search monopoly to cross-subsidise free products into other areas, or turning off Exchange Active Sync and CalDav in Gmail to inconvenience non-Android users. Or scanning author's books without permission, or maybe most relevantly taking advertising revenue from news websites by pushing people through Google news so breaking the media companies revenue - even though they pay the money to provide the content. Which is also similar to YouTube., where Google get the cash, and other people do the work.

Again nothing particularly evil or unique here, it's just weird to see the occasionally rabid defence that Google gets from techies on these forums. The downvotes you get for even mild criticism of Google, Android, or worse, being nice about Windows Phone... Come on guys, they're just another company! They do some wonderful stuff, they do some pretty shitty stuff, and everywhere in between.

***Obviously for the purposes of this comment 'evil' is a nice piece of shorthand. In reality neither MS or Google have done anything evil. You need to consider them against Hitler, Stalin, or even the more tin-pot end of the Dictator scale like the Kim family in Korea or the Assads in Syria. In that perspective they're all just cuddly fluffy bunnykins really...

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But Officer, other people are speeding too!

I don't see how "But MS are just as bad" is a useful argument. It's bad either way - and put it another way, is saying "Google are as bad as MS" a ringing endorsement?

Also it's not just MS who lose out. If someone has a Windows Phone, and they want to watch Youtube, they don't care about squabbles like what MS has done, what Google has done, or who's advertising about what. They just want to watch Youtube on their phone.

I can come up with far more examples on how Apple tries to build a walled closed garden around their products. Does that mean the all Apple devices should be blocked from Youtube?

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Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

@Spartacus

As opposed to when they're using their search monopoly to cross-subsidise free products into other areas, or turning off Exchange Active Sync ...

Turning off EAS made sense to me as MS require royalty payments for using the patents related to EAS of serveral US$/month/user. Why should Google pay MS for a technology when it has other open, non-patent-encumbered, protocols available?

I've yet to find any news articles stating that they've disable CalDAV or CardDAV.

MS were the first (and so far AFAIK the only) competitor that whined to about it, presumably because Windows Phone DOESN'T implement CalDAV or CardDAV, and so they're SOL. That's a MS problem for not building in operability for non-Exchange environments, not a Google problem.

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WTF?

Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

Stuart wrote some rubbish: >Take the Microsoft Office format for example. Did they actually open up the legacy format for people to implement? No

Yes they did actually, Office legacy document format has been fully documented for at least five years:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc313105%28v=office.12%29.aspx

Wow 35 up votes for so much BS...so sad that so many of you can't use a search engine:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+office+file+specification&qs=n&form=QBRE&pq=microsoft+office+fil+specification&sc=0-35&sp=-1&sk=

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Re: Not so nice when the shoe's on the other foot is it Microsoft?

> Stuart wrote some rubbish: >Take the Microsoft Office format for example. Did they actually open up the

> legacy format for people to implement? No

> Yes they did actually, Office legacy document format has been fully documented for at least five years

And the format has been in existence for how long? Basically they did so when coerced to do it, and I'll bet there are at least a few patents pending on those docs.

I'll admit, I wasn't actually aware of the existence of those specifications in the public until now, so it's pleasing to know that they're reforming their old ways. The fact that it's only been in the last 5 years that they've started doing it though, says a lot.

I think it's only because of browsers like Chrome and Firefox gaining speed that we actually saw the web move away from IE6 … we were staring down the barrel of a overglorified BBS served up by proprietary ActiveX components for a while there at one point.

The crux of my argument is that Microsoft has been guilty of the exact thing that they are crying about now. I have no sympathy for them. I suspect Google will eventually release their APIs, if not willingly, it'll be by force of law, but either way, it's Google just doing to Microsoft what Microsoft has been doing to others for decades.

Do I support either side? No. I think companies should just grow up and stop playing silly proprietary games, but that wouldn't be so much fun for the lawyers now would it?

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Holmes

Hmmm

Thats the reson I tell people not to buy Windows Phone

You go to bed and wake up the next morning and BAMMM Half your apps are gone !!

Last week it was facebook, today Youtube and next week prob InstaGram fakes

I also reported another fake youtube app called MetroTube to google today as well.

What makes Microsoft think they can steal from others ?? and deprive people who make youtube content of revenue. Their hypocrisy and arrogance is breathtaking

Windows Phone is not really worth all this hassle tbh, bettter just going for an HTC One or similar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

"I also reported another fake youtube app called MetroTube to google today as well"

Do you also have a telescope poking through your curtains and report people to the police when doing odd jobs for cash in hand? I'm glad I'm not your neighbour.

While I agree, MS are in the wrong here, the Google Play store is jam packed with copyright breaking apps, not to mention ad-blockers.

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Facepalm

Re: Hmmm

"Do you also have a telescope poking through your curtains and report people to the police when doing odd jobs for cash in hand? I'm glad I'm not your neighbour."

No but I would report someone I saw breaking into a house to steal something.

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Re: Hmmm

And how long have you been a Google employee?

Because if you're not working for them, you really are a barrel of fun. Depriving other people of something because they don't follow your personal beliefs.

Sounds like the behaviour of a zealot to me. And an idiot for doing someone else's job for them for nothing in return.

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Happy

Re: Hmmm

"Sounds like the behaviour of a zealot to me. And an idiot for doing someone else's job for them for nothing in return."

I believe in honesty and integrity, I'm sorry if you don't

I work for the Lord, the pay is poor, but the pension is out of this world.

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Re: Hmmm

A phone with no Facebook or Instagram? If it had no Twitter app as well that would be enoughy for me to buy one!

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Re: Hmmm

You're a tube. And a troll. You just don't like Windows Phone 8 and I'll bet money you have an Android phone. If you spent all day, every day looking through the Google Play store and reporting every app that broke copyright or was a fake YouTube/Twitter/Facebook app you would be there for months if not years.

To say "Windows Phone is not really worth all this hassle tbh, better just going for an HTC One or similar" just shows your bias since Windows Phone is an OS and a platform whereas HTC One is a device. What if the HTC One was running Windows Phone?

And your comment about apps disappearing is bollocks as this has only happened once before. Basically, you're not a very nice person

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

"and I'll bet money you have an Android phone"

I think you'd get very poor odds on that as most people with a smartphone have an Android one.

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Anonymous Coward

Genius from MS

They have obviously been sitting on this app for while, but waited until I/O to launch it, knowing full well that they would get a cease and desist at the same time that I/O is running.

Larry Page then plays straight in to their hands by banging on about 'companies being open with each other and sticking to standards'.

At which point MS respond that if they are given access to the API that everyone else is using, they will play nicely. Next move Google....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Genius from MS

"They have obviously been sitting on this app for while, but waited until I/O to launch it"

Ummmm

It was released 10 days ago....................

Try again

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Genius from MS

My error, should have written 'waited until just before I/O to release the app'

Needed to give Google a few days to fall for the bait eh?

Giggling madly as I await Google's next move

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Genius from MS

Let's be honest here, Microsoft is 100% in the wrong here.

Some people actually make a living off youtube, their income is ad driven

So blocking these ads is the same as stealing a windows licence

Both deprive the artist/content creator of their rightful revenue.

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Re: Genius from MS

What Google are conveniently ignoring is that if you use the HTML5 mobile app they're suggesting WP8 users should switch to, you also don't get any advertising. So the (unbelievably hypocritical) argument they're pitching about protecting content owners right to ad revenue is also complete nonsense.

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Re: Genius from MS

Well said, El Andy.

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Love how you twist everything possible to paint your favorite is in the best light possible.

Try putting a shoe on the other foot and imagine (I know its difficult) that you were a windows phone user how would you feel...this is just dumb corporate animosity being played out at consumers expense.

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Re: Genius from MS

So should all adblockers be banned too?

I've got to laugh - on any story about copyright, ads and so on, people are firmly on the side of more freedom, less restrictive copyright laws, and the right to block ads. Whining about how it's needed to pay people, who equating it to stealing, will get you downvoted.

But oh, because it's critical of MS, that's fine.

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Mushroom

Re: Genius from MS

But if the app didn't exist then they wouldn't get any visits from WP users anyway, so Microsoft have not deprived anyone of anything....

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My Youtube app...

...is called a web browser.

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Re: My Youtube app...

As is mine, but its not one that MS, Google, or Apple own. Doesn't mean much but its my little way of telling all of the above to fuck themselves.

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Facepalm

Companies the world over must be over joyed to find M$ blocking their ads

Did I read this correctly? Microsofts' new ap blocks companies ads on the Youtube vids? Heh, that's not just screwing Google but a whole host of industries paying for advertisements that M$ is blocking. Well, I guess if your gonna piss of someone might as well piss off all the other companies you can while your at it.

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Stop

Re: Companies the world over must be over joyed to find M$ blocking their ads

No, you did not read this correctly.

Microsoft's new app has no access to the Youtube ad API because Google want it that way, and therefore it cannot serve ads.

It doesn't block the ads. It is literally disbarred (by Google) from seeing them.

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Re: has no access to the Youtube ad API

Now wait a minute. You're telling me that out of all the devices and all the programs that can access and serve ads from YouTube, the Google API sniffs out and only prevents the MS win8 phone from showing the ads, regardless of what IP address it might originate from?

Sounds fishy to me. Sounds more like MS didn't include a protocol which is required by the API in their OS. Although since MS has release essentially the same win8 code on desktops and nobody there is whinging about not getting YouTube that also sounds odd to me.

Of course, I'm not a programmer so maybe I'm wrong.

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Re: has no access to the Youtube ad API

No, it's not a device sniffing tactic, it's that there is more than one API for YouTube, and not all APIs provide the same quality results. Here's my guess at what's going on, based on having written a small mobile YT player before.

Basically, you can fetch videos as Flash movies, or raw H.264 streams. The H.264 videos are playable on mobile devices that don't have Flash (these days, that's all of them). However, when requesting the raw videos, only clients that possess a special API key will be sent the links to high-definition video streams in response to their requests. Without the key, you are limited to 360p.

There was an older API that allowed better quality videos for anyone, but Google removed it. Now, to get the HD videos, you need to use a special API that only Google and Apple use. That API requires an access key.

Microsoft requested a similar access key from Google, and Google refused, saying that no private API was required, and they should use the website. But the website compares poorly to a dedicated app. Apple's iOS player app, for instance, has access the HD videos, so it's not even a Google exclusive.

MS then used a well-known loophole in the Flash-player API in their dedicated app to find the HD versions of the videos. (This is the same mechanism that all those "YouTube downloader" services use).

Google sent them a cease-and-desist, because using this source without Flash means that any ads before the content, and the ads normally overlaid on the content by the Flash plater, aren't played; only the requested content is shown.

There's was no sniffing involved, just Google not providing an access key for the API that they and Apple already use to fetch videos. MS wanted to use this API, but weren't allowed to by Google.

Google's behaviour here is irrational. As a company that makes all of its revenues from advertising, their interests would be best served by providing the API key to Microsoft that would allow Windows Phone devices to show YouTube videos with ads. MS are even paying for the development cost of this client, so there's no cost to Google. Google would gain a small increase in ad revenue, and at a cost of... I don't know, pride? Well, I don't read their financials in great detail, but I'm pretty sure that "pride" has a zero monetary value. (Protecting Android market share is a weak argument, when you compare the shares in question: anyone who doesn't have an Android phone by now just doesn't like the platform, and will never buy one)

So in the current situation, users still get to see the videos they want to, and Google loses advertising revenue. A cease-and-desist against MS won't stop other apps using this loophole, and closing the loophole will cost Google a lot of re-engineering, and possibly cut off a large number of desktop viewers in the process.

As an analogy, imagine if ITV (or CBS for non-UK readers) decided that people who use LG TV sets wouldn't be allowed to see their broadcasts anymore... just because, and that there would be nothing that LG could offer that would change their mind. That's the closest analogy to the situation here. It's an advertising platform - restricting its audience is counter-productive.

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@Kristian Walsh

Thank-you for the thoughtful reply.

The way you lay everything out is logical and rational.

I still have to wonder about it though. I frequently don't agree with the way Google's policies tend to move in a Progressive direction, but I've always found their business practices to be driven by logic and rational self-interested thought. Which makes me wonder if there's a missing fact which turns their apparently irrational act into a rational one.

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Re: @Kristian Walsh

Are you seriously trying to find a defence for Google on this one?

The answer is quite simple - Windows Phone does not report users' browsing and app choices to Google. Google would prefer that you used Android, which does report on you.

Therefore, they have decided not to do anything or allow any access that would make Windows Phone more popular because more WP users = less spyware Androids out there.

Logical enough for you?

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Windows

Apps schnapps.

Having used various Android apps on my cheap but cheerful, low end smartphone (£70 PAYG), I have come to the conclusion that anything that can be browser based should be browser based.

Firefox for Android uses less resources and works more reliably than many other specific apps I've encountered, Youtube and Facebook in particular. Strangely enough when Apple Maps replaced Google Maps in iOS I found Google Maps just as useful in Safari. I assume the same situation exists in Nokia land.

As for M$ butchering other company's terms of use and revenue streams for their own benefit, when was that news? 1995 I think. Unleash the lawyers and give Ballmer another reason to chuck his toys around.

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Re: Apps schnapps.

I couldn't agree more. Any app which is in effect a "nice" UI and does not add anything more than that should be uninstalled and down-voted. Saves on storage and removes the need to update the app to boot.

The world and their dog are obsessed with apps 'cause they souund like the cool thing ot have when in most cases, it should really about the underlying data and services.

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Re: Apps schnapps.

I believe the idea behind the app was to integrate more tightly with Windows 8, allow live tile support or some such feature. Not something I'd be interested in, but not something a device agnostic web app should be doing...

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Re: Apps schnapps.

You might want to travel back in time a couple of year and buy an HP Touchpad then. Sounds like webOS is the OS for you :)

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