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Google's 'Fast Pair' announcement for Windows shows everything that's wrong with Google

Google "G" logo
Google "G" logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Google is one of those companies that's easy to dislike if you live in the Microsoft ecosystem. Windows Phone fans often cite Google's refusal to make apps for the platform and actively block them, as one of the many reasons for its failure. Google has never embraced Windows save for making the Chrome browser (and one terrible app).

Ah yes, after 14 years, Google is doing something with Android on Windows. So brave.

Even in 2022, the company is still a holdout from putting Chrome in the Microsoft Store despite Opera and Firefox participating. There's no reason for this as the new store policies have no barriers for Google; it's spite, plain and simple.

That's why yesterday's announcement that Google is bringing Fast Pair to let Android phones more easily connect to Windows rings hollow with me.

To recap, Google is going to support Fast Pair on Windows, which will allow you to "quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages and share files with Nearby Share."

Google pats itself on the back by noting, "For the first time with Android, we're also focused on building for other platforms, like Windows, whether it's in gaming, productivity or other areas."

Google Fast Pair Hp

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

Ah yes, after nearly 14 years, Google is now doing something with the world's most popular mobile OS on the world's most popular desktop one. So brave. I'm thrilled a company with a market cap of 1.83 trillion was able to scrounge up the resources to make this happen.

So, why am I mad? It's the caveat: "We're working with Acer, HP and Intel to bring these experiences to select Windows PCs first later this year." That's right, to use this feature, you'll need to buy an Acer or HP PC. Select ones, too, not all of them. Also, notice no mention of Microsoft.

Now, I'm fine when OEMs develop proprietary software (like Dell Mobile Connect) as an upsell to buy their stuff. It's common practice, and you can't fault these companies for trying to add value to their products. Sure, it kind of sucks, but they do this for a good reason. You'll see it with PCs with foldable displays, too, to fill in the gaps left by Microsoft in Windows 11.

But I have an issue with Google doing this directly with select OEMs on select PCs.

It doesn't have to be this way. Google could work directly with Microsoft.

Why isn't Google working with Intel (and AMD and Qualcomm) with Microsoft to make this something standard with Your Phone in Windows 11? Microsoft's Your Phone already syncs text messages, offers some sharing, and much more, including photos and even mirroring the OS.

Moreover, pray you don't have a PC from another company. Maybe you have an HP laptop but a custom-built gaming rig for your desktop or something by Lenovo (the top PC shipper on the planet). Enjoy using this great feature by Google on one PC, but not the other.

But what a great experience with app redundancy! Users will get some neat new tricks with Fast Pair like Nearby Share, but other features with Your Phone.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

It doesn't have to be this way. Google could easily phone up Microsoft and be like, "Let's make the Android experience on Windows really shine and work together." But they don't. And they won't.

This solution isn't rocket science. Google with Microsoft (and Intel, AMD, Qualcomm) could create a standard for Android phones in Windows 11 and then give that model to OEMs to build into PCs. If it costs extra money due to specific hardware requirements, make it optional for PC makers.

Sure, Google has Chrome OS to think about, which is fair, but they're already doing some stuff with Windows; it's just half-assed. And clearly, Microsoft is embracing Android and Google where it makes sense (like embracing PWAs).

Google seems to be doing something similar with its plan for Google Play games on Windows. We don't know the full details yet, but it seems Google is doing this (again) on its own without Microsoft's knowledge, input, or assistance (notice Microsoft and Google didn't co-announce that either). And it's probably a good bet you won't be able to find Google Play games in the Microsoft Store because Microsoft has cooties or something.

Let's be clear: Google has some of the world's most used services and software, whether Gmail, Android, Chrome, search, etc. The company could be doing much more to deliver top-tier experiences on Windows, but it chooses not to because it still acts like it is the 2000s. Imagine how good a native Google Mail app could be on Windows. Apple is the same, except even worse (e.g., it refuses to work with Microsoft on Your Phone or give any help).

If Google is truly "open" and wants its services and software everywhere, suck it up and work with Microsoft directly. It's time this childish behavior ends.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

125 Comments
  • I strongly agree with this and glad to see the sentiment written out by someone with your prestige and industry importance, Dan. I do think what Apple does is not so bad, because their reasoning is "fairer." Apple is purely focused on their ecosystem. They charge a premium for that protected experience and are not trying to appeal to everyone. They are at least usually polite and respectful of other players. Google, on the other hand, gives much away, paid for by advertisers, in an appeal to be everywhere, viewing and treating everyone who doesn't bow to them as their enemy. In public statements, they often come across like upset children, whining, complaining, and insulting everyone else, with a smugness and sense of entitlement that comes from their successes. That's why there's no other explanation for this approach other than spite, as you rightly point out. It would be better for those of us not 100% in the Apple ecosystem if Apple played nicer with other platforms, but I respect that they have a UX-first approach, and they've been fairly consistent with that. Google has a monetize-our-users and spite-the-competition mindset. I find it despicable.
  • It would be better for those of us not 100% in the Apple ecosystem if Apple played nicer with other platforms, but I respect that they have a UX-first approach, and they've been fairly consistent with that.
    Yeah, that's fair. They've never been shy about that, although they do make exceptions like iTunes on Windows. But you're right, they don't wear the cloak of being open while doing the opposite.
  • I think iTunes on Windows was made not because Apple wanted to but because they needed to (it had a bad rep for being a resource hog and generally not working well on Windows - not sure if that's still the case).
  • I'm thinking because this was back in the day with 1 to 2 core processors and limited RAM. I used it a few years back for something, I think for ripping a CD to put on a thumb drive for my car. But it ran pretty smooth.
  • Yeah, at least Apple is far more consistent with their approach and don't pretend that they are open. They always been a closed system and they only make few of their stuff cross-platform if it benefits the adoption, but don't expect anything more. Google on the other hand, often marketed to be more open and they themselves reaching to more markets unlike Apple. Also Google really has more intention to be dominant than Apple who will be contented not to be the dominant in the market if they have strong userbase and still get huge profit. The once dominant iPhone, iPad and iPod were just a result of great headstart to the market that the competition just hasn't caught up yet.
  • this is why Apple is my choice over android. i do have a pixel as a toy, but Apple is simply a better ecosystem.
    not to mention that google loves to throw poop at a wall to see what sticks and then dropping half of it after users try it and like it. (allo, g+, and a dozen other throw aways)
  • To me, it's simply too little, too late.
    Both the 'Fast Pair' or 'Google games on Windows' is all just too little, and far too late.
    Having realized that MS and others (like working with Amazon on Android apps) are moving ahead and succeeding without their help, Google realizes it's better to join the train after all.
    It'll probably fall flat anyways. Your Phone app is already pretty robust at present, and getting better all the time. Don't see what they are bringing to the table. It'll probably be a half-baked mess anyway.
  • Amazon Store is very bad for developers that's why Android Developers avoid it. Most devs create account for Amazon Store because of Fire TV OS. Both Apple and Google reduced their Store fee to 15% but Amazon will still take 20%. The Android API is very lacking as well from Amazon. If Microsoft want to success with Android apps then Amazon Store is not the way., Amazon still couldn't put up a guideline for Windows support.
  • "If Microsoft want to success with Android apps then Amazon Store is not the way., Amazon still couldn't put up a guideline for Windows support."
    While that may be accurate, it's another example for this article as Google could work with Microsoft here on that as well. But, Google doesn't want real competition in the laptop space, so it walls off special features for itself. If it truly thought Chrome OS was so much better than Windows, it wouldn't be afraid of the competition. It could even monetize the Play Store for desktop versions of Android apps, letting devs (and itself) double-dip on revenue for the privilege. Imagine the PR message on that: "Hey Microsoft, we hear you have an app problem, don't worry, we got you as we have like a million." It'd be PR gold: "Google solves Microsoft's app gap for them".
  • I believe they are working on this and also bringing it to Windows 10. It might be possible that Microsoft allows the Google Play Store for this, it would make sense security wise where while not 100% it helps keep people from installing a wild APK with some extras. I won't touch the Amazon App store for Google apps. I believe did when I first started using an Android then noticed when I moved to a new phone the apps wouldn't follow unless I installed the app, then even some apps wouldn't update when the Play Store did and for instance a game with an update with new limited time features will all be missed. The Amazon app store is a waste really.
  • Yes it's true that Amazon store is still inferior to the Play store at the moment. But this is a start, and more importantly, it's a proving ground to fix the issues with the Android Subsystem for Windows.
    Android apps on Windows are really only an added bonus right now, but this is a good way for MS to get started and get it working well.
    If it was left to Google, it would never have happened. Ever.
    But on realizing that the Amazon app store may dominate windows Android apps, and gradually encourage developers to submit to Amazon in order to access the Windows install base, Google suddenly decided to bring Play store games to Windows.
  • Android apps on Windows isn't good for Windows. It is an admission that developers aren't coming back to Windows and that they never need to. The lack of native apps isn't a good thing.
  • There are plenty of native apps. They are called applications (ie x86) . It's no secret that MS doesn't have a mobile solution, hence the need to improve customer experience by not locking customers into a walled garden. At least Apple is forthright in their strategy as opposed to Google that misleads their customers, limits their choices, and degrades usability for their own base. Maybe in the long run, Google's strategy will win and MS will faulter but if that happens, it doesn't benefit you or I whem competition is decreased.
  • Well, it might benefit bleached, because he seems to be on Google's payroll. ;-)
  • I think Microsoft needs to keep a close eye on this and maybe be equally as childish by potentially blocking such efforts? Much like Google and Apple protect their platforms, Microsoft should do the same IMHO.
    Don't get me wrong, it should be a last resort, as it will literally help nobody. But time for MS to put their foot down and decide where they want Windows to go and how they want things done. Btw, great article Dan. Wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote in case it wasn't clear.
  • Actually, no. MS shouldn't do anything like that.
    They should simply forward this column to the FTC and DOJ.
    They're already looking at Google for antitrust and unfair competition. Add a few campaign contributions and let the feds take care of Google. 😒
  • Anti-competitive for making an app and not including Microsoft? Are you serious?
  • Why not? Isn't this the exact reason MS was sanctioned, fined and forced to change policy by the EU competition watchdog and aren't MS still paying dearly for that till today? You're as hypocritical as Google are, but you're too blind to see it let alone admit it.
  • Great article, thanks for bringing this to light. I remember Google blocking their services on Windows phone and also banning a beautifully made Microsoft YouTube application... I have most of their services unistalled or disabled on my phones...
  • Why does Google have to support a competitor's platform? Did Microsoft make Office apps for Palm and Blackberry? Why did Microsoft wait years before they supported Android? Office Android apps didn't come out until 2015! It wasn't Google's responsibility to support Microsoft's competing platform, or Palm's, or BB, or any of the other fledgling mobile operating systems. It isn't Google's fault Microsoft had no competitive consumer services. It was all Microsoft's fault for being slow to adopt the cloud.
  • "Why does Google have to support a competitor's platform? "
    Have to? They don't. But they just announced THEY ARE, just in a very selective way that doesn't benefit most Android or Windows users:
    "For the first time with Android, we're also focused on building for other platforms, like Windows, whether it's in gaming, productivity or other areas." - Google
    This feature is available on zero computers and by the end of the year, just a handful. So, likely less than 1% of all PCs in the world will benefit from this.
  • They don't have to support a competitor's platform, I never said they had too... Now they want to get involved in a competitor's platform in a half assed way... Google's consumer focus is no better than Microsoft's, that's why their Pixel devices are always a failure... Google are an insidious company, trying to creep into every aspect of everyone's life... I for one don't want that, I am forced to buy an Android phone but I will not use their applications or make purchases through their monolopy play store...
  • Why was MS forced to do the same for Google years back? Stop been hypocritical. Google is been childishly petit minded, just like you are.
  • Few things to note.
    1. In later part of the article it felt you are saying Google is not working with Intel for this. But they are and you wrote it yourself on the top.
    2. Their blog said "at first" so most likely more devices will be getting it.
    3. You also hid the fact Google did try to upload Chrome Browser at Microsoft Store in the Windows 8 era but MS rejected them because it wasn't EdgeHTML based, later they uploaded a Chrome Installer in the Store which was deleted a day after by Microsoft.
    4. Is there a good example when another software company worked with Microsoft to add a feature to Windows? Windows is not open sourced and so there is no way way to submit feature like open sourced projects has.
    5. And lastly we don't know if Google did try to work with Microsoft or not. Maybe they did and got rejected. We have to remember Microsoft lobbied to Australian government last year when they try ban Google there and also wrote many anti Google propaganda in Australia.
    Microsoft working with Android and Play teams for their own device and goals (embrace extend extinguish) not because they want to work with everyone.
  • The focus was on the other chip makers and Microsoft, was not saying they're not working with Intel. Maybe? This doesn't negate how it would be better if they worked directly with Microsoft and all chip makers to make this happen, which is the point I'm making. This is all irrelevant since MS changed its policies in 2021. This drives the point: Microsoft changed, why not Google? (And let's be fair: Google not making apps and blocking them on WP was FAR more damaging to MS than Google not getting Chrome in the Store, which had no measurable impact on Chrome's success). Samsung/Your Phone. Microsoft also works closely with Intel (Ultrabooks, 2in1s, Foldables are all Intel + MS), Qualcomm (Windows on ARM), in addition to AMD. It also works closely with OEMs. The first HP Spectre in 2015 had design help from Microsoft. Even AR/VR is all collab work with MS and partners. Same with 4G/5G. That would be ludicrous. The Your Phone team for years has tried to work directly with Google and Apple to make that app better. If Microsoft is putting Android apps on its OS and literally ships Android phones, there is a lot of evidence lacking that MS would deny Google assistance. Explain why Google didn't even co-announce this (or Play Gaming) with Microsoft? What, Microsoft PR was like "no thanks, we don't need the publicity?" Microsoft creates Your Phone so Android phones work BETTER with Windows 10/11, but it absolutely doesn't want it to be REALLY good, which is why it rejected Google? C'mon, man.
  • Makes you wonder what flavor koolaid. Maybe pre-ripe grape?😇
  • I think you have a point about the browsers in the Microsoft Store (until that policy changed) but I really do think the company that takes the lion's share of blame here is Google. They are shameless in their use of petty policies to block competition or damage another ecosystem, ironically much like Microsoft 15 years ago, particularly for a company whose internal slogan was reportedly "Don't be evil" (a dig at Microsoft). Google has earned our mistrust.
  • Well said on comparing to MS of the past. Microsoft in the 90s and early 2000's was definitely not a good player. But where they have turned 180 degrees, Google has adopted all of their old problems, and folded in a pound of monetize-our-customers'-data to our advertisers.
  • @GraniteStateColin MS did turn 180 degrees but have reverted back to their evil ways with W11. The user hostile default settings and the forcing of Edge/Bing in some areas despite users choosing other browsers and search engines is right out of the old evil MS playbook. The outright hysteria against Google by the article writer and commenters combined with the fairy tale like evangelism of MS in this article reminds me of the bad old days of Windows Central.
  • blueyross, I would partially agree that some of those Edge requirements have the whiff of old ways, but that's all it is. The ONLY requirements for Bing and Edge are by MS apps that are included with the OS. In other words, it's only if you are running the MS Weather widget, for example, that it requires Edge as it's display tool. While I would acknowledge it would be even more open to use whatever browser the user set as default, I don't think it's unreasonable for any company to define the end-to-end experience for its apps. While Chrome and Edge work about the same for rendering pages (both being built on Chromium), Firefox is different, with a different rendering engine. For MS to protect and ensure its apps display as they intend and protect the user experience, they force Edge. So, you can use any browser you want in Windows, but if you choose to run MS widgets, I think it's OK that those widgets require Edge. I admit that's getting into a slightly gray area, but it's far, far, far away from away from Google and the MS of old.
  • I agree 100%. Google could have worked with Microsoft on Your Phone app and made the integration so much better but instead they chose to do this in the dumbest way possible.
  • Yeah, because Microsoft's consumer software and services have really been killer lately! The less Microsoft has to do with it the better. Google has no need to Work with them on this project.
  • To be honest, i fully agree with the article. Beautifully written by the way...
    In a sense, microsoft is also left out in the open with no mobile system, so they also depend on Android and iphone to have their services used daily by people...
    But google's way of doing things is indeed not only childish, but also headache inducing.
    I wish to return to a windows phone where everything was so much batter, simple and productive then the chaotic android.....
  • Good thing Microsoft didn’t only work with a single phone OEM to bring advanced features to Your Phone at first. That would make your argument here silly. Oh wait… https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/12/18261478/microsoft-your-phone-screen-...
  • That's another black eye for Google really. MS most likely sought out their help with that feature only to be told no - hence working with Samsung instead.
  • Let's get some facts here: The Samsung/Your Phone new "Apps" stuff requires custom firmware on those phones to enable those features. It can't be done (right now) without OS-level driver integration Samsung accounts for 35% of all smartphone sales in the US (Apple is 42%). The next closest competitor is Motorola at 8%. If Microsoft had to have one partner to get that firmware into Android phones, it would be Samsung, which is overwhelmingly the top Android maker both in the US and RoW (save for China) as that is where most users are. These were not only existing devices (not just new laptops that aren't out yet), but they were the ones that most people owned. HP and Asus are not the most used laptops, nor does a single person even own ONE of them right now. What do you think the odds are that Microsoft had to go the route of working with Samsung on this directly instead of Google because Google couldn't be bothered? A: Very high. If Microsoft is building a product to make Android work better with Windows (Your Phone), going directly to Google to build it into Android would be the solution. Do you really think it was Microsoft who decided against that route? The company trying to make the best Android experience on Windows? Explain yourself.
  • Excuses. I am sure Google has them too. They have no need to work with Microsoft on this. Google certainly aren't using Microsoft's Your Phone platform for it as Google can make their own and will do a much better job of it. They will probably just make it a Chrome extension or similar, as they have done with all their services on Windows. It is Microsoft that needs Google platforms (see Edge, Duo, Android apps in Windows), not the other way around.
  • Then why does Google bother releasing Google play games or even do this fast pairing thing with windows? I can at minimum agree that Microsoft needs a partnership more than Google, but it's clearly not one sided as you say.
  • Only for the periphery apps. Google suite for work / desktop is still half-baked unless you only use for high school or some academic purposes.
  • Microsoft doesn't need Google, all the things you mentioned are open source. Microsoft could easily integrate the entirety of the Android experience into Windows, they just choose not to.
  • Google Play Services, which is the important part of Android apps, isn't open source.
  • "Excuses. I am sure Google has them too."
    How is this even a remotely helpful, insightful, or even a smart statement? This contributes nothing.
    " as Google can make their own and will do a much better job of it."
    They sure haven't announced that. And if they did, that's actually good news. I don't care if Microsoft or Google make "Your Phone." But you're getting ahead of yourself here. There's no evidence that is what Google is doing, nor that it would work on the majority of PCs or Android phones.
    "They will probably just make it a Chrome extension or similar, as they have done with all their services on Windows."
    You're now just riffing on fantasies and making things up. Just nonsense. Why then are they working with HP, Acer, AND INTEL to make this happen if they could just do it with an extension? Your logic here is twisted and severely flawed.
    "It is Microsoft that needs Google platforms (see Edge, Duo, Android apps in Windows), not the other way around."
    Google wants to be like Apple. Just like Samsung wants to be Apple. That means tight integration with mobile PCs. That is why Google is doing this. You say they don't need Microsoft and yet, here they are, making stuff for Windows. Explain. Why the sudden change in 2022? Why make Google Play games for PC? Why work with HP and Acer for Fast Pair at all?
  • Microsoft didn't seek Google's help because they don't want it. They made Edge to shut down Chrome, Chrome isn't on the MS Store (what kind of moron uses the MS Store anyway) because MS doesn't want it to be, and Your Phone only works with an extremely select group of phones. Microsoft is solely and entirely to blame for the situation, period. They have had a hard-on for Google for years.
  • I use ms store as the apps are using native APIs that make the apps more responsive in my opinion, but developers are barely releasing a native app in store because android and mac.
  • "Your Phone only works with an extremely select group of phones."
    100% Lies. Your Phone works on the majority of Android phones on the market today. The requirements are Windows 10 May 2019 Update and an Android device running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later. Android 7.0 came out in 2016. Even if you want to be pedantic and just focus on support for "Apps" and Link to Windows with Samsung (instead of "Phone screen") Your Phone works on 47 (!) different Samsung phones including everything new that has come out since late 2018. Samsung is the top Android shipper in the world (except China) and the #2 smartphone shipper in the US at 35% behind Apple (42%). Motorola is third at 8%. That means the majority of Android devices in the US benefit from the full Your Phone experience (which is just "Apps" instead of "Phone screen, that's the only difference).
    "Microsoft is solely and entirely to blame for the situation, period. They have had a hard-on for Google for years."
    Cite an example of how Microsoft has hurt any Google business in the last 5 years.
  • "Your Phone only works with an extremely select group of phones." Well, I used it on my last Galaxy, and use it now on my Pixel. Granted it worked better on the Galaxy, but that isn't of Microsoft's choosing.
  • The "Oh wait" was good trolling though.
  • bleached, did you read the article you linked? It describes a beta test period, which is wildly different from a commercial launch announcement. Tests are almost always performed with a subset of the equipment to be supported at scale. The lion's share of Android phones work with Your Phone, including screen sharing among high-end phones, and a large % (given Samsung's market share), even work with the dedicated Apps feature. You know, some of your anti-MS criticisms and pro-Google propaganda might be more impactful if you occasionally said something truthful against Google and in support of MS. Providing some pretense of objectivity might lead to more interest in your posts and trust in your words.
  • I 100% agree Daniel!!
    Google and their proprietary solution with specific vendors can suck it!!!
    Besides we already have Windows Your Phone Companion that works just fine, I use it everyday!
  • The Your Phone app is straight featureless hot garbage that only works with an extremely select pool of phones.
  • It works great with samsung, and i personally use OnePlus, but i have no problems except the app share or whatever thats not available for OnePlus yet
  • "The Your Phone app ... only works with an extremely select pool of phones."
    You're clearly just trolling here. Define "extremely select pool of phones." As stated above: Your Phone works on the majority of Android phones on the market today. The requirements are Windows 10 May 2019 Update and an Android device running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later. Android 7.0 came out in 2016. Even if you want to be pedantic and just focus on support for "Apps" and Link to Windows with Samsung (instead of "Phone screen") Your Phone works on 47 Samsung devices including everything new that has come out since late 2018. Samsung is the top Android shipper in the world (except China) and the #2 smartphone shipper in the US at 35% behind Apple (42%). Motorola is third at 8%. That means the majority of Android devices in the US benefit from the full Your Phone experience (which is just "Apps" instead of "Phone screen, that's the only difference). I don't think you understand the words "extremely" or "select."
  • Not a word of that is true.
  • Utter rubbish. Up until just a couple of month ago I was using a Nokia phone with Windows and it worked perfectly well before I switched to a Samsung phone. You're peddling rubbish.
  • Okay, Microsoft couldn't pull its own services together for Windows Mobile, so what are we expecting from Google? Also if Microsoft is so eager to make things happen, they could have had a Windows Mobile not put to sleep. Also I can't see Microsoft making its own Android phone work like a charm with Windows using its own services. I say it's sad that we still see Google as the one who could easily pull this together.
  • It's not 2017. We can stop talking about Windows Mobile as an alternative/solution to this.
  • Don't agree. The point is that Microsoft itself found it not returning the investment. Why do we expect it from Google?...on one hand.
    But my point on the other hand really was that it's a sour grape historic feeling that we expect this to happen from Google. Not even sure they could do this. There must even be a reason this comes to selected PCs. Probably if they released something like this as a generic solution, it would work just like Windows APIs do in general. Frankly they don't. And also the same thing why Your Phone only worked with new Samsung devices in the beginning. I bet Microsoft said, no our APIs don't support Google's needs in a generic way. So why depend on Microsoft then?
  • "There must even be a reason this comes to selected PCs. Probably if they released something like this as a generic solution, it would work just like Windows APIs do in general. "
    As I stated in the article, even if that is true:
    This solution isn't rocket science. Google with Microsoft (and Intel, AMD, Qualcomm) could create a standard for Android phones in Windows 11 and then give that model to OEMs to build into PCs. If it costs extra money due to specific hardware requirements, make it optional for PC makers.
    If Google can standardize this for Chrome OS and OEMs for Chromebooks, I find it hard to believe in the year 2022, this couldn't be done for PCs if Google wanted it.
  • It is not. But it is always a riak when it comes down to relying on Microsoft services if you are to ship reliability.
    And sure Google can make things work on its own ecosystem. It's closed. Just as Apple is capable of doing the same. And nobody said this Google solition won't expand in the future to other devices. And also, I never said Google is passive aggressive on the market. But still, Microsoft's qualities are anything but helpful here.
  • Gregorius Magnus, Microsoft works will all comers to help make things work well for Windows. They would certainly work with Google on a cross Windows-Android standard. And even if you think that MS wouldn't be as helpful to Google as to others (I don't believe that to be the case), Google's own words and presentation condemn them here: their whole presentation and marketing language reeks of their typical combative divisiveness. There is no intent to try to unite technology or help all users.
  • You misunderstood me. I didn't say Microsoft did not want to help. I said they are incapable to. As they fail to make Microsoft services work flaelessly on their own platforms. There ate serious issues with the Microsoft pioeline when it comes down to ecosystem development.
  • Gregorius, the data doesn't support that assertion. Microsoft has an incredibly strong track record helping 3rd party developers build things that work with Windows. You are referring to Microsoft's long-running disconnect between its hardware development and software development. On that, I COMPLETELY AGREE with you. But that's different from their track record helping third developers work with Windows. The real problem is that MS does not require its internal software teams to adhere to their own design guidelines. They instead have an attitude (which they believe to be a good thing) of letting teams work however they think is best, which leads to chaos. You and I would probably agree that's poor leadership.
  • @Gregorius Magnus "Also if Microsoft is so eager to make things happen, they could have had a Windows Mobile not put to sleep" It was the lack of interest by consumers, enterprise and developers that doomed WM. All MS did was kill an unwanted and unprofitable area of their business.
    MS correctly euthanized WM just as any other responsible company would have.
  • Disagreed. Windows Phone reached a 20% market share in selected European countries and well over 15% in many of them when Microsoft pulled the plug. The platform was well supported by local services in Europe. What they failed to do was to even provide reliable first-party services. Just like today. The reason Google is not helping, because they don't need to. If Microsoft had ever offered an alternative solution to YouTube and Google Ads, Google will be fighting to support everything better than MS does in their own ecosystem. Until then, no need to do anything. Microsoft had shut down their own competitive services. It does not matter if they have a mobile presence or not. Closing Windows Phone or Mobile is only a symptom, not the cause. That's no way to build success and win territory. Apple did not win the mobile space by abandoning everything after the first sold iPgone saying, OMG we have less share than competitors. You need to keep investing into things. Both Google and Microsoft are only keeping things alive until they return the investment and obly if they turn out to be world domination in 3 years. It will sure make them profitable comapnies and make shareholders happy. But then don't expect them to bring anything to consumer space that you are dreaming of.
  • 100% google crap. All these yeara and they haven't learned to play nice.
  • What exactly does this have to do with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm? Fast pair and nearby share are entirely software based features where the only real hardware requirement is a Bluetooth LE capable Bluetooth adapter (so pretty much any adapter from the last 11 years) and there's no reason to drag random companies into this.
  • "What exactly does this have to do with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm?"
    From Google's own announcement:
    "We're working with Acer, HP AND INTEL to bring these experiences to select Windows PCs first later this year."
    They're working with Intel. That is why I mention AMD and Qualcomm since they are not a part of this.
  • Google deserves every word of this rage rant. "Don't be evil" my ass. Google is the new Microsoft circa 2005.
  • A lot of this comes down to one thing and one thing only; Google DEMANDS that they be the DEFAULT SEARCH ENGINE on all platforms they develop for (note that Chrome defaults to Google for it's Search Engine.)
    End of story. This is why NONE of the native Google apps ever appeared on the Windows Phone platform, because Microsoft demanded that BING be the "Default" Search Engine. Google said, Nope. Google or nothing and actually sued MS to remove the native Windows Phone versions of Gmail and Youtube that MS had written for Window Phone (which were excellent as I remember) claiming (correctly) that it violated Google's TOS. Google actually PAYS Apple about $2-3 BILLION/Year to be the default Search Engine on iPhones (and to keep Apple from developing their own Search infrastructure.)
    Search is Google's LIFEBLOOD and they defend it jealously (kind of like Microsoft back in the 90's and their "Windows Everywhere" mantra that led them to MISS the evolution of the Internet and have to scramble to catch up.) That and Google has a HUGE "Not Invented Here" attitude that makes Microsoft's NIH look pale by comparison. Google feels (not unwarranted) that they OWN the Internet, and THEY and THEY ALONE will direct how it will evolve.
    These Dueling Behemoths (along with Amazon and their AWS) means that us consumers (ants) just have to hope we don't get stepped on too hard as they play their never-ending "Musical Chairs" money-dance.
  • You make some good points.
  • Couldn't agree more.
  • @Khaaannn "A lot of this comes down to one thing and one thing only; Google DEMANDS that they be the DEFAULT SEARCH ENGINE on all platforms they develop for (note that Chrome defaults to Google for it's Search Engine" Are Edge and Bing not default on Windows?
  • You do realize that the ENTIRE reason Microsoft doesn't play well with Android and Linux in general is SOLELY on them, right? They are the ones that refuse to work with anyone. Bill Gates said it, if they hadn't had to deal with anti-trust issues, everyone would be using a Windows phone right now. Microsoft is their own worst enemy. This is the same crap that happened with Amazon when you couldn't stream their content via Chromecast or buy Google products on their storefront. I'm not out here to sing anyone's praises but the only company that has ever been willing to play ball is Google. The reason Chrome isn't on the MS Store? MS doesn't want it there, period. No other reason. They even made a browser using their source code (admittedly it is a better browser objectively) and proceeded to shut down Chrome wherever they could. Google's in house phone? Compatible with any and all phone carriers. Completely unlocked, etc. Google's home automation system? Completely compatible with all legitimate aftermarket solutions. Look how long it took MS to support ARM? And even then, it isn't commercially available. I don't support any of these major companies, but the facts are the facts....MS is entirely to blame.
  • You do realise Firefox is on the Store and it is UWP, same with Opera? If Google doesn't wish to do it, we can't blame anyone.
  • Firefox isn't uwp. It's repackaged Firefox desktop
  • Annoyingly on Windows on ARM you're offered the 64-Bit app. Mozilla has been lazy and not offered the ARM64 version. Same with VLC. Other apps developers have gone to the effort of offering both depending on hardware. This isn't going to help. Install Firefox on a Surface Pro X from the Store and you'll get a poor experience.
  • @AvidCoder08 Sorry but you're just wrong.
  • "but the facts are the facts"
    You actually haven't cited any facts but spelled out a lot of your own opinions.
    "The reason Chrome isn't on the MS Store? MS doesn't want it there, period."
    I mentioned how Firefox and Opera are now in the Store. So those competitors are OK, but not Chrome? Where's the evidence? Microsoft opened it up so any browser can be in there including Chrome. Even Epic Games Store is there. Has Google come out and said, "We've submitted our app to the Microsoft Store and it was rejected?" If they did, you'd have a point. They haven't and there is NO evidence to support they have thereby making your statement invalid.
  • Annoyingly on Windows on ARM you're offered the 64-Bit app. Mozilla has been lazy and not offered the ARM64 version. Same with VLC. Other apps developers have gone to the effort of offering both depending on hardware. This isn't going to help. Install Firefox on a Surface Pro X from the Store and you'll get a poor experience.
  • Yup, valid criticism. ARM is still very much a work in progress with a long way to go.
  • @Daniel I'm curious how you would critique MS's efforts to date on development and promotion of ARM.
    Perhaps you could do an article on this as I keep hearing it's the future but it appears to be moving at glacial pace. I think many would appreciate your opinion on this.
  • Why persist with the premise that the Microsoft Store is some magical entity through which all software must pass? It is not the only avenue for PC software distribution; everyone knows this. Store is a halfed-baked app that offers People and Map updates everyday even after updating them day after day. DB fixes don't take for more than a few days. Fix the Store proper and maybe I'd take it more seriously. Until then, you are screaming at the wind.
  • A Gmail app would just be the Gmail Web App/PWA as a wrapper. Android and IOS demand native apps. PCs don't. I use Outlook Desktop but if I wanted a native Gmail I'd just access Gmail from Edge as a PWA.
  • A Gmail app for windows would be miles better that the shitshow that Gmail website is. You comments sounds like "either Google's way or the high way" we can use Gmail on Android browser too.
  • Well obviously it's their app. Other than Chrome, Android and ChromeOS Google is a Web first company. Their focus has always been web apps only unless there's a need for another type of app.
  • "A Gmail app would just be the Gmail Web App/PWA as a wrapper."
    Sure, it could be. Or, Google could decide to make a first-class app for the most popular email service in the world on the most popular desktop OS. That's up to them. The point is, if they made the app, it'd go right in the Microsoft Store for anyone to grab. I also think end-users would be very happy to have an Outlook/Mail competitor.
  • I agree. I just don't think it's very "Googley". There are no native apps on any of Desktop platform (e.g. MacOS), except ChromeOS and that's more because it happens to support Android apps. Even on Chromebook laptops and Chromeboxs they want you to use their Web Apps. It's only on tablets they direct you to Android apps. Even then I'd argue the native apps on ChromeOS aren't the Android apps but Web Apps. It would help if Microsoft added CalDAV and CardDAV to Outlook Desktop, like Apple have with Apple Mail, so it supports the Google Calendar and Google Contacts. Wouldn't be as good a native Gmail app but would be an improvement.
  • Do we know why Google are doing this? They've already baked their Android Nearby Share into Chrome for Windows. Google are only better than Apple because Apple are all about not supporting competitors. Will it increase Android's market share? A little I suppose. Me? I just want native Airplay between my Ahdrord and Surface. This still isn't going to give me that. I use Your Phone but it's SUPER buggy. That needs rewriting from the ground up. It's still not ARM64.
  • Arm isn't a magical tech that'll fix everything. It works just fine,been a year since I've been using your phone app on 2 different pcs and they work as intended
  • I know but Microsoft should be leading ARM64 development on Windows like Apple are. Why should Google release Chrome for WoA when Microsoft haven't released Your Phone or Skype for ARM64 or example. It's getting there. Teams is onboard, the OneDrive Sync client is coming. It's "fine" because it works for you, okay mate. Loads of reports online saying it's buggy. It autocloses all the freaking time. Which is a general issue with UWP apps. It does seem more stable under Windows 11.
  • Microsoft needs Google way more than Google needs Microsoft. The whole “run Android apps on Windows” thing is an admission by MS that Windows is failing. Developers have abandoned Windows, and the ability to run Android apps means that there will never be any new Windows apps. Ever. When you are forced to run your competitor’s apps, then it is Game Over. Remember OS/2. Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
  • "The whole “run Android apps on Windows” thing is an admission by MS that Windows is failing."
    Then why hasn't Google even made a single move to exploit this situation? Imagine the headline: "Google solves Microsoft's app-gap problem for them." But they don't. And, let's be clear, there's not a lot of evidence yet that "Android apps on Windows" is going to be a good thing. I mean, have you tried it? It's at best, "OK." But it's hardly turning into a must-have feature, which is why so few people are talking about it.
  • Seems to me Android on Windows is a tick box feature. MS want you to use their Desktop apps.
  • Yeah, part of me thinks they're doing it because they can. What's the worst that happens? People don't like it/don't use it. But it's a neat PoC idea.
  • That's plain wrong. What do you think is the most popular platform for Google Workspace? Windows laptops. Window laptops sell far more than MacBooks, Chromebooks and iPads. But you can argue they've covered this with Chrome. Those users would still like phone integration though.
  • "Microsoft needs Google way more than Google needs Microsoft." One look at market values tells us that's not the case. But we can ask why, and the answer is that Google is a one-hit monopolistic wonder, and MS is diverse and innovative. Even at Microsoft's worst (10+ years ago) they had several viable businesses going; that's become more true over time even as MS has become less Scroogey and more open. MS is less reliant on protecting its fiefdoms than ever; Google is all ad revenue near-monopoly.
  • "MS is diverse and innovative" *snort* Wow. 2022 is going to be a weird year. (I'm not arguing ... it's just that combination of words in reference to Microsoft makes my jaded inner GenX geek laugh)
  • Ah, naddy6969, I loved OS/2 at its peak, true to its marketing claim, "A better Windows than Windows" (because at the time, IBM owned the rights to the Windows 3.1 code from their original deal with MS). It was a true preemptive multitasking system (like Windows NT or Windows 2000) with an amazing object-oriented design that no other OS has ever matched. But with Windows 95, and a true consumer-based Windows OS, rather than just a shell that ran on top of DOS, MS secured it's place as the dominant GUI OS. That was back when MS was a poor, ethics-free player, much like Google is today. Today, Google is the industry equivalent of MS circa 2000. Unfortunately for MS, and fortunately for Google today, memories of those decades-past bad behaviors last a long time. However, I suspect Google is heading down that same path and will be loathed by many 10 years from now, even if they turn things around and start practicing ethical business.
  • I totally agree. Plus I don't think Nearby Share (Android) needs some specific hardware requirement. If they work with MS, they can integrate the Nearby Share on Windows and Android. I think Nearby Share on Windows is the least used feature. I would use it in a heartbeat if Google and MS collaborated.
  • "Plus I don't think Nearby Share (Android) needs some specific hardware requirement."
    The one thing contradicting this is Google working with Intel, as mentioned in their announcement. That suggests that for 12th Gen processors some driver-level support is needed that can't be solved by software alone. Of course, Intel/AMD/Qualcomm along with Microsoft and Google could all hash this out with a standard that would be optional for OEMs to implement if they wanted. That's how a lot of this PC industry works. The whole 2-in-1 PC thing was driven by Intel/Microsoft and OEM partners. You're now seeing it with PCs with foldable displays (that's Intel/Microsoft and Samsung). Microsoft and Intel often serve as innovation hubs that then seed out tech, ideas, and standards for OEMs to follow. It's why the first round of foldable PCs will be around the 17-inch size with Samsung displays.
  • Either way, If they put an ounce of their effort that they use for collaborating with HP and Acer, with Microsoft, I am sure Android and Windows will marry well together.
  • Fast Pair only uses BLE (https://developers.google.com/nearby/fast-pair/spec), so that could be supported on almost all devices. The hurdle is Nearby Sharing, which doesn't seem to have a public specification.
  • Yeah barely used because not enough people have two Windows PCs to use it between. Even those who do don't use it.
  • Google is just a company. If you feel like it is doing wrong you should boycott its products and it will change its policies if enough people do it. But as even the author doesn't consider to boycott Google, this is just an anger that is more wise to keep for himself instead of sharing with people.
  • Probably because it's impossible to boycott Google completely (or pretty damn close to impossible).
  • As mentioned above, avoiding Google search is the easiest way to boycott Google. As well as minimizing use of their apps and browsers that collect your data. However avoiding their apps isn't completely necessary as they can collect all the data they want, but if the advertisers aren't buying google ads, it's game over for Google.
  • @taynjack "avoiding Google search is the easiest way to boycott Google" True, however that means you are losing access to the best search engine on the planet. You can hate on Google all you like but on a global scale Google Search is undeniably the superior search engine.
    Yes, I am told Bing in the U.S is capable and a worthy alternative but is simply not good enough globally. The question is using an inferior search engine worth it just to boycott Google. I guess for some people it is.
  • My family often makes fun of me for using Bing, but truth be told, once you make the switch you don't really miss Google. Bing is pretty capable, no matter where you're located (unless it's China of course).
  • DuckDuckGo has come a very, very long way in terms of the quality of its search results. I find it more than sufficient for the majority of my searches - I end up using Google for maybe 1 or 2 out of every 10 searches I do. And if I have to use Google to obtain more relevant results, I can trigger those Google searches right from DuckDuckGo's interface (just prefix your search with "g!"). Plus DDG doesn't track me, doesn't store my personal info, and doesn't push ads at me on other sites based on my search queries. Give it a try.
  • @labsii Yeah, the Google Derangement Syndrome in this article/comment section takes us back to the dark days of this site.
    Hopefully, this is just a blip as it is not a good look.
  • So like, this article has some pretty bad information in it, just to skew the author's POV. "So, why am I mad? It's the caveat: "We're working with Acer, HP and Intel to bring these experiences to select Windows PCs first later this year." That's right, to use this feature, you'll need to buy an Acer or HP PC. Select ones, too, not all of them. Also, notice no mention of Microsoft." First you say they're working with Acer, HP, and Intel to bring Fast Pair to Windows PCs. Then you backtrack and say that it's only an Acer or HP PC. Not Acer, HP, and Intel. Which is it? I think you skipped over the Intel part, I would think by them working with Intel this would open quite a wide range of PCs to support Fast Pair. If this is NOT the case, then yeah that sucks on Google's part. But I'm thinking that by working with Intel that would help Google capture a large portion of the PC market with the Fast Pair feature.
  • "First you say they're working with Acer, HP, and Intel to bring Fast Pair to Windows PCs. Then you backtrack and say that it's only an Acer or HP PC. Not Acer, HP, and Intel. Which is it?'
    Intel doesn't make PCs. The two PC vendors are HP and Acer, which use Intel chips. The reason Google needs to work with Intel is because of special drivers to enable this feature that will leverage 12th Gen processors.
    "I think you skipped over the Intel part, I would think by them working with Intel this would open quite a wide range of PCs to support Fast Pair."
    That's not what this means, otherwise, Google would have announced "All Intel-based PCs" or even "Some new 12th Gen Intel PCs." No reason to call out HP and Acer especially when Lenovo (#1) and Dell (#2) are the top PC makers on the planet. Of course, this still leaves out all HP/Acer PCs with AMD and Qualcomm chips.
    "So like, this article has some pretty bad information in it, just to skew the author's POV."
    No, the information is accurate. I've quoted Google directly.
  • wow. i really like the fast pair feature since i often have to plug in phone to my laptop to transfer certain files as part of my workflow. and this would have solved it. it made me happy when i first read the news about this. but after reading this articel, i can almost imagine daniel standing in front of me and shouting and ranting all this. the anger is real and i feel angry too now!!1
    well written piece Sir!
  • To be fair, They said, "Select Windows PCs FIRST." It is entirely possible that this is a rollout, starting small and then releasing to other platforms. Competition to Your Phone isn't the worst thing in the world
  • True, but it still means it'll be on a case-by-case basis for OEMs. My point still stands that everyone would be better served if Google and Microsoft just worked together on this instead of Google (partially) replicating Your Phone, but only for specific new laptops by select OEMs (that also leaves out AMD and Qualcomm). By the end of 2022, at most <1% of PCs will have this feature. Even Your Phone is on many more devices (any Android phone with 7.0 or higher, Windows 10 2019 or higher). Put it this way: Google is building this into Chrome OS, so it's likely to be just a universal feature for them. That could happen with Windows if Google wanted it to be so. And I still think it's just weird that Google doesn't work or collab with Microsoft at all on this. Not even on the PR announcement.
  • @OneWay4D73 "To be fair, They said, "Select Windows PCs FIRST." Yeah, like MS have never done that. Just let them have their little Google hate session and relieve some of their frustrations.
  • Not being able to use my Google Calendar and a bunch of Gmail features in Outlook just drives me mad.
  • I agree
    But still, Google know how to abuse their position to force their software.
    I wouldn't be surprised if, through custom android integration, they manage to do more than MS can... How should MS react ?
    Either they let them do, and lose that fight
    Or they update windows to close it more so that google can't do better without them (like google would do on android), and everyone loses.
  • @Penther "Google know how to abuse their position to force their software" Meanwhile MS employ a user hostile default settings in W11 and forces the use of Edge and Bing in some areas of W11. Talk about calling the kettle black.
  • Amen, Dan. Absolutely agree.
    I also wish though that the full capabilities of Your Phone were available for all phones, and not just the Samsung few.
  • You say all of this like Google and MS are old friends or something. The fact is, they are competitors. Google has absolutely no business reason to help keep Windows relevant in 2022. Google would like nothing better than Windows to further fall to 50% and ChromeOS to grow to 15% market share in the U.S. Are native Office apps available on Chrome? No, they are not. Why should MS help ChromeOS? Yes, you can use the web versions. Until August 2021, you could run the Android Office apps on Chrome OS, but MS actually killed that. Does that show “everything that’s wrong with Microsoft”? 🙄 So why should Google help Microsoft? When you realize that they are very fierce competitors, this makes perfect sense.
  • Some good points, but MS likely abandond Office on ChromeOS because so many are low end devices and Google likely was not helping at all. Google only want their products on ChromeOS and not competitors. Which is fine except when your customers keep saying otherwise and you don't listen because you are using anticompetitive practices to gain market share. Just look the the other responses to this artical. A lot of people that no longer like Google.
  • Well said, Mr. Rubino :)
  • I abandoned Google a long time ago due to their anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices. Now do I use some Google products/services? Sure, everyone does. But if their is a suitable alternative, and in most cases there is, I opt to use those instead. Outside of Android and Maps, I rarely use Google products/services.
  • I hear what you’re saying but MS isn’t squeaky clean. They’ve disabled installing Office apps from the play store on ChromeOS. Both sides of a *** for tat fight are just as childish. They all want more of the market. We’re all colateral damage.