For those people with the spanking new Windows Phone 8, here is something you might already notice. Google hates Microsoft Windows Phone 8 or vice-versa. This is my opinion based on what I see.
Here is why I say so. Go to Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 with the “Mobile” setting (instead of “Desktop”). Key in Google.com and you will see the picture on the left hand side (above).
At this point, it is still ok. Now, click on “more” and you can see this ugly looking site in the center. Click on the “Maps” and you will get a surprise. It leads you to the Google Maps download site for Windows Mobile. You read it right, Windows Mobile. Of course, you can’t download the package as it is NOT meant for Windows Phone. (BTW, I just want to say that Windows Phone 7.5 is also facing the same “problem”.)
There is no way to go to the mobile version of Google Maps using the IE (If you know, do let me know). Now, if you have read my post on Apple removing Google Maps from iOS and how you can still pin it back, you will realize that Google can control the way the browser sees its site. Obviously, Google did not “welcome” IE on Windows Phone but it still loves Windows 8.
I hope that it is a temporary problem. Luckily, there are developers who use Google apps and they have made some awesome apps to tide over such limitation. Check these out – Google Drive, Google Maps with Navigation, Google+. Oh, finally, there is one official app from Google. That is the Google Search.
I have been using 3 OSes (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) interchangeably and I have to admit that if you have used Android or iOS before, you will feel frustrated with Windows Phone. It feels inferior in terms of Apps and compatibility. However, when it comes to the smoothness of the UI or the way the things are designed (i.e. Live Tiles), it is definitely comparable and in some cases better.
So, for those who want to venture onto Windows Phone 8, do consider your needs (apps) before you decide. Enough of my ranting.