The blockage generated headlines, with various news outlets suggesting that it was not about poor functionality on the part of the mobile version of Internet Explorer but was more about behavior on the part of Google that, ironically, was beginning to resemble past behavior by Microsoft.
Google is currently maintaining that the reason for originally blocking access was all about user experience. Google released the following statement:
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.
What's interesting about all this is the perceived slight that Microsoft received because the pushing of antitrust violations against Google.