April 28, 2009, 4:05 AM — AppleInsider has pretty convincing evidence that QuickTime X Player, the video player that will accompany Snow Leopard, will allow users to upload movies directly to YouTube. On the one hand, this is nothing shocking; Apple and Google, YouTube's parent, have had pretty good relations for a while now, and perhaps this is nothing more than a thank you for Google working to make non-Flash versions of YouTube videos available on the iPhone.
What struck me when I read this, though, was how unlikely it would have been to see some announcement of Microsoft along the same lines. Even though I'm reasonably sure that there isn't some nightmarishly designed video sharing site lurking somewhere in MSN or Live.com, Microsoft sees Google as competition, and thus I imagine wouldn't allow such a thing on principle. Apple, on the other hand, seems happy to sink its applications' hooks into whatever the trendy Web service of the moment is. This is one of the benefits of not having to defend a monopoly. Apple also retains the right to switch things up as user trends wax and wane -- I recall fairly vividly discovering one day that, without warning, the "Map Of" context menu command in Address Book was suddenly connected to Google Maps rather than Mapquest.
Apple also apparently hearts Google more than it hearts the MPAA, which we should expect from a company that has seemed to take a more lackadaisical attitude towards software piracy than the entertainment industry would like. The screen grab used by the AppleInsider story to illustrate the news apparently depicts a user on the verge of uploading Ratatouille to YouTube. I wonder how the CEO of Pixar feels about that.