Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Firefox Internet Explorer Microsoft Mozilla Software Windows Technology News

Microsoft Blocks 3d-Party Browsers In Windows RT, Says Mozilla Counsel 329

Posted by timothy
from the embrace-extend-extinguish dept.
nk497 writes "Mozilla has accused Microsoft of trying to go back to the 'digital dark ages' by limiting rival browsers in the ARM version of Windows 8. Third-party browsers won't work in the desktop mode, and Metro style browsers will be limited in what APIs they can use, said Mozilla general counsel Harvey Anderson, forcing users to move to IE instead. Mozilla said it was the first step toward a new platform lock-in that 'restricts user choice, reduces competition and chills innovation,' and pointed out that such browser control was exactly what upset EU and U.S. regulators about IE in the first place. Anderson called on Microsoft to 'reject the temptation to pursue a closed path,' adding 'the world doesn't need another closed proprietary environment.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Blocks 3d-Party Browsers In Windows RT, Says Mozilla Counsel

Comments Filter:
  • 3d-Party (Score:5, Funny)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @08:53AM (#39952731)

    Whooo, party in 3d! Always knew Microsoft had a stick up their ass, but now they're trying to limit us to two-dimensional parties.

    • by stoofa (524247)
      It says they're blocking 3D party browsers. So my reading of that is that as long as you actuallly join in, you can still attend 3D parties. But if you're just there to mosey round the edge and watch from the side then Microsoft won't let you in. That's only my reading of it though. This is as vague and tricky as the EU Cookie law.
  • Double standards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @08:54AM (#39952739)

    Can I install a different browser on a Chromebook? Can I install a different browser in iOS? Heck, Apple bans ANY app that duplicates functionality that Apple provides.

    Why is MS always being held to a double-standard that others aren't?

    People will beat MS up over bundling... but I don't see anybody on Slashdot going "Apple stifles competition! Google bundles Maps inside Search and there's no way to uninstall it or integrate a different mapping service into it!"

    But hey... this is Slashdot. They'll use show a picture of the world's biggest philanthropist as a borg... and then they'll whine about how one single post that is vaguely defending MS is PROOF that Slashdot is overrun with MS shills.

    Whatever bro.

    • Re:Double standards (Score:5, Informative)

      by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt.gmail@com> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:00AM (#39952787) Homepage

      You can install a different OS on a Chromebook. You're specifically allowed to do this, and then you can run Firefox or whatever you want (as long as it runs on Linux, and even if it doesn't, thanks to Wine!)

      MS has always been eyed critically for browser share since they've used their monopoly on the OS to force users onto their browser before. Neither Google nor Firefox has such a monopoly to leverage for that purpose.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        this is mobile/tablet/arm version only, same one where windows is less than 5% and both apple and google have almost 50% so microsoft is underdog here and apple should be one forced to allow firefox and internet explorer on its IOS devices

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Apple no longer has that restriction other than on browsers and you should be able to do that to a chromebook.

      The reason MS is held to a different standard is that they are a convicted monopolist. This is much like not letting child molesters live near schools and parks. Giving away ill gotten gains, and using strings attached to that giving to prevent competition with your investments is not very philanthropic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If this is true, I have no idea how I managed to install Opera on my iPhone, from the AppStore no less.
      • Re:Double standards (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bws111 (1216812) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:27AM (#39953169)

        Microsoft was convicted of using a dominant position in one area (desktop OS) to gain an unfair (anticompetitive) advantage in another area (browsers). Microsoft has no monopoly in the ARM tablet market, so they should be (and are, legally) held to the same standard as everyone else who does not have a dominant position in that area.

      • I am not sure in this case they are being held to a different standard. Most of us that know what we are talking about and aren't just normal users care about whether you can install what you want on the platform. When you write an OS for a general use machine it is considered monopolistic behavior to disallow competitors apps and that's not limited to Microsoft. When Apple does it we get upset about it as well.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:17AM (#39953037) Journal

      Can I install a different browser on a Chromebook? Can I install a different browser in iOS? Heck, Apple bans ANY app that duplicates functionality that Apple provides.

      Why is MS always being held to a double-standard that others aren't?

      And has Slashdot ever been happy about Apple's little cryptographic lockdown party, Android devices with locked bootloaders, or particularly enthusiastic about paying more for a googlepliance than for the netbook of equivalent spec?

      Each time those subjects come up, they generally catch flack from everyone except a few die-hard apologists(and half the apologies seem to be of the form 'but the chains are breakable, so it's ok!'). Now that Microsoft is stepping up and making it clear that 'Windows RT' is essentially the NT kernel/MS development tools equivalent of iOS, rather than a Windows port to ARM(in the sense that WinNT was about as similar as technology allowed across its supported architectures). Why wouldn't it be totally normal for them to get the same criticism for doing the same things?

    • You must be new here if you have not seen the criticisms of Apple's lock-down for iOS. As for ChromeOS, there are few articles about it, but rest assured that the first thing I asked when a Google presenter came here was how hard it is to install custom or otherwise unapproved software on ChromeOS devices.

      then they'll whine about how one single post that is vaguely defending MS is PROOF that Slashdot is overrun with MS shills.

      You mean like your post, which reads, "Wahh wahh nobody criticizes Apple so Microsoft should not be criticized either!" even though Apple bashing is a favorite activity here on Slashdot?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by squiggleslash (241428)

      Well, you can use a different browser on a ChromeBook. To the best of my knowledge, only "Opera Mini" is acceptable as a non-Webkit based web browser alternative on iOS.

      But there are a few things to say here:

      First, you're claiming a double standard. What double standard? What Slashbots are you reading that enthuse over the Chromebook anyway (even allowing for the fact it isn't as locked down as you claim)? And I'm hardly a lone voice when *I* criticize Apple on here, regularly, for locking down iOS. Yo

    • by Flipao (903929)
      Yes and Yes, you can do this in Android as well. Insightful my ass.
  • So we can get around Microsoft's managerial convulsions.

    • by ifrag (984323)

      So we can get around Microsoft's managerial convulsions.

      Running Windows 8 in a VM on a low power tablet? What could possibly go wrong?

      The problem being mentioned here is performance, using a VM isn't going to help. You'd probably be better off just using the host OS anyway.

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @08:55AM (#39952757) Homepage Journal

    It's the Firefox prototype anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:01AM (#39952813)

    The world collectively pissed itself in delight over Apple's closed proprietary environment. The clueless twits who threw their freedom away in exchange for "cool" have made similar environments acceptible in the minds of the clueless majority. You can't expect Microsoft to not take advantage of this. If anyone complains, they can just point at Apple and say "they started it!"

    • by thoth (7907) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @10:26AM (#39953947) Journal

      This is one of those free-market conflict moments... what do you do when the MARKET (you know, what some people blindly worship, what some describe as the solution to just about every problem) itself decides it wants a "closed proprietary environment"? By definition, is the MARKET ever wrong about goods freely chosen in a competitive environment without criminal coercive tactics (e.g. what Microsoft did)?? Is Apple to be punished for delivering hundreds of millions of products over 10+ years?

      You can't have it both ways - exalting the free market, and then getting pissed when it doesn't choose they way YOU expected.

      If you have a problem with the way things are headed, you have to OUT COMPETE, not insult the customer base by calling them clueless.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 4pins (858270)

        Generally I speak out for the free market, however it has some historically discovered limits. For instance, financial products have to be traded on an open/transparent market, this means they can (and unfortunately should) be regulated (congress can see what is going on and therefore is able to do something about it, usually pass a law). Otherwise people buy AAA rated "investments" promising double (or more) the going rate and then they lose their money.

        What happened the last time Microsoft coupled thei

  • by lyml (1200795) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:01AM (#39952817)

    I actually RTFA because I thought it was odd and I was curious on how Windows could block browsers from a technical standpoint.

    The article leads to a Mozilla blog from which in turns links to another blog on from Microsoft which in no ways mention limiting browsers on Windows for Arm. So this quite strong claim has no actual source.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:16AM (#39953013)
      If I remember correctly, Microsoft isn't blocking browsers, it's blocking EVERYTHING from using the desktop. Mozilla is whining they can't get that, which is really only being provided as an environment for the free copy of Office that Win-on-ARM includes.

      They should, at least to my knowledge, be able to do everything as a Metro browser, though. I think they're mostly complaining that all their previous Win32 code will be worthless since Microsoft is finally starting to kill it...
      • by BZ (40346)

        The Metro API doesn't allow, for example, creating a JIT. So Mozilla _could_ do a browser... if they don't have a JIT and accept various other limitations along those lines.

        The only programs allowed to have a JIT in Metro on WinRT are the ones Micorosoft ships (IE10, for example).

    • by oldlurker (2502506) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:22AM (#39953105)

      I actually RTFA because I thought it was odd and I was curious on how Windows could block browsers from a technical standpoint.

      The article leads to a Mozilla blog from which in turns links to another blog on from Microsoft which in no ways mention limiting browsers on Windows for Arm. So this quite strong claim has no actual source.

      They are not blocking the browser as such, but any apps for Windows RT on ARM can only use the new WinRT ("Metro") API (as has been communicated on the MS dev blogs for quite some time), and this would make it difficult to implement a competitive browser (especially the Javascript engine as I understand). This is the same for iOS on iPad, the only third party browsers on iPad are either using the built in WebKit renderer or doing server based rendering (Opera Mini).

      The official reason for only Apple and Microsoft software having low level system access on these tablets is to protect the tablet user experience in terms of responsiveness, battery life, security, etc. We can debate if these are the only reasons.., but as the iPad has shown there is clearly something to this. Pros and cons. And if not happy about it buy an Android, competition is good :)

      It is btw. strange FireFox is not more upset by the same iPad limitations, surely the don't expect Windows 8 ARM tablets to overtake the iPad market share any time soon..

      • and this would make it difficult to implement a competitive browser

        If that was the case, IE10 Metro would be a dog, but that has not been the case for the Consumer Preview. WinRT is a very performant API, however if you've been writing programs in an unmanaged language then you're going to have to change, and this is something Mozilla doesn't want to do if they don't have to.

        • and this would make it difficult to implement a competitive browser

          If that was the case, IE10 Metro would be a dog, but that has not been the case for the Consumer Preview. WinRT is a very performant API, however if you've been writing programs in an unmanaged language then you're going to have to change, and this is something Mozilla doesn't want to do if they don't have to.

          IE10 (as WebKit on Safari) do have special privileges for low level access that 3rd party apps wont get.

  • Wake me up when Apple listen too and allow other browsers.

  • Apple Already Did it (Score:3, Informative)

    by jongalbreath (1621157) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:04AM (#39952851)
    Apple restricted browsing to Safari for at least the first couple years of the iPhone OS, now iOS, before they allowed a couple third party browsers into the App Store. This isn't really any different. MS can always change later once they've established a certain level of quality over the platform.
    • by Derek Pomery (2028) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @10:58AM (#39954447)

      Apple still hasn't really allowed any 3rd party browsers into the app store.
      Any browsers in the app store right now must use the same underlying engine as the system browser.

      The only "exception" is Opera which does a little pre-processing on their servers if you trust the browser as a MITM.

      There has been a build of Firefox for iOS for a long time, but completely unofficial. It will never be on iOS if Apple has any say.

      That's why the Firefox Home (Sync) for iOS is just an app that displays your tabs/bookmarks from your other computers and opens them in Safari.

  • ...by any means.

    WinPho 7 (and above) have explicitly never supported alternative browsers either.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why doesn't Mozilla stop complaining and write their own operating system?

  • Unsurprising. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:26AM (#39953163)
    There is money to be made from selling an operating system, but there is a lot more to be made in controling an ecosystem of interrelated products. Apple showed this, and with the huge success (Both in market share and financially) they enjoyed, it's hardly surprising that Microsoft would want to follow the same path. The move to ARM allows them to get away with things they could never do on x86/64. Control of a popular browser gives them much power to advance other products (like Bing, or h264) or to hinder competitors (by introducing IE-exclusive features to break compatibility) - and it's only good business sense to take advantage of a rare chance to completly remake the industry in a way that favors themselves
  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @09:42AM (#39953359) Homepage Journal

    . . . nor does anyone else who goes out of their way to install Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or Opera. People who install those browsers quite simply DO NOT WANT INTERNET EXPLORER.

    I don't want to use MSIE even if MSIE had a plugin that will build me an island and then fucking transform into a jet and fly me there. If I don't need to access an ActiveX app, I simply do not want to use MSIE!!

    Got that, Microsoft?

  • I thought all third party apps were restricted from running in desktop mode in WinRT. In fact, I believe that every application has to use approved APIs and such... WinRT is supposed to be a walled garden, not unlike that found in iOS.
  • ... be ported to linux? ... isn't this the real solution?

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @10:06AM (#39953697)
    3D gives me headaches anyway.
  • by Bengie (1121981) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:30PM (#39955901)

    ARM version - dubbed Windows RT[...]Rival browsers won't be allowed on the "classic" desktop

    Windows RT supporting the classic desktop is news to me. Windows RT was meant to ONLY allow metro apps, but I guess one may need a way to fall-back if the metro web-browser breaks something. Then IE in the desktop mode will continue to work.

    1) MS says "No desktop for Windows RT"
    2) MS says Metro web browsers, including IE, have limited API access to keep the system secure
    3) MS says "Ohh, shit, we need a "safe mode" incase shit hits the fan, lets allow desktop mode, but only let IE to operate"
    4) Community goes ape shit because MS doesn't want 3rd parties to f*ck with their safe mode

    This sounds about right

    • by pavon (30274)

      What happened is that MS realized that there was no way they could port Office to Metro in time for the Window RT release. But they want to push the availability of Office on Windows RT as one of it's major selling points over the iPad. On the other hand, there was no way they could port all the legacy Windows APIs to ARM in time to allow developers to build desktop applications in general, and even if they could they don't want to.

      So instead, they are porting just enough of the legacy APIs to support Offic

  • by Tei (520358) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:12PM (#39956629) Journal

    Internet Explorer only support 32 stylesheets, can't dinamically change the innerHTML of a TR row, don't register deletion of elements inside optgroup, don't apply the stylesheets of styles added dynamically and a hundred billion other bugs that shows is not a true DHTML browser. Its also a risk of virus and other malware infection. As a webmaster I think theres nothing worse than a whole genre of devices gimped to use IE, the "no-browser".

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

Working...