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Microsoft Removes Google's Chrome Installer From the Windows Store (theverge.com) 124

Not too long after Google published a Chrome app in the Windows Store, Microsoft removed it, claiming it "violates our Microsoft Store policies." The Verge reports: Citing the need to ensure apps "provide unique and distinct value," Microsoft says "we welcome Google to build a Microsoft Store browser app compliant with our Microsoft Store policies." That's an invitation that Google is unlikely to accept. There are many reasons Google won't likely bring Chrome to the Windows Store, but the primary reason is probably related to Microsoft's Windows 10 S restrictions. Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by Windows 10, and Google's Chrome browser uses its own Blink rendering engine. Google would have to create a special Chrome app that would adhere to Microsoft's Store policies. Most Windows 10 machines don't run Windows 10 S, so Google probably won't create a special version just to get its browser listed in the Windows Store. Google can't just package its existing desktop app into a Centennial Windows Store app, either. Microsoft is explicit about any store apps having to use the Edge rendering engine.
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Microsoft Removes Google's Chrome Installer From the Windows Store

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  • And they wrote chrome for iOS....

    • Both, Safari and Chrome's HTML engines are forks from KHTML, well Chrome's is a fork of Apple's webkit, so it's probably easier to make Chrome work with webkit if needed than a totally different Spyglass browser engine from 1990 where the MS browsers are coming from.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • Webkit had many contributors, with Google perhaps being the biggest one; more so than Apple. After Google forked to blink, the webkit development slowed to a crawl, and now even Microsoft's browsers are ahead of webkit, enough so that Safari is now considered to be the new IE6.

    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @07:09PM (#55771735)

      First, UWP browsers have to use the same broke ass HTML/javascript engine that Edge uses. Second, iOS has a viable market of users, UWP does not. Likewise, it doesn't make any sense to bend over backwards for Microsoft. Notice Mozilla doesn't port firefox there either, and it wouldn't make any economic sense for them to do so. Third, this doesn't make any sense on Microsoft's part, because they already do exactly what Google did for some of their own products, like Skype for example.

      Besides, UWP is total shit anyways. Ever notice how every app on there is stripped down to shit compared to their Android and iOS counterparts? It's because Microsoft is completely unresponsive to developers when they ask for features to be added. Android and iOS meanwhile have a very rich feature set in comparison. This is a problem across Microsoft's entire platform. Notice how there are hardly any webextensions available for Edge? It's very common for Microsoft to not respond -- at all -- to developers who ask to have their addon whitelisted.

      If Microsoft wants UWP to go anywhere, they should at least give it feature parity to its competition, because right now it's not even halfway there, and developers basically can't implement anything that Microsoft hasn't already thought of. As it is right now, developers are much better off creating webapps.

      • There is nothing wrong with Edge's rendering or JavaScript engine....thanks for the blind MS bashing though....fight the fight like its 1998!

        • Other than it crashing -- and taking the whole browser down with it, with no warning or error message -- all the freakin' time, you're right. Nothing wrong with it at all.

          Mind you, this was while on the phone with an Office 365 support rep, trying to sort out an account issue, while he was remotely viewing my screen. That is, the page crashing it was on a Microsoft site. After 5 crashes, the rep suggested we switch to Chrome and I pointed out that I was using Firefox at the beginning of the call for a rea
      • Microsoft is making noises like it's going to try and push Windows 10S in a big way, and moves like this are likely just the opening shots.
  • by Zorro ( 15797 )

    No alternate browser to diagnose Edge failures.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Diagnosing failures is for web developers. I'm pretty sure Windows 10 S is intended for K-8 (primary school, kindergarten through eighth grade), not for serious developers. If it were, Microsoft would have seen to it that some substantial subset of Visual Studio be available on the Windows Store at the launch of Windows 10 S.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        That presumes that the failure is on account of some error in the data being provided by the server, and not on account of some obscure bug in the html renderer and javascript engine, which because every browser on the platform must reuse, means that every browser on that platform has the exact same issue while the page may load fine in any browser on every other platform on the planet.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          It's a web developer's responsibility to make "the data being provided by the server" conform to the behavior of "the html renderer and javascript engine". If your web application triggers a bug or missing feature of Apple WebKit, for example, then it won't display correctly on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

          • by mark-t ( 151149 )

            If your web application triggers a bug or missing feature of Apple WebKit, for example, then it won't display correctly on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

            Or display at all, as the app uncerimoniously crashes while its trying to run some javascript code.

            The device developers may eventually get around to fixing the issues, assuming they even find out about them, but in the meantime, the only way to even *visit* the site is to use a different platform entirely, because all the web browsers on that platform use

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              An end user should stop visiting the site that doesn't work, notify its operator, and start visiting the competing site that does work.

              • by mark-t ( 151149 )

                My point is that there can be absolutely nothing wrong with the site, or its javascript... rather, the crash can be caused by bugs in the javascript engine on the device itself. A developer might follow all of the published standards, but that means dick-all if the renderer being used isn't actually implementing all of the relevant standards correctly.

                And with every browser on that device being forced to use the same javascript runtime, they can all crash if it didn't implement some things right.


                • I agree with everything you wrote. But because neither end users nor web developers are in a position to fix it, they must work around it.

                  End users
                  End users can switch rendering engines by selling their iOS or Windows 10 S device and using the money to purchase a device capable of running a different rendering engine: either a desktop or laptop PC or an Android device.
                  Web developers
                  When only one web browser engine is allowed to run on a particular platform, and this engine has defects, I guess whether a web
                  • by mark-t ( 151149 )

                    It's damn annoying that one should have to get a whole friggen laptop computer just to be able to go to any website they want.

                    But as you said, neither end users nor developers are really in a position to fix it.

                    What would at least partially mitigate it until the device developers get around to fixing the bug is if the device developers did not require that only one particular engine was allowed to be used on the platform, allowing end users the freedom to choose what serves their ends better.

                    But I gu

        • That presumes that the failure...

          In what world are web developers not responsible for ensuring that their code runs properly on all supported platforms?

          It's not like this is a new thing. Web sites have been presenting different markup or style sheets to IE, NN, Opera, Chrome, etc for years---just so a page will look the same.

          If you are seriously concerned that developers can't test against the Edge engine, then you are worrying about some low-tier morons that you don't want writing code for your business in the first place.

          • Right, they should make sure their code works on all supported platforms. Is Edge on 10 S worth supporting, when anyone running a real OS can get Chrome or Firefox? If this is a commercial website of some sort, how much money would it take to make it work on 10 S and how much money would it bring in? If it's a hobby site, why should I bust my butt because some people buy broken OSes from Microsoft? Let them learn something.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @06:50PM (#55771627)
    To the three people who still use the Windows store.
    • Nah, they will just install Firefox instead.
    • Personally I've just never upgraded beyond Windows 7, as I just don't see any utility for any of the latest updates. Yes, I a am concerned about keeping my security updated. But other than that I just don't care. And of all the people I know that do use 10 I have not yet met a single person that gives a damn about the S version at all. The two people I know that had a device with S eventually got ride of the device entirely thanks to their dislike of the product as a whole.
    • Lots of people use the windows store. Everything is moving to PWA anyway so a windows store app will be easy to publish. The Centennial apps will round out the needs of people.

    • There are dozens of us! DOZENS!

  • by segin ( 883667 ) <segin2005@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @06:55PM (#55771661) Homepage

    Look, you can hate me for being a Facebook user, I don't give a shit. My life, not yours.

    That aside: Facebook's port of their iOS app to Universal Windows Platform doesn't use EdgeHTML, either. They bring a full port of the WebKit engine, on top of their own reimplementation of the Cocoa Touch (iOS) APIs (which Facebook got by acquiring a stealth-mode startup called OSmeta in 2013.) WebKit is clearly used, in DLLs JavaScriptCore_osmeta.dll, WebCore_osmeta.dll, WebKit_osmeta, and WebKitLegacy_osmeta.dll. It becomes more painfully obvious if you e.g. make a post or comment with a link to a page that displays the browser's User-Agent, as opening the link in-app should (by default, unless configured otherwise) use the in-app webpage preview, revealing the User-Agent string for the WebKit engine embedded and used, instead of Microsoft's EdgeHTML.

    If Microsoft was to be truly fair, Facebook's apps would get yanked from the Microsoft Store as well.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@NOSpAM.nerdflat.com> on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @07:13PM (#55771755) Journal

      You appear to presume that the world around you is somehow supposed to be fair.

      It's a common misunderstanding.

    • Microsoft have a long history of this sort of thing. Back in the Windows Phone days they banned third party non managed applications but made it clear to Adobe that Adobe would be allowed to use native code for Flash if they wanted to

      http://www.itwriting.com/blog/... [itwriting.com]

      Update: The latest on this is that Microsoft's Charlie Kindel says that Adobe will have special native access for Flash, but that no other vendor will have that privilege. This still does not make sense to me. Let's suppose that Windows Phone 7 is a big success. What justification could Microsoft have for supporting the Flash runtime but not the Java runtime, for example? I suspect that Microsoft is chasing the Flash checkbox to one-up Apple; but if Adobe gets native access, others will no doubt follow.

      Adobe declined the offer. And amusingly all those technologies are now more or less extinct - Windows Phone's Silverlight and XNA APIs were killed off, and Flash is pretty much dead now too.

      The only reason Skype ran on Windows Phone is that Mic

    • If Microsoft was to be truly fair, Facebook's apps would get yanked from the Microsoft Store as well.

      Microsoft are being fair like Apple is being fair.

      "We run an open ecosystem* providing you don't compete with us with any feature."
      "*Terms and conditions subject to change whenever I feel like it"

    • by nasch ( 598556 )

      Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by Windows 10

      Maybe they don't believe Facebook "browses the web".

  • ... rendering engine for all browsers is that if there is a bug in the renderer that causes some otherwise perfectly legitimate web pages to crash the browser, you can't just try loading the page in a different browser.

    I can't count how many times I've encountered mobile versions of websites that crash both safari and chrome on iOS, but works fine in Chrome on Android. I can sometimes get around it on iOS by loading the desktop version of the site, but not always.

  • I seriously doubt that any slashdot member is going to be using Windows 10s, so this is a non event.
    • Luckily, even normal people are unlikely to be using Windows 10s, so it probably won't affect them either.

  • What's a "Windows Store"?

    • It's a thing on Windows 10 boxes that you can use to install less useful versions of programmes you already have installed.
      Try the Netflix "app". It's so much worse than using a browser that it illustrates my point well.
      • I don't use NF but yeah, several online services I do use have apps in the store. Most seem half-arsed, as if a manager had a requirement for a Windows 10 Mobile presence and decided to minimally port a release for desktop too.

      • Windows 10 screwed up Minesweeper, and told me I could buy an ad-free version in the Windows Store.

        • Really? I'm not sure how you would go about messing up Minesweeper after all these years.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Its a place where they sell panes.

  • Just like every other stupid, non-standard Windows version ever produced.

    It's a waste of time, effort, money and people's patience with Micro$3it.

  • Windows Store (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2017 @07:30PM (#55771883) Homepage

    To be entirely honest, after using Windows 10 for an entire year at work, I've gone and acquired an app from the Windows Store exactly once only. That app? Ubuntu for the Windows Subsystem for Linux. I think this about sums up how relevant the Windows Store is.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      I think that sums up my use of the windows store too; across 2 desktops, and an HTPC ... oh wait... the HTPC, right... I also have the netflix app, which sucks but is a bit better than using web browser from the couch.

  • Out of my many many many contacts NO ONE uses Microsoft Store. I don't see this as a problem. If you want Chrome just download it as simple as that.
    • The promise of Windows store is that programs follow a central update mechanism akin to iOS and Android - no downloading new revisions manually, nor running a CPU stealing background updater service that Google on Windows is guilty of.

      Anyhow, I thought MS had improved their sandboxing to allow traditional non-UWP apps to be store-ified.

      • No developers with knowledge of history really care about the Windows store. If you develop an application for it you can't even deploy it to most Windows platforms, only Windows 10. Which means you should develop a traditional Windows application to target all popular Windows platforms otherwise you're limiting your market for no reason. You could then maybe do a half ass port to target Windows 10S...but that has no market share and Windows mobile has no market share so even that probably has no business c

  • When an advertising company makes a free browser its not just a free browser, its an ad delivery system.
    That browser is so ready for ads and tracking even Microsoft had to think of the user's privacy?
  • Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by Windows 10.

    So all those apps include Windows 10 telemetry?

  • Windows 10 S is essentially Windows 10 RT for intel devices. I'm gonna go with no.

  • Impositions are mostly meant to provoke failure, rejection even hate and, ultimately, losses. If you want to create some kind of monopoly to impose your rules, you should rely on a different approach; something on the lines of: coming up with a comprehensive but incompatible with anything else format, allowing everyone to freely rely on said format and, once most of people have accepted that format as the new standard, enjoying your monopoly-like benefits. A real-life example? What Microsoft could have done
  • I may be alone in hoping this drags on.

    It's one of those cases where neither side deserves sympathy - it would be good if both could 'lose' after much public mudslinging.

    Though as someone once said "when elephants fight it's the grass that gets trampled" - still nice to watch these two waste time, money and energy squabbling

  • The restriction in question is listed under "Security" in the Microsoft Store rules so they are probably worried about 3rd party web engines being insecure if used to render arbitrary web content (e.g. think about the times devices like the iPhone and the PS4 were hacked into via a bug in WebKit)
    With Edge they can push a fix for any such holes right away and not have to wait for 3rd parties to fix it (and while they wait for a 3rd party fix any locked down systems like Windows 10 S are potentially vulnerabl

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