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

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the embrace-extend-extinguish dept.

Firefox 329

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.'"

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329 comments

Completely reasonable (-1, Troll)

psox (2635789) | about 2 years ago | (#39952691)

As the ARM version of Windows 8 is meant to be used on lighter, less powerful devices like tablets, there's a good reason to maintain some quality control and put limits.

First, there's security. Microsoft isn't banning browser per se, it is limiting access to APIs that might be insecure and could be used for hacking the system. Seeing how infested Android devices are with malware, this is a very good decision from Microsoft and doesn't differ any from Android or iOS (which don't allow standard Windows programs at all).

Secondly, if Microsoft allowed this, then Mozilla would just recompile their browser for ARM. They would not consider the limitations of the devices nor would they make Firefox use less resources. Seeing how bloat Firefox already is, this is a good thing.

Just like Mozilla states, Microsoft does not restrict them from making a metro-compatible browser. As you may know, Metro apps need to be done explicitly Metro in mind. It has different APIs from standard Windows APIs and is much more secured. As Metro UI is the main UI used on devices like tablets, this is a good thing.

Re:Completely reasonable (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952723)

You know that there already exists a mobile version of Firefox that isn't just the desktop browser recompiled for ARM, right?

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | about 2 years ago | (#39952803)

And, as long as it's compatible with the WinRT APIs (same as Metro IE), there's absolutely no reason why it wouldn't run on Win 8 ARM devices.

Re:Completely reasonable (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#39952943)

So you are claiming that Metro IE uses no non-public WinRT APIs? Do these APIs allow for a browser that is not based on the IE rendering engine?

Re:Completely reasonable (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#39952945)

And, as long as it's compatible with the WinRT APIs (same as Metro IE), there's absolutely no reason why it wouldn't run on Win 8 ARM devices.

According to TFA Microsoft is restricting the API available to third-party browsers and not allow them on the "classic" desktop.

Re:Completely reasonable (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39953181)

I gather from comments the critical APIs relate to hardware acceleration, particually JIT compilation of scripts. A browser without them would suffer a serious performance penalty, and these tablets are made for low-power to begin with.

Re:Completely reasonable (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952729)

translation: "it's not your computer, it's Microsoft's, and they should decide what you run on it."

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953067)

translation: "it's not your computer, it's Microsoft's, and they should decide what you run on it."

There's nothing stopping you from running whatever code you want on a processor you own other than lack of tools and knowledge.

That's not your problem, you want someone else's software to have a program loader that does whatever you want. That's different. There's no law requiring all software running on a programmable system to load user provided code, or do so easily.

Even if there were such a thing, then what, is direct access to the hardware expected? A limited sandbox? A non functional "check-the-box" sandbox? So you'd have to formally define that too. Expect the hardware warranty to be voided right away, no law would change that. Also if this software customization law was passed, expect a long list of exceptions, just like you cannot modify the exhaust system you own and drive it on public road legally.

Re:Completely reasonable (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953207)

They are just trying to be like Apple now. It's no fun anymore when everything is the same as what everyone else has.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

Dreth (1885712) | about 2 years ago | (#39952751)

I don't find this lock-in too much of a hassle since it only affects the ARM version. I can easily opt to use the Intel version and nothing of value would be lost, in my opinion.

Re:Completely reasonable (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#39952963)

I don't find this lock-in too much of a hassle since it only affects the ARM version. I can easily opt to use the Intel version and nothing of value would be lost, in my opinion.

Until they "unify" their platform on the basis that "its been like that on the ARM for years"

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

pmontra (738736) | about 2 years ago | (#39953211)

You won't be able to opt to use the Intel version if you're going to buy a ARM-based Win8 tablet o Windows phone. That's funny because there are many different browsers for Android and iOS. Microsoft could be unique in locking competitor browsers out of their platform.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953447)

Clueless throwback. ARM is the new upcoming platform for mobile devices. Mobile devices is the current growth market in computing. To say its not a hassle is to say you're not part of the current century.

Sorry, but if you're not bothered and/or disturbed by this announcement, then you'd failed to learn anything about history, and doubly so about Microsoft.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952767)

"Strangely" enough, Internet Explorer, along with other MS apps, will still have access to those features.

Re:Completely reasonable (5, Funny)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#39952919)

"Strangely" enough, Internet Explorer, along with other MS apps, will still have access to those features.

That's only because they know what they are doing. They have a good enough track record in the security area to be trusted blindly by the population.

I mean, come on, they wrote the frigging OS itself !!!

Re:LOL (1)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 years ago | (#39952969)

They have a good enough track record in the security area to be trusted blindly by the population.

That is funny

Re:Completely reasonable (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#39952769)

Android devices are not infested with malware, and they do in fact run alternate browsers. Windows programs do not run on them for technical reasons not as a method to lockdown the platform.

Firefox actually already has a version for android on arm called Fennec and it is lighter than the desktop version. I am sure IE will not be limited to some crippled set of APIs, and you know that.

You are wrong on many facts and in general appear to be a shill.

Re:Completely reasonable (-1, Flamebait)

Theophany (2519296) | about 2 years ago | (#39953025)

If the APIs in question are proprietary to Microsoft, they have every right to tell third party developers to use neutered versions or go fuck themselves. Harvey Anderson seems to be ignorant of the fact that comparing desktop and mobile OS lock outs is a totally illogical argument.

Don't like it? iOS and Android are much more popular alternatives, so you're hardly losing out as a result.

Re:Completely reasonable (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953087)

Illogical argument?

Look, the purchaser owns the computer, not Microsoft. This doesn't change just because the computer fits in your pocket.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#39953463)

Yes, the purchaser owns the computer, and he can run whatever he wants on it, including running an OS other than Windows. Microsoft is not dictating what you can do with your computer, they are saying what can be done with their OS.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#39953419)

Somewhat offtopic, but while Fenec might be lighter weight than the desktop browser it's still by FAR the heaviest browser available for Android (not sure about Chrome for Android as my device doesn't have ICS). I basically only use if on sites that refuse to work with both Opera Mobile and the default browser because I have to close every other app on my phone in order to run it.

Re:Completely reasonable (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952789)

You read the article and wrote your reply in 0 minutes? Nice try, Ballmer.

Re:Completely reasonable (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952881)

The first post on this account, too!

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952807)

Microsoft just wants to ensure it has as much control as possible over mobile devices. It's not about the user, performance or security. It's about control.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952937)

yes exactly same as apple, if it worked for apple why it would not work for microsoft

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#39952809)

How did you manage to type up and post this comment within 1 minute of the time the original article was posted?

Re:Completely reasonable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952909)

Employee of a PR company that monitors new submissions (e.g. Firehose) to put a positive spin on potentially negative articles as soon as possible?

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952833)

Yes, quality control, the defining characteristic of Microsoft software.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952837)

"They would not consider the limitations of the devices nor would they make Firefox use less resources. Seeing how bloat Firefox already is, this is a good thing."

I'm sorry you feel that way, but I respect your right to do so. Unfortunately, my computer does not belong to you or Microsoft. I get to decide what's a "good thing" or not, as you couldn't possibly know what I want or expect.

Re:Completely reasonable (4, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#39952939)

Microsoft isn't banning browser per se, it is limiting access to APIs that might be insecure and could be used for hacking the system.

Limiting access to APIs that Microsoft is using for themselves for their own browser is downright shady.

It has different APIs from standard Windows APIs and is much more secured.

How do we know it's secure at all? I trust Firefox and Google to provide far better security to me than some black box dumped by Microsoft and pumped by you shills.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952955)

You registered just to MS shill? Douchebag.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

anared (2599669) | about 2 years ago | (#39952967)

We'll see whether it is completely reasonable when EU gives some more fines for Microsoft for trying to kill competition as it has done before in these browser questions.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953111)

What's the going rate for destroying the internets?

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39953183)

As the ARM version of Windows 8 is meant to be used on lighter, less powerful devices like tablets, there's a good reason to maintain some quality control and put limits.

Yes, exactly I should maintain some control and be able to put some limits on what Microsoft does on my tablet. This is well past those limits.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39953235)

good reason to maintain some quality control and put limits.

No, there is no good reason for anyone to control the quality of a product after it has been purchased, nor is there a good reason to "put limits" on computation. This is just an attempt by Microsoft to join the lock-down party, dictating how computers can be used by their users and shutting out competition.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953323)

> Microsoft isn't banning browser per se, it is limiting access to APIs that might be insecure and could be used for hacking the system.

If they did that consistently across all platforms, they would have the world's first API with all access blocked. Anyway, it isn't just the browser which is being limited in this way, it is all software not written by MS. Frankly, Google and Mozilla would be better off announcing they were not going to support it because of this, rather than announcing support and then moaning about standard MS tactics. They, however, are somewhat more committed to openness than MS.

Are First Posts like this plants? (2)

nukenerd (172703) | about 2 years ago | (#39953395)

Seems quite common on /. these days that the First Post is a deliberate wind-up, as if from a MS shill for example as in this topic.

I guess these are deliberate plants, to get the discussion going.

3d-Party (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:3d-Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952973)

You, Sir, made my day! :D

Re:3d-Party (2)

stoofa (524247) | about 2 years ago | (#39953479)

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.

restart u r mozilla firefox@http://coders-blog.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952737)

after installing install add ons it wants to restart these is not on the chrome.

Double standards (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 2 years ago | (#39952787)

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:Double standards (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952997)

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:Double standards (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#39952845)

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:Double standards (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952911)

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 (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#39952959)

Opera is not really a browser on iOS. It does many other things including doing all of the heavy lifting off the device on a proxy service Opera hosts. Sure it displays webpages, but it does not do this directly.

Re:Double standards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953187)

To add to what h4rr4r said, Apple allows Opera Mini, not Opera Mobile.

Re:Double standards (3, Interesting)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Double standards (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#39953437)

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.

Re:Double standards (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39953037)

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?

Re:Double standards (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 2 years ago | (#39953049)

Seems Opera Mini works on iOS,
http://www.opera.com/press/releases/2011/05/24_4 [opera.com]
Apple was cranky about it, but after some kicking and screaming, eventually gave up.

Re:Double standards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953283)

Seems Opera Mini works on iOS, http://www.opera.com/press/releases/2011/05/24_4 [opera.com] Apple was cranky about it, but after some kicking and screaming, eventually gave up.

Opera Mini is not really running locally as a normal browser, it is offloading rendering to server and basically (a little simplified) sending you a preformatted screen. And Opera Mini would run on Windows 8 RT for ARM as well, as would FireFox if implemented the same way.

Re:Double standards (1)

Haxagon (2454432) | about 2 years ago | (#39953081)

Probably because it was assumed that a Windows RT tablet would be full-Windows, for whatever reason. It might cause some confusion.

Re:Double standards (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#39953469)

I think there is a clear bright line between something like a set top box and a general use machine. If I buy the latter I have a reasonable expectation that I can install what I want on it.

What double standards? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39953189)

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:Double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953233)

People will beat MS up over bundling... but I don't see anybody on Slashdot going "Apple stifles competition! [...]"

Wow. Just... wow. I mean, I thought I've seen people who must be new here before, but you? You're so new here I don't expect you to actually show up for another five years. You're so new here they'll overflow the user ID field before you're here. You're so new here you haven't even whined about the mods yet.

Re:Double standards (1, Troll)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#39953277)

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. You might just as well go into a court and say "Oh, so you're saying I can't murder people. Well what about Charles Manson? Or Ted Bundy? Huh? Huh? DOUBLE STANDARD!!!?!1!"

The second is, quite honestly, I don't care in this instance.

OMG, did I really say that? Why, yes I did! Well, let's walk that back slightly. I think RT sucks for being locked down like iOS, but let's also look at Windows 8 in general, not just RT (which will probably go the same way as its powerful but too-little-too-late IBM namesake in the 1980s.)

Windows 8 is a browser based operating system. This time for real. Not a Windows 98 type "We're sticking the browser in Explorer and pretending this benefits you somehow by letting you create some desktop widgets using it that'll be long forgotten by the time the idea is dusted off again for Mac OS X as an evolution of desk accessories", but "You will be using a complete environment, that you can choose to never leave if you wish, written in Javascript and HTML."

In that context, replacing the browser doesn't make any sense whatsoever. That's like replacing the file system (I don't mean the layout of files on the disk, I mean the library calls to open and close files), or standard C library. All you'd do is introduce incompatibility within your operating system so existing apps no longer work because of something Firefox does that IE doesn't, or something IE does that Firefox doesn't, or both.

The exception, of course, is the desktop. You can escape to the desktop if you wish (and in the early days of Windows 8 you will, probably all the time if you're a gamer or software developer, though not so much if you're grandma.) In that context, the operating system ceases to be accessed via a browser, and installing Firefox makes sense.

Windows RT, of course, heavily deprecates the desktop. And why wouldn't it? It's designed specifically for tablets. Desktops require mice and don't play well with touchscreens. The only reason the desktop is there at all is so that Microsoft doesn't have to come up with Office RT before Windows RT.

With all of this in mind, this is not really as big an issue as you might think. It's less of an issue than it is with iOS, because iOS isn't a browser based OS. Nothing breaks if you install Firefox/Fennec on an iOS device. The user experience isn't damaged in any way. Users expect to use an app to access the Internet. Users, therefore, reasonably expect to be able to choose between different apps for that particular function. In RT, you're already connected to the world wide web. From the start. When you boot up. Your launch screen is a bunch of RSS feeds and other widgets written in HTML and JS. You're on the 'net.

See the difference?

Re:Double standards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953287)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/firefox-home/id380366933?mt=8
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dolphin-browser/id452204407?mt=8
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/opera-mini-web-browser/id363729560?mt=8

and anyway this wasn't about bundling, it was about lockdown/lockout. You can choose to make bing the default search on your android and remove (or hide rather) google maps altogether. but what MS was apparently trying to do was prevent usage of a full set of APIs in Metro and block them altogether in desktop mode. Now that would be like Google or Apple saying sure, your app is ok to be in the store, but you cannot use these APIs. Apple and Google do have clauses that prevent developers from using certain low level APIs in their apps (citing security and performance in most cases). If this what MS is doing then fuck it, but if it is blocking access to DX so it can 'speed up' IE then they should be either have to open it up or be forced to support OpenGL to the same degree as other platforms. shit smells bad and cowboys fuck the shit out of hookers so if you go into a cowboys room and it smells like shit then he probably just got laid, is passed out, and you should steal his pistols and money.

Re:Double standards (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 2 years ago | (#39953487)

"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!"

Perhaps you're too young to remember the 80's and 90's. Microsoft has been found guilty of some extremely asshole monopolistic behavior. When one is found guilty of such things there is a different set of rules and expectations. Yes, even legally. And now that the consent decree is over, we see them returning to their old asshole ways. Basically they've never actually changed their ways, likely because of never actually changing their thinking. They've *never* gotten the concept of playing with others.

This is why the good lord made virtual machines (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#39952753)

So we can get around Microsoft's managerial convulsions.

Re:This is why the good lord made virtual machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952781)

So, Windows 8 goes in the VM and the host is which, MacOS or Linux?

Re:This is why the good lord made virtual machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952831)

So, Windows 8 goes in the VM and the host is which, MacOS or Linux?

Since we are specifically talking about the (ARM) tablet market here, the host would have to be iOS or Android.

Re:This is why the good lord made virtual machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953241)

Uh... there are plenty of linux distro options for ARM. And some virtualization/emulation software will let you run ARM software on x86 (like QEMU)... so the host can be whatever you want, really.

Re:This is why the good lord made virtual machines (2)

ifrag (984323) | about 2 years ago | (#39953421)

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.

Just use Chrome on Windows RT (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | about 2 years ago | (#39952757)

It's the Firefox prototype anyway.

Re:Just use Chrome on Windows RT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953471)

Problem with using chrome is, if microsoft is limiting browsers other than IE, then chrome is included... "Third-party browsers" is not limited to firefox. Your comment is totally invalid.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952777)

Skip windows 8.

Ignore windows RT.

Re:Solution (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 2 years ago | (#39953339)

In many corps that is exactly what is happening regardless of Windows RT.

Metro is seen as a training and technical issue.

There are no compelling features to warrant yet another full upgrade.

Windows 8 is dead before arrival.

Ipad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952785)

Does Apple allow non-safari based browsers on IOS?

Re:Ipad (2)

ewanm89 (1052822) | about 2 years ago | (#39952885)

No one has claimed apple is any better, we hate them too on that count, I would point out Google offers 2 browsers for android plus there are several 3rd party ones available.

Now the fact Microsoft has tried this before and has just got rid of the need to follow the obligations of the courts against it until fairly recently might have something to do with things.

Re:Ipad (1, Insightful)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 2 years ago | (#39953197)

Well, I do have a second browser (Maven) on my iPad however I don't know if it's using safari as an engine or if it's its own codebase.

[John]

Another closed proprietary environment? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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!"

Re:Another closed proprietary environment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953069)

I haven't any point to give you but would. Beware the Apple Fanboys Mafia ! Cheers !

Re:Another closed proprietary environment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953085)

exactly

No source for statement. (4, Informative)

lyml (1200795) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:No source for statement. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:No source for statement. (4, Insightful)

oldlurker (2502506) | about 2 years ago | (#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..

They'll get away with it this time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952839)

Apple does it and Apple is a strong enough competitor on low powered devices that MS can't be faulted for exploiting a monopoly. When competitors agree, the consumer gets screwed.

Because the iPhone is enough already... (1)

djsmiley (752149) | about 2 years ago | (#39952847)

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

Re:Because the iPhone is enough already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952981)

You mean like this [apple.com] ?

Re:Because the iPhone is enough already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953205)

No, he means a web browser that runs on the device, not on Opera's servers.

Before your next snarky link, he's also talking about other browsers, not reskins of the same Webkit browser that Apple provides.

Re:Because the iPhone is enough already... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 2 years ago | (#39953305)

It isn't a web browser, it's a mini web browser. Much like how Pluto isn't a planet, it's a dwarf planet. Opera Mini doesn't browse the web, it browses a rendering proxy running on Opera's servers.

Apple Already Did it (3, Informative)

jongalbreath (1621157) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Stop pointing at others! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952855)

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=435013 fix this, *then* you can blame other parties. Currently, *YOU* are 'restricts user choice', the reason at least one large Carrier does not allow the usage of Firefox, because it generates way to much supportcalls on an internal network with HP iLO that all have the same serial in their certificate.

Re:Stop pointing at others! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953075)

So, this 'large carrier' uses a bunch of devices which don't properly create self-signed certs for themselves, and they're complaining that a browser properly flagging that exception causes too many support calls? Maybe they should get on HP to fix the problem with their devices.

Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952865)

OSX only ships with Safari....and you slashtards don't whine about that. Plenty of software manufacturers only do this, or that. Everyone here knows that Windows 8 won't be a big hit - like Vista wasn't either, so it's marketshare will be very small. Thus, the whole argument is moot - outside of people bashing MS.

Not the first step... (1)

YuppieScum (1096) | about 2 years ago | (#39952887)

...by any means.

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

chills innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952897)

As long as the industry supports the current Intellectual Property and copyrights I find this to be just more noise between giants. It used to be that you could count on seventeen years of exclusive rights, now it's gone mad. There will be no new innovations until creators don't have to spend more time with patent research and lawyers than actual breakthrough practice. Patent trolls are the new sharks on the seas of technology. Hell, how many new cancer cures have we seen in the last six months alone ? anything available yet ? oh right, treatments not cures for the masses...it's all about the money...

Why doesn't Mozilla stop complaining? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39952901)

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

Would you like a tissue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953155)

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. We only marginally complained when Apple did this exact same thing. Get over it.

Unsurprising. (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#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

god damn it why are Apple such control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39953309)

...oh wait.

I don't want to use IE (2, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | about 2 years ago | (#39953359)

. . . 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?

Not just browsers (2)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | about 2 years ago | (#39953485)

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.
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