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Windows RT Browser Restrictions Draw Antitrust Attention

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-like-deja-vu-but-different dept.

Windows 375

An anonymous reader writes "Last week we heard complaints from Mozilla that Windows RT would restrict users' choice in web browsers, unfairly favoring Internet Explorer over alternatives like Firefox and Chrome. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the situation is now on the Senate Judiciary Committee's radar, and they will look into claims that Microsoft is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. That said, it could be a difficult case to make, since Windows RT is destined for ARM-based tablets, and Apple currently dominates that market. 'When it comes to proving abuse of monopoly power, an important question is determining the market in which a monopolist has power — the relevant market, in antitrust legal terms. In the [late '90s] DOJ case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact concluded Microsoft had a monopoly in the market for "Intel-compatible PC operating systems." Windows on ARM doesn't run on x86 chips, so by Jackson's standards, Windows RT hasn't been judged to be part of Microsoft's monopoly.' Microsoft addressed some of these issues in a blog post in February."

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Where's the one on Apple? (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997657)

"There' is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market" say the fans and Apple gets away with not only bundling Safari but banning all other browser engines. Yet Microsoft with it's 0.1% share of tablets in the "Post-PC world" gets flogged for this.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997723)

...but banning all other browser engines

Dolphin browser works just fine on an iPad..

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997779)

All the browsers available in the App Store are just wrappers and skins on the Safari browser engine, except Opera Mini, which runs the browser engine in the cloud to escape Apple's banning of running Javascript(or any other JIT code).

That's why there is no Firefox or Chrome(or even IE ;) for iOS.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997895)

How many copies of webkit do you want on your phone/pad. ;-)

Count the number of gekko/webkit links and bundles you find on a well-augmented Ubuntu or Fedora box.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997937)

How many copies of webkit do you want on your phone/pad. ;-)

Count the number of gekko/webkit links and bundles you find on a well-augmented Ubuntu or Fedora box.

So, you solution is to ban all those browsers on the Linux box, I presume?

Ff Webkit is all important, why is Chrome way more popular than Safari on Windows? They use the same Webkit engine, don't they? A browser is much much more than it's engine.

"I" may or may not want something, but that doesn't mean browser makers must be banned from providing alternate rendering and JS engines.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Funny)

ifrag (984323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997987)

why is Chrome way more popular than Safari on Windows?

Thanks to Mozilla, we know the answer to this. It's because Chrome has a higher version number.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0, Flamebait)

HighTechDev (2639159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998009)

Apple's stance is the same reason we don't want non-Microsoft browsers ruining the security of our Windows RT tablets and draining battery. IE9 (and IE10 more so) are currently the most secure browsers on the market [lifehacker.com] .

Firefox lacks completely security features like sandboxing, just-in-time (JIT) hardening and plug-in security. Internet Explorer can withstand against attacks to Flash and PDF Reader (most attacks now are against third party software), while Firefox just lets them infect the system. On top of that Firefox is extremely resource needing which would just drain the battery on tablets. No thanks, give me IE any day over that. (Yes, I know old IE's suck.. but try the new ones, they're actually good. Much like Chrome)

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998157)

But what if I want Opera?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998341)

Then you don't need any of those things because no one makes plugins for Opera

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998007)

That's not "my solution".

Merely an observation.

I leave conclusions to those with an actual need.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998391)

Because Apple makes shit software for Windows like Microsoft makes shit software for OS X.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998229)

How many copies of webkit do you want on your phone/pad. ;-)

Strawman - as the consumer who purchased and supposedly owns the device, that should be for me to decide, not Apple.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997961)

All the browsers available in the App Store are just wrappers and skins on the Safari browser engine, except Opera Mini, which runs the browser engine in the cloud to escape Apple's banning of running Javascript(or any other JIT code).

That's why there is no Firefox or Chrome(or even IE ;) for iOS.

Perhaps the browsers available in the App Sore are just wrappers and skins for Safari, however the developers are welcome to charge for them, hence there are other browsers available, hence no monopoly. Sorry.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998035)

All the browsers available in the App Store are just wrappers and skins on the Safari browser engine, except Opera Mini, which runs the browser engine in the cloud to escape Apple's banning of running Javascript(or any other JIT code).

That's why there is no Firefox or Chrome(or even IE ;) for iOS.

Perhaps the browsers available in the App Sore are just wrappers and skins for Safari, however the developers are welcome to charge for them, hence there are other browsers available, hence no monopoly. Sorry.

I think similar logic can be applied to Windows RT as well. If it's anything like Windows Phone(which I very well suspect it is), you can wrap and skin IE in an app and charge for it.

Eg. http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/60aa8848-6cc8-4ec4-94b7-1d134550b57b?wa=wsignin1.0 [windowsphone.com]

Hence, no monopoly. Sorry.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998091)

Hence no monopoly?

Being able to skin the only browser allowed (aka, Monopoly browser) does not undo the fact that there is no real browser choice -- hence there is a monopoly.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1, Troll)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998189)

Hence no monopoly? Being able to skin the only browser allowed (aka, Monopoly browser) does not undo the fact that there is no real browser choice -- hence there is a monopoly.

Monopoly is not about choice. It's about the ability for others to compete. Since you can sell a competing browser, no monopoly.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (3, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998317)

I guess that depends how you define "browser". If the definition includes the engine, and you're not permitted to choose which engine your browser uses, then that lack of choice may be a legal problem.

Monopoly on browser engines (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998353)

No monopoly on browsers doesn't necessarily mean no monopoly on browser engines. One can't sell a competing browser engine on these platforms, not even if it is demonstrated that Microsoft and Apple have been falling behind on implementing useful HTML5 features in the respective engines of Internet Explorer and Safari. Or in what way are browser engines exempt from competition law?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998211)

Hence no monopoly?

Being able to skin the only browser allowed (aka, Monopoly browser) does not undo the fact that there is no real browser choice -- hence there is a monopoly.

You mean if I don't like IE10 on my WinRT tablet I can't just go buy an iPad bundled with Safari? What is a monopoly again? What are you claiming either company has a monopoly on? The argument is that Microsoft will have a monopoly on tablet/browsers by introducing their own ARM tablet/OS/browser, late in the game I will add.

I would immediately point to Apple's ARM tablet market dominance and claim they are more inline for a anti-trust investigation by the USDOJ. Why? First because they control that market. Second because they use their control of that market to not only enforce usage of their own browser, but to outright ban using other browsers.

How Apple hasn't fallen under harsher scrutiny in the past eludes me. Microsoft, while convicted monopolists, at least allowed you to run Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome, or etc. Ever try that on your iGadget? Good luck!

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998375)

You mean if I don't like IE10 on my WinRT tablet I can't just go buy an iPad bundled with Safari?

Likewise, if I didn't like IE on my Windows 98 box, I could have just bought a Mac or a UNIX workstation. The U.S. government didn't see it that way.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998305)

How about: Windows RT market share is currently ZERO. You can't have a monopoly until you actually have a product. Hence, no monopoly.

On the other hand, Apple has both a huge market share of tablets and a very closed system with absolute say of what goes on the hardware you own. Maybe Mozilla and the Senate should stop wasting their time and look into that, instead...

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998221)

Perhaps the browsers available in the App Sore are just wrappers and skins for Safari, however the developers are welcome to charge for them, hence there are other browsers available, hence no monopoly. Sorry.

Interesting take on this. In the same vein, developers can easily put frames and new menus and things around IE on Windows 8. So there shouldn't be an issue there either. It seems that Firefox and Chrome would prefer to be actual browsers and not just wrappers around the trident IE engine.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997991)

Touché.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998381)

That's no correct. It doesn't have to be Safari reskinned. It has to just use Webkit. So in theory Google can put Chrome on iOS. I would hope that Apple wouldn't allow it on the market though given that it's a bit of software from an advertising company only interested in spying on me.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997725)

"There' is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market" say the fans and Apple gets away with not only bundling Safari but banning all other browser engines. Yet Microsoft with it's 0.1% share of tablets in the "Post-PC world" gets flogged for this.

Dude, haven't you gotten the memo?

"It's OK for Apple to block Firefox, but wrong when Microsoft does it".
http://tinyurl.com/d2m8qs3 [tinyurl.com]
(Sorry for tinyurl, it's legit I promise, Slashdot filters the link because it's too long).

Not to mention Apple's worse actions like forcing their in-app payments and their 30% cut of even in-app purchases(driving many apps, esp. ebook related ones out of the market) and even forcing developers not to charge Android users less for the same services from the money they save from not paying the 30% tithe to Apple.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997963)

iOS is the only OS that matters in mobile today. Give it up M$ fanboi. Apple is king!

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998145)

>>>Microsoft with it's 0.1% share of tablets in the "Post-PC world" gets flogged for this.

You jumped the gun.
MS has not been flogged (punished) yet.
If you mean they are being investigated, well of course, since they are a convicted monopolist both here (had to pay a fine) and in the EU (required to provide a browser choice window to users). It's only natural they would be investigated given their past.

And do I think Apple needs to be investigated for Sherman Antitrust violations? Yeah absolutely. Though I doubt they'd be convicted since their smartphone share is about around half, and their tablet share is rapidly shrinking with the Amazon Fire and other tablets selling extremely well.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998259)

since they are a convicted monopolist

A conviction, once overturned, is no longer a conviction. Otherwise, you are saying that if you are convicted in a court of law, but that conviction is later overturned by an appeal, you are still a convicted felon. And I don't think you actually believe that.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1, Offtopic)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997731)

Banning which browser engines? Google is the default and there are options for Yahoo and Bing. I primarily use Opera for leisure browsing on my iphone.

How did the parent get modded Insightful?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1, Flamebait)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997787)

Idiot.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997799)

You have no idea what you are talking about. Please leave slashdot

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997807)

You are talking about search engines. I am talking about browser rendering engines.

Opera Mini uses the cloud to run it's rendering engine thus is not a real browser(compared to Safari atleast) because it cannot run Javascript on the device like Safari can.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997809)

I can't even begin to understand how that comment makes any sense. Browser Engines, google, yahoo, bing, opera?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997813)

Not search engines, the actual Browser software (IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome). Safari is the only browser engine allowed on iOS.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998313)

Chrome uses WebKit as well, actually.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997835)

Google, Bing, and Yahoo are search engines. They are just webpages that your browser renders.

Apple bans all browser engines other than their Webkit (Safari). Notice how you can't get MSIE, Firefox, Chrome, etc on the iPhone or iPad?

Opera Mini is available on the iPhone because it renders (has the browser engine) on the Opera servers. It then just sends "images" to your phone, which displays them. This is a poor substitute for a browser. It used to (still is) be used on older, less powerful phones that could not render entire web pages.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998265)

you sir are a dumb ass. "search engine" != "html css javascript rendering engine".

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997739)

last i checked, opera was in the app store.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997845)

Only Opera Mini is in the App Store, and that's because most of layout and some of rendering happens server-side for it, which means that it's not a full-fledged standalone browser. Opera Mobile (which is a full-featured browser) is not available, and neither is Firefox.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998289)

yet again, opera cheated. it is rendered on their server and sent to your device as a binary not as plain html. thus skirting the rules

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997773)

"There' is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market" say the fans and Apple gets away with not only bundling Safari but banning all other browser engines.

I don't know whether you're a) using sloppy terminology and are just flat-wrong, because there are other browsers available for the iPad b) you're using accurate terminology and being misleading, because hell no Apple does not allow you to replace the system-level browser engine, but that's not at all what Microsoft is doing.

But either way your point is flat-out wrong.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997857)

I don't know whether you're a) using sloppy terminology and are just flat-wrong, because there are other browsers available for the iPad b) you're using accurate terminology and being misleading, because hell no Apple does not allow you to replace the system-level browser engine, but that's not at all what Microsoft is doing.

All "other browsers" available on iOS are wrappers around WebKit. You can't use your own engine there.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997999)

All "other browsers" available on iOS are wrappers around WebKit. You can't use your own engine there.

Yet you can have an alternate browser (even if it's a wrapper), hence it is NOT a monopoly in the browser market.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (4, Interesting)

Reapman (740286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998111)

ok. if other browsers are allowed then please recompile (or ask someone else to) Mozilla Firefox for iOS and submit to Apple for submission. What do you anticipate happening?

Either browsers are allowed and Mozilla can launch Firefox for iOS, or browsers are not allowed and they can't. Letting me skin a browser isn't an alternative web browser. That would be like saying IE6 didn't rule the interwebs back in the day because you could install 3rd party varients of it!

And the answer "I don't want Firefox" isn't a valid answer. We're not talking what you want to do, we're talking what you CAN do. Installing a non Safari based browser is not allowed (note Opera is the Mini version and gets around it by offloading the rendering to the cloud)

Sorry but I'm really tired of this "BUT THEY DO ALLOW IT!" comments I keep seeing on here. Show me Mozilla Firefox or Chrome or IE or something that doesn't need Safari on the phone AND does it's rendering on the phone and I'll believe it. Until then.. wrong. Apple will deny the app.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998227)

ok. if other browsers are allowed then please recompile (or ask someone else to) Mozilla Firefox for iOS and submit to Apple for submission. What do you anticipate happening?

Either browsers are allowed and Mozilla can launch Firefox for iOS, or browsers are not allowed and they can't. Letting me skin a browser isn't an alternative web browser. That would be like saying IE6 didn't rule the interwebs back in the day because you could install 3rd party varients of it!

And the answer "I don't want Firefox" isn't a valid answer. We're not talking what you want to do, we're talking what you CAN do. Installing a non Safari based browser is not allowed (note Opera is the Mini version and gets around it by offloading the rendering to the cloud)

Sorry but I'm really tired of this "BUT THEY DO ALLOW IT!" comments I keep seeing on here. Show me Mozilla Firefox or Chrome or IE or something that doesn't need Safari on the phone AND does it's rendering on the phone and I'll believe it. Until then.. wrong. Apple will deny the app.

Just because PARTICULAR browsers aren't recompiled and available, doesn't mean that nothing is allowed. Any developer can write a browser (yes, webkit engine) and sell it - thus not a monopoly, your droid rage notwithstanding.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998373)

I don't think everybody is arguing about the same thing here....

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (5, Insightful)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997989)

Actually, you are completely wrong. Also, no one is asking for permission to "replace" Safari engine, just to install another one and give user a choice. All browsers for iOS devices on the App Store use WebKit (Safari) engine and they just provide different UI around it. But if something doesn't render (work) in Safari, it won't work in any other browser. The only exception is Opera Mini which renders content on the server and then sends the rendered content to the browser on iOS device. In this regard Apple is way worse than Microsoft ever was. Now Microsoft is playing catchup in evil practices that Apple got away with so easily.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998309)

>>>because there are other browsers available for the iPad

Really?
Can I run Mozilla seaMonkey or Firefox?
Can I run Opera Mobile or Opera 11?
Can I run Non-google Chromium?

ASIDE - Seamonkey is on the same rollercoaster as Firefox, with one release every month. BUT at least they are using sane numbering: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, et cetera. Seamonkey will be at version 3 sometime next year while Firefox will be at 20.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997793)

Good point, I do not use any of the tablets, but would Microsoft sue Apple or for that matter any other tablet OS?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997837)

I don't know who says that, but they're partially right - there's no "tablet market". There's mobile OS market, and there's pretty much parity between Apple and Google with others standing on sidelines.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997841)

There have been complaints leveled at Apple for years but the legions rush to their defense.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (2)

Moses48 (1849872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997863)

The first time I heard about people being upset that winRT only supported IE as its default browser I thought that Microsoft must of thought of this (think anti-trust with IE in europe).

The only reason to do this is either they think they can change it once it becomes a dominant player, or they want to force the issue so Apple must change. I can't think of any benefit to M$ for making Apple open up it's browser integration in iOS. But someone let me know if there is a benefit?

My guess is they thought through it and came to the conclusion that recoiledsnake mentioned.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997935)

I don't really have a response to why they do it. But I often think the same thing. There is NO way they didn't think of this type of stuff, after all they've been through. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out (if anything happens at all).

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997883)

"There' is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market" say the fans and Apple gets away with not only bundling Safari but banning all other browser engines. Yet Microsoft with it's 0.1% share of tablets in the "Post-PC world" gets flogged for this.

That's because Apple has spent a lot more money on political campaign contributions than Microsoft. Also, many legislators (wrongly) believe that Apple is the salvation of the technology sector... so they're willing to look the other way. I mean, what other industries in America right now are performing well? None of them.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998389)

Could you cite your source? The last report I read showed Apple trailing in contributions by a minimum factor of 2.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997907)

The point of antitrust laws is not to block monopolies. The point is to block anticompetitive behavior (which often, but not always, follows monopolies). Microsoft has a long history of aggressively anticompetitive tactics, where Apple has comparatively little.

Apple has also publicly stated the reason for the ban on other engines (coherent UI bahavior), which is perfectly in line with (and necessary for) their business model of producing devices that look and feel the same. Microsoft, on the other hand, has provided no reason (to my knowledge), and does not have any history of using such restrictions to actually improve the end product.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998055)

So, I don't follow your logic. Lets say I buy a car. But the dealership decides to put a lock on my engine hood, so I can't open it. Then a few thousand miles later, I go to put oil in my car. But I can't, because its locked. So I take it to the dealer and say, hey, unlock my car so I can put oil in it. And they say, sorry sir, only we are allowed to put the oil in, and it will cost X amount. And we are the only ones that can do it. We won't unlock it for you, or any other mechanic shop.

That's not anti-competitive in your mind. I mean, sure, Apple may not have a written policy stating they want to be anticompetitive. But I suspect you'd be hard pressed to find many people (non-fanboys) that don't agree that Apple benefits by forcing their hand/control over everything that happens in their ecosystem. Thats entirely how they have success. They control everything, which allows it to run and work incredibly well. They don't have to worry about the mechanic down the street screwing up your car, and then you coming to them to complain about the car not functioning. Because you'll never get to that point.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998141)

I don't think a history of improving a product via restrictions (to the extent that this is objective fact instead of subjective opinion in the first place) is relevant to the question of whether the behaviour is anticompetitive.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997909)

I hate Apple, but that post was even more retarded than they are.

Apple make THE ENTIRE PRODUCT.
They have absolute control over it.
They don't make a general purpose tablet.
The tablets WinRT is going on WILL be general purpose tablets. (unless that changed at any point, which I doubt.)
The 2 things are completely different issues.

Once Apple open up and let others make hardware for them, then it becomes an issue. Until then, the only case you'd have is their main desktop OS.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997997)

Huh? What do you mean by a "general purpose tablet"? Apple provides a platform via iOS that developers can build on top of with their third party programs. If that is not general purpose, then what is?

Are you saying that Apple produces "specific purpose" tablets?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998159)

Perhaps by general purpose he means what we might call a 'computer', a device on which you can run code you write or acquire from others without having to seek some high-handed vendor's approval first?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998215)

>They don't make a general purpose tablet.
>The tablets WinRT is going on WILL be general purpose tablets.

What's the distinction between Windows RT tablets and iPad that makes on general purpose and the other not?

Care to elaborate?

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997971)

There is a big difference between Apple's and Microsofts behaviour: Microsoft are (ab)using the billions of monopoly dollars they rake in from Windows and Office to become dominant in other markets, too. See for example selling Xboxes below production costs just to drive competitors out of the market in order to rule over the home TV set. Similarly, they will use their power and billions of dollars that they made from their two monopolies and try to drive Apple out of the tablet market. Whereas Apple does not use their billions they made from their iPad monopoly to get Microsoft out of the PC market, right? That's the big difference. Apple just defends their own market, whereas Microsoft wants to rule the world.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998251)

Say what??? "Apple just defends their own market..." WTF does that mean? Does Apple have some kind of natural right to some market? If so, exactly what is that market? Did Apple invent the music store? No, but they sure seem to want to rule that market. Did they invent the MP3 player? No, but they sure seem to want to rule that market. Oh, I know! They invented the smartphone! Nope, but again they seem to want to rule that market. Well, it must be that they invented tablets then. Nope, wrong again.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997983)

The question I suppose is then whether the iPad exists at all because there is no MS slate. If Microsoft made a half arsed effort to get slates out there would they completely destroy the iPad and Android sales by virtue of using their monopoly in x86 to crush the non MS ARM business.

I would think this is a tricky dance for MS. Ideally Windows 8 slates should play nice with Windows 8 desktops and there should be some compelling reason to have windows 8 on both. But making that 'compelling reason' versus 'required' while keeping it under anti trust seems hard.

This whole business on Browsers though seems downright bizarre. What is Microsoft actually going to leave out that other software makers (browsers included) are going to want? It would seem like any networking, UI or graphics API calls mozilla would want to use other software makers might want to use as well, and locking it out is going to cripple a lot more than just browsers.

It's also possible Windows on ARM is just going to suck balls all ways around, and this is some ridiculous scheme to push x86/IA64 on to phones/tablets by making the ARM version terrible.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

jkiller (1030766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998101)

Agreed. Granted, I just returned my iPad 3 within the 14 days I had it; full refund (I just did not like it or find it entirely useful). Also, I don't like games. I was looking for something I could use for remote desktop sessions and control of my IT environment. Also, to note, I own three macs and a number of windows pcs. I also have a droid razr. I have Windows 8 running on my brand new Samsung Slate (700T). It's by far better and superior to the ipad IMHO. I can do so much more, install what I want (and how I want) and I think it has a lot more to offer. A lot of it is because of the metro interface. I do NOT use the metro style IE. I don't like it and to me, it's kind of silly as I tend to do much more in my browser. But, if you want a good tablet experience, I think the Slate is a home run and will only get better with the Win8 RTM. It's docked as my primary work pc right now.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998133)

Did you forget that Microsoft is a monopoly?

Different rules..

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998285)

THIS

What Microsoft is doing is nothing compared to what Apple has been doing pretty much since the launch of iOS - and they have a far greater mobile market share than MS ever did - and yet not only do we not see this elephant in the room, but when an anteater steps in we call it an elephant and shoo it out.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998297)

First part of the definition of monopoly power is market share large enough to control the market. Within monopoly power, the consumer must not have suitable alternatives and the barrier to entry must be sufficiently high to preclude competition. This is not the tablet situation. You can get all sorts of different tablets today including Windows ones. The fact is that Apple has dominated the market despite other tablets being offered. Second, it's no illegal per se to have a monopoly. It's illegal to abuse monopoly position. Your memory is short, so may I remind you how MS used underhanded tactics to threaten competitors and partners alike to maintain their Windows monopoly.

Re:Where's the one on Apple? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998335)

Apple doesn't have 100% of the tablet market. They don't even have 70%. I believe in fact they only have around 50%. You can have other browsers on iOS devices and they exist. The caveat is it has to use webkit which would be ok for chrome but obviously not Firefox.

iPad (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997665)

So why isn't Apple under the same type of scrutiny?

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997757)

Because Microsoft is the root of all evil, obviously.

Re:iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997765)

Simple answer is there's an established bureaucracy with the sole purpose of regulating Microsoft. So any complaints about their business practices are granted a automatic hearing.

Also, anti-trust actions only take place after the damage has been done, for the most part. Apple will probably get there's, but not until 2020 or so.

(This is similar to how IBM tried to compete in the PC market with regulators looking over their shoulder, only to get outmaneuvered by MS, Compaq, etc.)

Re:iPad (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998017)

Because Apple doesn't sell operating systems for generic computers. Apple only makes OSs for Apple products. If Microsoft only made OSs for Microsoft computers, they wouldn't get this kind of scrutiny either.

Re:iPad (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998321)

Oh, bullshit. The question is not does Apple make OS's for other products, it is can anyone else make stuff for Apple's product. Microsoft did not get in trouble because it made browsers that ran on other OS's, it got in trouble because they made it difficult for someone else to make (and sell) a browser for THEIR OS. IBM did not get in trouble because they made software that ran on other systems, they got in trouble because they made it difficult for others to make software that ran on IBMs systems.

Re:iPad (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998103)

Because they are making closed-and-locked toys, so it's a waste of time to even consider them, whereas with the generic tablet HW a user who's not content with The Manufacturer's One and Only OS still has some modest chance of running the SW he wants to run on it?

I hate Mozilla (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997693)

Mozilla: We make craptastic software, and we use the courts to cripple our competitors.

On a tablet note: (0)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997707)

On the tablet note:

I've already said screw Kindle Fire [slashdot.org] .

It's rather obvious I'm a burned former Apple guy and wouldn't consider an iAnything.

So what I really want one of these [engadget.com] .

Re:On a tablet note: (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997819)

On another note I would probably give my money for an Apple device before giving it up for a Microsoft device, even though I'm rather ticked at Apple and am slowly forgiving MS.

Re:On a tablet note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998325)

So you take geek politics over technology? Ok. Anything you say can be disregarded without any loss.

Re:On a tablet note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997843)

I think I'll wait for the Galaxy Note 10.1 or for Lenovo to come out with the second version of their Thinkpad Tablet or another android ( definitely not windows, who needs BSODs on tablets ) tablet that comes with digitizer.

Just do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997735)

I've always wondered why they had to narrow their definition of "Personal Computer" to "Intel compatible". It turns out that Apple's 3-4% market share at the time still would have put them in the 90% category which most define as monopoly. Were they afraid that without narrowing the definition that something might spoil the case?

At any rate, MS wasn't nearly as bad for OS competition as Linux was. At the time, BeOS was selling for $50. Linux created the expectation that Intel compatible alternatives to MS would be free. BeOS never had a chance--against Linux. MS created opportunity, and they never dumped product at zero retail. Unfortunately, commies get around anti-trust by not formally organizing as for-profit corporations. Then when they squeeze everything out of the market, they'll jack up the price just like a corporation does. Mark my words.

Re:Just do nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997867)

Yes... when the Marxists behind the Linux conspiracy finally unmask themselves as the greedy overlords we all know they are, the world will tremble at the might of the resulting megacorp and how much control it has.

Again? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997753)

How many times do we have to go through this? No, Microsoft, you don't get to dictate what programs I will use.

Re:Again? (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998005)

If only people complained about Apple in the same way.

Re:Again? (1)

MrWin2kMan (918702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998253)

Then you really don't need to have or use a Windows 8RT tablet. When Microsoft has 80% of the tablet market, then you can bitch and moan.

Apple doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997775)

I don't think the fact Apple doesn't allow this kind of thing matters. Apple has a very clear differentiation of products. The desktops/laptops run a different OS from the iPads. I'm going to ignore the "Apple shouldn't be able to do this" argument, which I don't really disagree with. The fact is that's status quo.

With Windows 8, all tablets get the same interface and run the same software. The difference is that, based on something esoteric to the population at large (the architecture of the CPU), you lose the ability to load some kinds of software. Not because that software wasn't ported, but because it can't be ported without being severely crippled. What this means is that when someone buys a tablet from BestBuy, they may or may not be able to run the software they expect. Some Windows 8 software runs on everything, some Windows 8 software doesn't. What's the lesson? That FireFox thing doesn't always work. Just use the built in stuff or you'll have problems.

If MS was clearly positioning the ARM tablets as something different from the non-ARM tablets, that would be different. They may call it "Windows RT", but when two tablets are in the store next to each other, looking identical, running identical interfaces, I think it's fair to say they're the same. Duck typing for tablets. Since I'd expect ARM tablets to really take off due to cost and efficiency, this certainly seems like a round about way to force people to use IE.

Re:Apple doesn't matter (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997947)

Nope.

Win RT only allows for Metro apps (aside from Office and IE). It's NOT the same as x86 Windows.

The power of x86 tablets is that they will run REAL Windows and can all Metro AND classic apps. Win RT is a subset of Windows.

Re:Apple doesn't matter (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998349)

So, the Grand Unification of Windows that MS is promissing for ages will create... 2 versions of Windows? One for desktops, another one for portables?

Re:Apple doesn't matter (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998277)

If MS was clearly positioning the ARM tablets as something different from the non-ARM tablets, that would be different.

Shouldn't that be "If MS will be"? Or is the U.S. already being flooded with marketing material in which there's little to no differentiation being made, for devices that do not yet publicly exist running operating systems that are not as of yet finalized?

Because it's either that, or we're making assumptions here for the sake of bolstering arguments.

It's an election year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39997783)

For enough money, the problem will go away, as the Senators find their priorities become redirected into more important endeavors.

Like investigating why Obama didn't fake his birth certificate.

Monopoly chain (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 2 years ago | (#39997911)

The chain's going to go more like this:

  1. Your business network runs on Windows. MS has a monopoly here.
  2. If you want a phone/tablet that integrates with your business network, you need to have one that runs Windows RT. Others won't be given access to what they need to integrate smoothly.
  3. And if you want a browser on your Windows RT phone/tablet, it must be Internet Explorer. Others won't be allowed.

Whether Microsoft has a monopoly in ARM-based tablets or not is irrelevant. It has a monopoly in the desktop and business-network market, and it's using that monopoly to gain advantages in the ARM-based phone/tablet OS and browser markets.

Re:Monopoly chain (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998113)

Concering point 2, With Windows 8, Microsoft is adding VDI licensing [crn.com] which boils down to: tablet access requires a CDL license (which costs extra). Unless you're using Windows R/T, of course.

Apple... (4, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998001)

Please remind me what Apple's stance on browsers for their iDevices is.

Right...

What's Apple's share again? At least 90%, you say?

Right...

What's Microsoft's share? 0% in ARM tablets?

Right...

But Apple hasn't done this before! What? They kept certain OS functions reserved for Safari?

And Microsoft gets flak for disallowing other browsers in desktop mode? How often is an ARM tablet user going to use desktop IE? Other browsers are still allowed on the store, so it's not a case of locking other browsers out.

Just make up your minds already! (0)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998013)

Monopoly: Good or Bad?

If good, why anti-trust?

If bad, why patents, copyright, central banking?

Or maybe neither and government should get just get out of the "picking losers and winners" business.

Here's what puzzles me... (3, Insightful)

Erbo (384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998125)

It's obvious that Windows RT is going to be extremely different from Windows as we know it, in terms of UI, operating paradigm, openness to outside software (you have to go through Microsoft's app store and give them their cut, plus these new tablets will be locked down to only running WinRT), and so forth.

So why is Microsoft still calling it "Windows"?

Apple doesn't call its OS for iPad/iPhone/etc. "OSX" anything, even though that's what it's derived from. It calls it "iOS."

So can't Microsoft pick another name for this thing, just to eliminate confusion? Like, say, call it "Metro OS," after the visual style it uses?

Windows RG? (1)

WD (96061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998167)

Am I the only one who thought of Windows RG upon seeing the headline?
http://www.deanliou.com/WinRG/WinRG2.htm [deanliou.com]

Re:Windows RG? (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39998411)

I had thought the same thing. "RT" could stand for a lot of fun things. Like Windows "Rectal Thermometer" edition.

I don't see what the big deal is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39998193)

"Windows RT" will be a failure, just like every other non-x86 Windows to date. Why does anyone care about a miniscule OS that's going to stay miniscule?

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