updated 04:30 am EDT, Mon May 14, 2012
Mozilla says lack of browser choice takes users back to dark ages
The Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox web browser, is calling out Microsoft for anticompetitive practices with regard to browser capabilities on the upcoming Windows RT. In a blog post, Mozilla's General Counsel Harvey Anderson takes Microsoft to task for programming decisions that will limit the power and feature set of non-Internet Explorer browsers in the next version of Windows.
The blog post cites reports that Windows RT (the name given to Windows running on ARM processors) will only allow Internet Explorer to run in the "Windows Classic" environment, effectively capping the capabilities of third-party browsers, which would be confined to the Metro environment for apps. Mozilla argues that this would make Internet Explorer the only browser on Windows for ARM capable of performing computing functions necessary for modern speed, stability, and security standards.
Mozilla calls on Microsoft to amend its browser standards, allowing alternative browsers to run in the Windows Classic environment. ARM's processors are likely to be featured in a wide array of products and computer types in the coming years, and Windows RT is likely to be the operating system running on a good deal of these products. Microsoft has yet to respond to Mozilla's call for a more open browser standard on Windows RT. Mozilla has already shown off a version of its Firefox browser that's compatible with Windows 8's Metro user interface, but that version is for x86-based machines.