Microsoft locks out rival browsers from Windows

It seems that Microsoft has forgotten the lessons of the legions browser anti-trust cases it faced a few years back.

According to the Big Cheeses at the Mozzarella Foundation, Vole is up to its old tricks and nailed down its ARM version of Windows so that it only runs Internet Exploder.

The Foundation which runs the Firefox browser is complaining that Microsoft is giving Internet Explorer an unfair technical advantage in Windows RT.

The outfit said that Microsoft is taking the first steps toward a new platform lock-in as Internet Explorer will be the only browser on Windows RT allowed to run in the traditional desktop environment.

Writing in his bog, Mozilla’s general counsel, Harvey Anderson said that IE will be able to integrate with Windows RT in ways that competing browsers can’t.

He muttered something about Anti-Trust but we suspect almost everyone would have got that.

Windows 8 will have three different types of application formats. There will be Metro, classic desktop, and Metro-style enabled desktop browsers, or MEDB for short,  for which apparently a version of Firefox is being built.

But it is looking like Windows 8 will only allow your system’s default MEDB to run in the Metro interface. So if IE is already your default browser you run Firefox in Metro.

Part of the problem appears to be that MEDB apps on Windows 8 can access APIs that browsers need “to deliver modern capabilities and performance.

But Mozilla claims that third-party browsers on Windows RT will not be getting the same access to those APIs which will give IE the leg up.

It is not helping that Microsoft is not saying anything about Mozilla’s claims. However it is unlikely that there will be many ARM-based Windows RT devices out there.

Predictions are that Windows RT tablets will grow slowly during the first five years, going from 1.5 percent of all tablets sold worldwide. It might pick up to 7.5 percent by 2017 so we are talking tiny numbers here.