Browsers war is still on and this time Microsoft has made a surprising move which will limit third party applications like Firefox on its upcoming Windows RT operating system. Windows RT is the name given to the Windows 8 version, which will support ARM based devices (tablets, netbooks, laptops) running on ARM chips.
Internet Explorer in Windows RT will enjoy privileged access which other web browsers are not permitted. Microsoft have given IE access to special API’s which other browsers cannot use. This means that Internet Explorer will have more features and will perform better on Windows RT than any other web browser. It will also make IE the only full functioning browser on the new platform. Other Applications will be denied access to major key computing functions (running as a Metro application).
Mozilla already had a working version of Firefox for Windows 8 version for traditional PCs but it cannot have the same version for ARM based Windows 8 because of the new restriction imposed by Microsoft. These new restrictions are in direct violation of the promises that Microsoft made to the developers, users and OEMs about web browser choice. In Mozilla blog, Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s general counsel called this move “an unwelcome return to dark ages”.
At the moment it is unclear, what Mozilla and other potential competitors plan to do about the restriction made by Microsoft but one thing is sure that Mozilla will be going to take this matter in the court if Microsoft do not revert this restriction.