The biggest lawsuit in Microsoft’s history dominated the 90s, when the company battled accusations that it was stifling browser competition. Rival Netscape couldn’t survive, but the Windows giant was ultimately forced to strip Internet Explorer from its operating system in a landmark ruling.
That conflict may be brewing up again.
Mozilla, the developer group behind the popular Firefox browser, argued Wednesday night that Firefox is being banned from certain versions of Windows 8, the forthcoming tablet-centric OS from Microsoft — returning Windows users to the dark ages before competition.
“The upcoming release of Windows … and Microsoft’s browser practices regarding Windows 8 Metro signal an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages where users and developers didn’t have browser choices,” wrote Harvey Anderson, Mozilla General Counsel, in a Wednesday night blog post.
A Microsoft spokesman declined FoxNews.com requests for more information. But the competition had plenty to say.
Anderson argued that Windows RT — a version of Windows rewritten from the ground up to support the ARM processors powering nearly every tablet and smartphone today — prohibits any browser but Internet Explorer from running the classic Windows desktop.
“This means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed.”
“Given that IE can run in Windows on ARM, there is no technical reason to conclude other browsers can’t do the same,” Anderson wrote.
His words were emphatically echoed by Google, maker of the Chrome browser.
“We share the concerns Mozilla has raised regarding the Windows 8 environment restricting user choice and innovation,” a Google spokeswoman told FoxNews.com.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com …
- Windows on ARM Users Need Browser Choice Too (mozilla.org)
- Google and Mozilla blast Windows 8 browser bias (slashgear.com)
- Mozilla hits Microsoft with complaint about Windows RT browser choices (techworld.com.au)
- Mozilla warns Microsoft on Internet Explorer bundling with Windows 8 (theglobeandmail.com)
- Microsoft ‘disappears’ Windows Principles before controversial API policy (webdev360.com)
- Mozilla plans war on fragmentation, reveals unified UI design for Windows 8 and mobile devices (engadget.com)
- Mozilla details plans to unify Firefox’s design across desktop and mobile (theverge.com)
- Mozilla ramps up Metro-native Firefox for Windows 8 (electronista.com)
- Coming in 2012: Firefox for Windows 8’s Metro (news.cnet.com)