US politicians are reportedly poring over complaints by Mozilla that Microsoft will block access to rival browsers in Windows 8 on ARM, aka Windows RT. The powerful Senate Judiciary Committee plans to “take a look” at the allegations made by the Firefox maker last week, which were backed up by Google. Whispers of a probe …
write once crash anywhere you mean
.....fixed it for you
Google == Pot
Maybe before Google pipe up they should think about opening up the YouTube APIs so that Bing and other search engines are less crippled and Windows Phone can get a decent YouTube app.
Way back when .....
...the internet was a little child it was only right that Microsoft shared their toys.
But now, they make devices as well as software. I guess what I am saying is..
Ferrari make high performance cars, if only they would share their designers with hyundai.
Re: Way back when .....
I think it's more that they deny others to fit tires.
Or prevent the instillation of air fresheners.
From my perspective, the difference is that Amazon (and Apple, and Microsoft/Xbox360) are selling a bundle consisting of hardware and OS (firmware, really), whereas Microsoft (WinRT/Windows 8 on ARM) are selling a piece of software for other manufacturers to install on their hardware. And they are requiring that it be "impossible" to install alternative OS or components, or that the add-in software be at a disadvantage to their bundled applications. I consider both to be offensive, the first a bit less so than the second. Either way, you don't "own" the machinery in the same sense as if you buy a Dell or HP desktop or build your own. The same is true, sort of, for much of the Android stuff, but I haven't heard that the providers lean especially on those who root their device and install alternative firmware.
It wouldn't surprise me if...
...it turns out that MS has locked up the Metro interface so darned strict that they simply cannot comply to these requests without breaking some stuff.
This is only speculation; no more and no less.
But the reason I do so is because one of the commonly used arguments against Metro on the Windows Phone is that it is too strict. All apps. are sandboxed and by default its not possible for one application to access or utilize another. This has caused issues with certain developers on several occasions.
So now I wonder; is this really a Windows RT only issue or do Mozilla & Google have a problem with Metro in general? The reason this only surfaces on Windows RT could be because its a relatively popular platform and Mozilla seems more eager to build for RT than Metro on Windows 8 (or the Windows phone for that matter).
I don't mention this out of "fanboy-ism" but because it honestly wouldn't surprise me. MS has a tendency to stare themselves blind on a single goal and very much tend to ignore other aspects that come with it. Think Metro; it performs quite well on mobile devices (my phone for example) but my desktop? Ugh! Yet MS is "going after mobile".
But another thing: MS have openly admitted that they had a lot of catching up to do on security aspects. Windows 7 has come a long way (IMO) but its only partial comparable to the flexibility you have on a *nix platform. MS is obviously heavily betting on Metro for this. So could it be possible that a browser application requires too much access within the system and as such it has become impossible to utilize the way Metro is now ?
Its already a known fact that browser (-like) applications will have a different set of access rules due to the need for extensive permissions. And that RT differs on several points from the "regular" Metro.
As such I can't help wonder here...
Re: It wouldn't surprise me if...
Yes, suspect you may be right, fixation on a technical goal. As far as I know internal Microsoft product development for Metro WP, WOA and W8 is subject to exactly the same strict rules. Exceptions being some Windows RT components that ship with the OS as standard in the pseudo desktop mode. For instance it appears that Skype is working to the same limitations as independent developers.
If a special security exception were made for the Mozilla browser, there would be huge outcry from other software developers. So we can guess if there are features missing from WinRT that prevent Firefox being implemented in the way Mozilla wants, the features would have to be made available to all and its too late in the Windows 8 dev process to consider such changes for first release.
If Mozilla has a cogent case for technical changes, it would make far more sense to make the technical points public and request a technical dialog with Microsoft and the wider development community as to whether this can be addressed in a future update. This lawyer speak just sounds to me like they are stuck back in 1990s thinking.
it's not "more than just talk,"
it's "a trial balloon" so they can re-frame the issue if it doesn't poll well.
Sorry, late to the party, but...
Am I missing something, or is Mozilla bitching because they wanted to run their Win32 code, in a Metro style/Desktop mode on x86 AND arm? They then found out they cant and so they've thrown their toys out the pram.
BUT, isnt the reason they cant because WOA doesnt really have a full desktop mode, and definitely doesnt have legacy Win32 support??? isnt that actually the case, rather than them actually being told that they cant develop a browser for WOA at all?
Re: Sorry, late to the party, but...
Mostly an accurate summary. What you've described is the case. But Mozilla are basing their complaint on the fact that IE10 isn't limited in the same way, that it has access to additional API calls than third-party Apps do. And yet, whilst that seems unfair, in WinRT, which is a mobile platform much like a phone (and it will be appearing on phones), the browser more or less is part of the platform. Win8 actually uses HTML5 for the GUI! So either MS throw open the doors to third party apps to have super close integration with the O/S (Mozilla are complaining about not being able to spawn additional processes as needed and wanting direct memory access) or they refuse and get called names by third party developers who want that access.
Re: Sorry, late to the party, but...
Not quite right. MS have built IE10 for WOA, and to make it fast enough to run on WOA, they have used non-public APIs, which they are refusing to make available to 3rd party developers to use.
As a consequence, Mozilla cannot build a browser for WOA that would compete with IE10, since they cannot use the same APIs.
Re: Sorry, late to the party, but...
I cant find evidence to comment on the "undocumented" API claims, but regardless - Mozilla says they want to run their Win32 code on WOA. Yet Win32 doesnt seem to exist in WOA. Not exactly sure what Mozilla are after, are they expecting MS to re-write what is basically a legacy platform (Win32) and on WOA at least has been entirely replaced by WinRT so that their browser works?
Microsoft Metro Tablet?
Not quite the same as the stupid MS attack on Netscape 15 years ago, WOA will enter a market heavily dominated by another.. so “monopoly” and “market abuse” doesn’t really apply. WOA is architecturally closer to a Netscape browser than Windows95. Netscape embedded a CORBA ORB for an API and WOA has COM+2.
Maybe MS deserves to be hauled back to court as penance for past misdeeds; and maybe it needs to dump a brand-name that is only relevant to marketspeak.. there are not may “windows” in WOA.
Re: Microsoft Metro Tablet?
Ok, put android on your home PC.
MS will always be on this road
Why? MS Is STILL a monopoly.
Nothing is going to change until that changes.
Of course until the US Gov changes and does what it should have but refused to do the first time around this marry-go-round, we will continue see this revisited again and again...indefinitely.
I saw an antitrust case coming as soon as they announced it would be IE only.
Profiting from crime
Microsucks has made many a billion in profit from crime - even after paying a token billion dollar or so fine. Why would they stop when a billion dollar fine is less than 3% of the profits they net from crime?
Has WinRT been released...!?
Blimey, suing over something that does not exist yet, excellent.
Anyone touched this crap outside a devkit?
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