Re: Microsoft gives it's love to China, the West...not so much...
Yes, they are closing off some of the APIs for third party applications on ARM. (This only affects ARM devices). That is because WindowsRT (the ARM version) is going to be rolling out on mobile devices just as the iPad is and such. They want to be able to allow third-party apps in a secure way that wont mess up the OS itself. So for example, you don't get to make areas of memory directly writable or to spawn new processes at will. And they are right to make these restrictions. You definitely do not want any old App able to do things that completely kill the O/S. Now Microsoft obviously do feel okay about themselves using the same functionality. They would write a piss-poor O/S if they were the only manufacturer out there that didn't let themselves use their own hardware properly. Apple allow themselves. Linux allows itself. Browsers and O/S are growing ever more integrated. The Metro apps can actually be coded in HTML5! Are you seriously suggesting that actual apps must be left uncompiled and run through some separate rendering engine that has limited OS integration? No, of course not. So you have to either throw open all sorts of dangerous things to third party app developers or forbid them access.
Now Mozilla may not like that they don't have access. They use the ability to spawn new processes to sand-box plugins for example. But what can you do? Do you just say: "No, other App developers can't have access but Mozilla is a well known name so we'll let them have access" ? That would be an even worse double-standard.
Remember, this is only for ARM devices. E.g. closely integrated things like iPad style devices, etc. and for the reasons above it's pretty much unavoidable. It's not about anti-competitiveness so much as it is user experience. To do otherwise would be to create a significantly less secure and less reliable device.