Skip to comments.Microsoft returning Windows to 'the digital dark ages'? (Mozilla argues Windows 8 bans Firefox)
Posted on 05/10/2012 9:29:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The biggest lawsuit in Microsofts 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 Microsofts browser practices regarding Windows 8 Metro signal an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages where users and developers didnt 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 cant 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 ...
I like the looks of it but I won’t do IE.
I detest Internet Exploder, only time I use it is to go to Microshaft.
I should have bought an Apple!
Microsoft has been guilty of this stuff in the past
In the 80’s under DOS operating system you had to load a memory manager to access memory over 640K
A company called Quarterdeck made a memory manager competing against Microsoft’s own memory manager
I found that Quarterdeck’s QEMM.sys would NOT load under DOS... but when I changed the name from QEMM.sys to XEMM.sys it loaded and ran perfectly.
I did a binary search through the executable file and found the string QEMM hard coded into the file. (command.com, I think)... Microsoft was purposely making DOS fail to load it.
Microsoft should have been sued for $Millions. Quarterdeck also had a multi tasking GUI first- before Microsoft came out with Windows. It was a shell that ran on top of DOS and let you run multiple programs at once. (In the olden days, Under DOS you could only run one program at a time)
Mozilla is finding that they are going to need to seriously adapt to how things are going to be.
iOS doesn’t allow for FF either. OSX is going to become desktop iOS within a few years if not months so they might get hamstrung there too.
FF on Android has never worked well. Far too buggy.
Besides, on the x86 Win8 machines FF should run just fine.
I will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into Windows 8. I use a computer as a tool - not as a front for socializing.
The only way to get software into the Win8 RT OS is via the MSFT store. However, MSFT is not allowing developers access to the software in order to write browsers - thereby prohibiting Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and others from competing.
They were successfully sued in United States v. Microsoft for monopoly, preditary practices and violation of the Sherman Act. The initial ruling ordered them split into 2 separate companies (OS and Applications); however in an appeal this requirement was dropped.
MSFT agreed to share their API’s and allow third party developers to write code using these “hidden” and undocumented APIs in 2001 - however this expired in 2007. MSFT voluntarily extended this for 2 more years.
Now, MSFT is back at the same old game. Rack up bazillions in exclusivity, dawdle in court, get a slap on the wrist and do what it should have done from the get-go.
Perhaps MSFT needs to be forcibly broken up, as this behavior is definitely seeking to create a monopoly, is anti-competitive and violates the Sherman Act - just like before. This sort of behavior is simply “evil”.
Win8 RT is going to start in the low-end laptops, but will propagate to tablets and low-cost computers. It’s really hard to be a friend to MSFT when they pull this crap.
I'm writing this on a XP machine, but made the mistake of buying a laptop with Vista. I had to destroy the hard drive and throw it out (it wouldn't accept an install of XP after even formatting the hard drive). I now have a laptop with Windows 7. While it's an improvement over Vista, it's still not as user friendly as XP. Now, Windows 8? Aaargh! Wish I had switched to Apple years ago.
>> Now, MSFT is back at the same old game bla bla bla Perhaps MSFT needs to be forcibly broken up &etc &etc &etc
Perhaps *you* need to occupy a chair in front of a Mac. Or a Linux box. Or any of the other half-dozen competing operating systems. Monopoly, my ass.
Partially true, while Firefox has option to be in the Apple Store; other browsers are there (360, Cloud Browse, Atomic Browser, Firefox Sync Pro, Mecury Web Browser, Flash Web Browser and a bunch of others - like 40 more in iPad and 60 in iPhone Aps).
Just because you are not the sole purveyor of an OS, does not mean you are not a monopoly.
Judge Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999, which stated that Microsoft's dominance of the x86 based personal computer operating systems market constituted a monopoly, and that Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to that monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, Real Networks, Linux, and others.
Yeah, I’m familiar with the case. Prosecuted and tried by a bunch of socialist pr!cks with the vigorous approval of the ninety-nine percent.
Being a conservative and all, I’m not on their side.
Anyhoo, Apple’s market cap is TWICE that of struggling MSFT. Apple dominates the market for Apple stuff. Should we break up Apple? ROFL
Is Apple preventing anyone from developing software to run on their OS? Nope. Apple not only provides development software to anyone who wants to become a developer, they also offer free college level courses via the iTunesU app to teach you how to do it.
And what about Google? Talk about a company with a tight grip on the balls of the world. Break ‘em up?
But I guess they’re OK because their motto is “don’t be evil”. Whereas, Microsoft simply IS evil. Right?
ROFLMAO. You’ve got your boot on the throat of yesterday’s go-to villain — who is flat on its back — while today’s more skillful and ambitious (and leftist!) villains plunder your house and rape your family while you cheer them on. What a joke!
You are free to write software in Chrome, iOS, OSX and Windows XP, Visa and Win7. However, you cannot write software for the upcoming Windows 8 RT. Why? Because MSFT has decided that you can't.
[shrug] Guess I’ll go to Linux when my Vista machine finally ceases to meet my needs. That windows 8 looks like the dumbed-down menu GUI that came with Packard Bell PCs back in the wee 90’s. No thanks.
No kidding! Apple is far worse than Microsoft, as far as restrictions... For instance, try running MacOS on non-Apple hardware, I dare you! If you do so and publicize it, be prepared for visits from lawyers.
I accept IE because it's there. It works poorly, looks clunky, and has more holes in it than swiss cheese. If presented an alternative I use it. Prefer Firefox to all others so far.
Windows 8 on ARM isn’t a monopoly though so they can do that if they want.
You don’t have to be exclusive to be a monopoly, current laws call you a monopoly at over 80% of the market. Which Windows the desktop OS is. Of course this is all about their tablet which almost certainly will not be 80% of the market anytime this decade, so for this discussion it really doesn’t matter.
>> Do you think before you write?
Sure I do.
The question is: are YOU capable of thinking more deeply than your superficial selfish single interest?
>> you cannot write software for the upcoming Windows 8 RT. Why? Because MSFT has decided that you can’t.
So it’s your constitutional right to be able to force your code on any OS you choose? Hmmm... must be another one of those “penumbras”; I don’t remember seeing it directly.
>> Chrome is Google’s OS
No sh!t. Really?
>> and they also provide tutorials and access to the extensions you need to write code for their OS.
You keep *saying* this like it *means* something. Like there aren’t tutorials for Microsoft APIs? Enough of them to choke a hippo? Do you think before you write? Seriously.
Why would they do that? Haven’t they learned their lesson from getting their pants sued off multiple times?
A Bill the Cat “Aaaack thbbbbbbbtttttpt”
Heh - good one.
Wow, this will be something to consider when I adopt Windows 8. Better make a note of it right now!
(Anybody have a calendar for 2063?)
OK, now I understand.... you don't know what you are talking about.
Some Windows apps rely on the powerful Win32 APIs Microsoft has built for programmers, apps like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word. They wont run on ARM-powered Windows devices (basically any Windows tablets).
Those APIs are necessary for modern browsers, argued Mozilla spokesman Asa Dotzler -- and only Internet Explorer will have access.
Without that access, no other browser has a prayer of being competitive with IE, he wrote.
MSFT is withholding the vital documentation on WinRT from developers. This is what they did previously in United States v. Microsoft - and they lost. This doesn't just affect people writing Browsers, it can and will affect many 3rd party developers. Please read and inform yourself - your ignorance is painful to endure.
wonder how many corps are going to be using win8, my company still is using winxp on all the desktops.think using server08 too..
“Guess Ill go to Linux when my Vista machine finally ceases to meet my needs.”
You just might like it! I got fed up with MS years ago, starting with XP’s copy protection. Make too many hardware changes, and XP acts like you’ve stolen it. Then the unnecessary redesign of Vista’s user interface, forcing me to relearn how to operate Windows. Uh-uh, not doing it. That’s when I jumped ship. Someone had given me a new Dell loaded with Vista Ultimate. I took that suckware off and installed Ubuntu Linux. Been happy with that computer ever since. I run different versions of Linux on six computers and have never had any headaches over keeping viruses off my machines either.
I guess some Linux detractors will come along and tell you how hard/limited/terrible Linux is. Whatever. Some people continue to live with abusive spouses too.
>> Please read and inform yourself - your ignorance is painful to endure.
You’re a snotty little puke, aren’t you?
>> This doesn’t just affect people writing Browsers, it can and will affect many 3rd party developers.
Well, actually no, it really *won’t* affect non-browser developers much at all. Maybe you could cure *your* overbearing ignorance by delving into some articles with more technical meat in them. Here’s one that treats the issue more fairly, although it’s significantly more technical than that Fox News (snort!) crapola you peddled, and so may be beyond your rather limited technical grasp.
Now go back to Occupying Seattle or whatever trivial pursuit whiles away your day.
Looks like the screen shot of their crappy windows phones.
I’m going to start buying Apple PCs. I like the Unix based OS much better anyway.
Going to spend my money on a Macbook Pro.
This is non-sense, I’m running Windows 8 right now with FF as my browser. Windows 8 is about the best browser I’ve ever used. Turn youir computer “on” and your up and running in less than 30 seconds. I’m having some problems with Java Script but it has not been upgraded for win8 yet.
OK I blew it, it is talking arm processors. Helps to read before ranting. I get irratated with all the Flak about Microsoft though.
And if you would read the source you gave, you would see
Todays web browsers need deep, deep access to operating systems and hardware. On Windows RT, it appears right now as though only Internet Explorer will be given that kind of access. Back in February, Steven Sinofsky posted that apps for Windows RT (Windows on ARM at that point) had to adhere to a different set of rules. Code that uses only system or OS services from WinRT can be used within an app and distributed through the Windows Store for both WOA and x86/64.
You just confirmed what I've been saying for quite a while. MSFT is withholding and locking developers out of RT, this is what was challenged in United States v. Microsoft - as I've repeatedly mentioned (and you've repeatedly failed to comprehend).
Do try to learn, put on the Big Boy pants and think before you post. I don't know what you are talking about - you keep making MY point, then attacking and sounding more and more ignorant with every attempt.
While I agree about Apple in some ways, I do remember them saying that they wouldn’t allow flash to be installed on some of their products like the iphone. I think there was a battle between Apple and Adobe if memory serves me. This is the reason that I went to a Motorola Droid Razr instead of an Iphone when I upgraded my cell phone a year ago.
But I do prefer the Macbook Pro to anything Microsoft (small and flacid?) has to offer.
You are amazingly technically illiterate.
What part of “deep, deep access” don’t you get?
An API to gain OS system services (which RT furnishes) and “deep hooks” revealing the entire technical underpinnings of the OS (which it does not) are two very different things, snark-tart. So, no, while you can blather about how it proves your point, it does no such thing.
You’re not worth any more of my time. Bye now.
Steve Jobs directly answered the questions about Flash in one of his many interviews. In short, the overwhelming source of many malware infections and OS instability issues were directly tied back to Adobe Flash. Apple tried working with Adobe for over a decade to resolve these issues, and Adobe refused to cooperate.
In fact, the latest round of malware to affect the Mac OS are based on 3rd party exploits (Java being the latest).
Because Jobs realized that the iPhone would be used for very critical personal information (banking, booking airfare, hotels, email, texts) he decided that the iOS would be “Closed” and applications written for iOS would be “sandboxed”. Because HTML5 basically makes Adobe Flash obsolete, it made no sense to include Flash into iOS.
Adobe acknowledged this recently, and HTML5 is flourishing; largely driven by Apple’s refusal to utilize Flash.
Another key component that needs to be appreciated is the concept of Hardware Codec vs. Software Codecs. The iPad/iPhone/iPod natively does H.264 and .mp4 video - ONLY. Why? Because there is a portion of the A4/A5/A5+ chip that has a hardware video codec that can ONLY understand these video formats. Like a Blender in your kitchen, this section of the chip does one thing and one thing only. It can never - ever - do anything else. The plus is that it sips very little power to play your video or YouTube clip.
Software Codecs (as loaded on your laptop/desktop) can play virtually any format of video codec - and in doing so, consume tons of power in comparison. You see, as the video file is manipulated through the various combinatons of codecs - there are gazillions of memory read/write operations to perform this task. Each of these operations consumes some bit of power.
So, if the iPad supported Flash - not only would it be vulnerable to the hordes of malware exploits inherit in Flash, the battery life for playing videos would likely drop from 10 hours down to 2 hours.
I see and understand about that, but shouldn’t it be my choice if I wish to run an application regardless of how much risk there is in doing so?
So, while I like Apple products I don’t appreciate the fact they close their OS to my wanting to do something they feel is a threat.
I don’t like Gates thinking he’s my daddy anymore than Jobs (RIP) did or Apple does.
It’s why I’m rooting my phone to rid it of the Verizon apps they put on there with no way to remove.
I Pay for it, I decide what I want to use and if they make it impossible for me to use it as I see fit then I will buy from someone who is not so restrictive.
By all means, Jailbreak your phone and knock yourself out. The iOS 5.1 Jailbreak is almost ready for release. Personally, I'm a big fan of My-Wi.
However, it would be highly stupid and careless for Apple to release a product that they know is full of security holes, wouldn't it? No one wants their banking information stolen, to have some hacker in some foreign country purchasing airline tickets on their bank accounts.
As for removing the Verizon Apps - go for it. Frankly, I'm surprised Verizon did that noise. You should be able to remove them via iTunes or the iPhone Configuration Tutility Seriously? My wife has Verizon on her iPhone 4s and she doesn't have a mess of Verizon apps. It's pretty much a clean install.
iOS is designed to be as bullet-proof as they know how to make it, while continuously adding features and supporting legacy products - and while keeping everything fairly responsive. This is no small task. However, I think everyone appreciates a secure phone. There are a plethora of malware that are out and about in the Android market - and at this point (after 4+ years) ZERO in the iPhone environment.
The Mtro interface is HORRIBLE!!!
Heck the last 4 interfaces have been crap.
When i get a PC the first thing I do it set the UI back to “Windows Classic” it runs faster as all that aero crap is not running!
User unfriendly. Had to search around too much to get to what I needed, IMHO.
“Yeah, Im familiar with the case. Prosecuted and tried by a bunch of socialist pr!cks with the vigorous approval of the ninety-nine percent.”
‘Socialist pr!cks’? I don’t think so- it was Netscape pushing for the prosecution of Microsoft, and Robert Bork was representing Netscape. The argument was that Microsoft abuses their market power in operating systems to unlawfully keep rival applications from the marketplace.
After selling Netscape Navigator to AOL the Netscape crew became Mozilla and built the Firefox browser.
>> Socialist pr!cks? I dont think so
What would YOU call David Boies, then? A conservative stalwart?
A related catchphrase from that time:
“DOS isn’t done until Lotus won’t run.”
I have been running Windows 8 since the moment it was released and I have always used Firefox and Thunderbird with absolutely no problem.
I do notice that Windows 8 is faster and more intuitive.
Have you tried the TABLET version of Windows 8?
Mozilla claims that Firefox is being banned from certain versions of Windows 8, the forthcoming tablet-centric OS from Microsoft.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.