Mozilla And Google Asks For Special Treatment For App Development On Windows 8

Today Mozilla and Google made some arguments regarding upcoming version of Windows RT ( Windows on ARM). Both Mozilla and Google wants access to special API’s on which Microsoft’s Metro IE browser is built on so that they will build their own browsers for Windows RT users.

Mozilla’s view,

It’s reported that Windows RT (the name Microsoft has given to Windows running on the ARM processor)  will have two environments, a Windows Classic environment and a Metro environment for apps. However, Windows on ARM prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer from running in the privileged “Windows Classic” environment. In practice, 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.

Google’s view,

We share the concerns Mozilla has raised regarding the Windows 8 environment restricting user choice and innovation. We’ve always welcomed innovation in the browser space across all platforms and strongly believe that having great competitors makes us all work harder. In the end, consumers and developers benefit the most from robust competition.

There are few things which I want to mention regarding this issue.

  • First, Why Google and Mozilla didn’t approach Apple for access to similar APIs on Apple iPad which has near monopoly in tablet market ?
  • If Microsoft provides APIs for Google & Mozilla, they should provide it for several other developers as well. The whole point in developing a restricted environment in Windows RT is to provide better user experience to end users in terms of security, battery life, privacy, etc,. If several developers like Google gets high level access to OS, its bad for end users.
  • Rather than asking for Microsoft’s support in a good way, Mozilla is trying to court Microsoft by showing the previous anti-trust cases related to Microsoft.

    Because Windows on ARM relies upon so many traditional Windows assets, including brand, code, footprint, and experience, the decision to exclude other browsers may also have antitrust implications. If Windows on ARM is simply another version of Windows on new hardware, it also runs afoul of the EC browser choice commitments and seems to represent the very behavior the DOJ-Microsoft settlement sought to prohibit.

    I think this approach won’t work as Microsoft will argue that Windows on ARM is not traditional Windows.

  • Even if Microsoft provides them API, Will Microsoft even bend Windows Store rules to publish them in the marketplace ?
  • Microsoft can even argue that any browser vendor can build a new web browser for Windows 8 by using in-built IE rendering engine. The vendor can provide their own UI, added functionalities, etc,.

Lots of questions to be answered! What do you think?


  • joex

    Goolgle is pathetic.

  • joex

    Google is pathetic.

  • rsgx

    Just say no, until you can negotiate certain WP7 & 8 access to Google services.

  • Fahd Riyami

    Microsoft should tell Google to GTFO until they allow their YouTube API to be used in Windows Phone apps…

    • H Wuthrich

      damn you beat me to it! haha

    • Peter Bannor

      AND they must allow Lazyworm to put their app Metrotube back into the marketplace!!

    • Johan Nilsson

      You beat me to it aswell.
      Google can F*** off!

  • H Wuthrich

    well, microsoft should hit back to google, requesting to have full access to youtube too, which they constantly restrict on the windows phone.

  • Dave

    Such nonsense. Windows on ARM is about metro. NO applications can be made for the desktop part, which is only there to support Office until it gets fully metro-ized. ALL apps including browsers are allowed on Metro (unlike iOS mind you)

    Something like:

    Museum: we are closed to the public
    Google+Mozilla: OMG the museum doesn’t allow gays or black women!!! racists! OMG OMG

    Google when did you go from being cool to an evil ad infested hypocritical (youtube APIs on WP) bunch of whiners? 

    • Dave

      (The JIT story on Metro+ARM is a valid point, and MS needs to address it, even though nobody bats an eyelid that Apple does exactly the same, but the same don’t-troll response applies because this is also not specific to browsers, but also to Java, PyPy, LuaJIT, and many more apps. Think MS is going to cripple Java?)

  • Anonymous

    On the one hand, MS better be careful since they have been hit before for having hidden API’s in Windows that gave their products an advantage.  On the other hand, how would this be any different from Apple iPad which has 80% of the tablet market?

  • CX1

     Google blocks WP7 from most of it’s services  and wants preferential treatment? The nerve.

  • Anonymous

    Well, first, OEM apps on WP7 get special treatment. Second, IE was given the chance to prove itself, and it still lacks in implementing latest web innovations. Given these, I’d rather use Chrome on Windows RT since it is the first browser to implement the newest features of HTML spec, CSS, etc. It’s rude of Google to block YouTube API and many other features from WP7, but when it comes to Windows, the fierce browser competition is what made the Microsoft think of dumping the nightmare called IE 6!

    • Re

      “lacks in implementing latest web innovations” namely what? working drafts in exploring stage? or you mean the potential security hole webgl?

      • Anonymous

        Yes, I mean working drafts in exploring stage. Because implementing these does not mean waste of time. It means older versions of IE will not fail to render something completely, but will provide a softer failback. The release cycle of IE is too slow IMHO. Others may be too fast, but well most new “cool” CSS3 features have already made it into Chrome looooong ago and also into Mobile Safari.

        I’m not trashing anyone here, but I’m saying that monopolizing the browser market is something we already witnessed and fought. I do not support Apple’s decision of having only Safari on iOS.

        • EShy

          The release cycle for IE has changed

          The option to automatically update is there now, but off by default because Microsoft thinks you should be in control and not Google

          If Microsoft is smart, major IE updates will be released thru the store update mechanism, making it more visible to users than windows update (which lots of people just ignore)

          The IE6 story is no longer relevant. What happened with IE6 is that Microsoft went to sleep thinking they killed Netscape and there’s no reason to put a lot of effort into IE. They moved resources to other things. They admitted it was a mistake and said it won’t happen again… 

      • Anonymous

        I’d rather not allow him to have winrt..let him go buy an iPad or google chrome book n use chrome on it..

  • Calvininmotion1

    I want to say that the people working at Microsoft are smart. Don’t forget that Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 have the same kernels which means apps from WinRT will work easily in Windows Phone 8. Such move from Microsoft will not only compromise security but even lead hackers on as these APIs might have holes that will lead to another WebKit catastrophe! Get a life Google, you ain’t getting money from Chrome for WinRT….just F#&K OFF!!!

  • Anonymous

    So Google keeps messing with the Youtube API for WP7 and making Youtube on WP7 crap in comparison with iOS and Android phones, and now they want a favour they don’t deserve.

    • Habeebalali

      BIG LIKE 

  • Anonymous

    Whats that, no Youtube Api’s available for Windows Phone?Right.  Make Bing the default search engine in Android, and we’ll think about it.


    • Habeebalali

      You’re right man
      When I think about Google, I imagine it as that bad man in the movies who is an agent in the FBI or other gov. inst. or orgs. and plays around with drug or weapons stuff

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft say no to Google and co. demands. Do not compromise the security of windows RT and Windows Phone.

  • roqstr

    The built-in IE rendering engine is quite limited. Important features are missing and have to be implemented really dirty. Microsoft should expand the possibilities here.

    • Ebby Peter

      Lets wait till the new version comes out… The Consumer preview is effectively a beta version.

      • roqstr

         the engine is already available for windows phone developers. I did not mean the browser itself, i meant the control you can use in your own code.

        • EShy

          I’m pretty sure it’s not the same engine since IE10 has a new engine (and that should be the same one used in the web view control)

  • Christoffer Lundberg

    Would Google do the same for Microsoft? Not bloody likely! Don’t cave in Microsoft! We do not need Google’s or Mozilla’s stinking browsers 😛

  • Anonymous

    Somebody remind me that iPad/2 both allow other browsers
    Tell Google+Mozilla to stop whinnin

  • Jesse Beach

    They’re just ostracizing themselves again. Open up, play in the schoolyard with everyone else and continue embracing standards.

  • Ryles Malone

    There is no way that I know enough about the programming or the politics involved with this situation.  I would like to see Microsoft restrict browser use to IE only, if that’s what’s actually going on here. I also hope that IE is being built to overcome the shortcomings experienced or even simply perceived against other browser experiences.  I think this could be MS time to shine, but they have to put serious user experience in the browser as the ultimate effort going forward with Windows/Phone 8.

  • robg

    Say it isn’t so.  This is terrible news.  My only choice is an Android tablet and Microsoft forced me into it.  Don’t understand why they would kill their tablet platform before it even launches…

    • Re

      Idiot, you can have Chrome or Firefox on the Metro tablet interface… the restriction is valid only on the extremely limited Desktop interface.

      • Anonymous

        The problem with that is that a metro browser would have to use the IE rendering engine and the sucks horribly :(

        • Dave

          No it wouldn’t. Unlike Apple there is no restriction against executing Javascript.

          There is an issue where it is not clear how many JIT optimizations are possible (WinRT API) but this will make the browser slower, not prevent it.

  • robg

    Have they added tabbed browsing to Metro IE?  Without tabbed browsing, I can’t imagine using this for browsing.

    • Mar

      Of course they have… What year do you think it is?

  • James Honke

    They’re all as bad as each other. Thank God for Linux, and open-source software.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. You guys recommending that Microsoft get special access to YouTube from WP7 are completely missing the boat. Microsoft has much bigger fish to fry.

    Google, through Motorola, is trying to extort ridiculous sums of money from Microsoft for FRAND patents related to H.264 video codecs installed on Windows 7 PCs and notebooks. What type of concession from Google do you think Microsoft is going to go after?

  • vidwa

    Google doesn’t deserve it, I dont mind Firefox. Firefox has been running like crap with their newest version, I dont want that happening on windows arm. I’d prefer to just use IE to avoid some crap browser. Microsoft shouldn’t cave and if they do, it’ll just be bad news for the platform

  • Anonymous

    I love Microsoft products but I have to agree with Mozilla and google on this, cause IE sucks and they shouldn’t force people to deal with that, chrome is the best browser right now by far, and yes IE 10 still sucks, in my experience it never loads web pages correctly and most important it is nowhere near as fast as Firefox and chrome.

  • Anonymous

    hahaha, paybacks a bitch. go fuck yourself google

  • Wpskype

    fuck google they wont even give the apis for youtube on windows.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Google just recently try to ban all Windows Phone apps which use their service? Time for Microsoft to fight fire with fire.

  • EShy

    The Apple argument is enough here. Windows RT or windows on arm, will only run on tablets where Microsoft doesn’t have any market share right now and Apple is king.

    Microsoft, in their market position, can do whatever they want for win rt. and on the x86 version these other browsers work, so they don’t really have a case.