Windows 8 is on the horizon, and it sure looks like this new version of Windows will be huge. So huge, in fact, that competing companies are already starting to cry foul. Both Mozilla and Google have told press that the new Windows 8 comes with browser restrictions that will prevent people from using any browser other than a Windows browser. If this is true and Windows 8 proves to be a huge hit, both Google and Mozilla might be blown out of the water.
What are Mozilla and Google basing their findings on? Windows 8 will have exclusive access to devices that currently run on ARM processors. Microsoft is restricting this exclusive access and preventing third-party browsers from enjoying the same access. Some sources state that Microsoft has good reason for denying third-party access, though many (including Mozilla and Google) are protesting this exclusivity and some are stating that Microsoft is pushing technology development back to the dark ages.
ARM Processors and Microsoft’s Reasoning
In case you’re wondering, almost all Android, iOS, and, of course, Windows devices run on ARM processors. So, cutting Mozilla and Google out of this market is a huge deal. In short, Microsoft will provide Internet Explorer with exclusive APIs (Application Programming Interface) that other browsers won’t have access to. Therefore, no other browser can compete with what Internet Explorer will soon be offering. Clearly, Microsoft is pushing out the competition in a clever manner. Is this tactic unfair? Possibly; but Microsoft says that it has very good reason for restricting competitive access.
A Microsoft spokesperson recently told CNet that Microsoft is the only company that can provide the security necessary to work with ARM processors. Allowing other companies access, Microsoft says, would be a security breech. Is this the truth of the matter? It’s really hard to say whether or not Microsoft’s claim has any merit, but it certainly looks like Microsoft simply wants to do away with the competition. Only, Google and Mozilla aren’t taking this news without a fight. Both companies have made very public statements against Microsoft’s new tactics.
What This Means for the Future of Browsers
If Microsoft is successful at blocking Google and Mozilla, Internet Explorer could become the number one browser used on a number of iOS, Android, and Windows devices. The only problem with this is that technology only grows through competition and Microsoft will be barring any other company from competing – a kind of monopoly, if you will. No matter what happens, it will be very interesting to see where Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft sit on the issue in the upcoming weeks and months. Right now, both Mozilla and Google are gaining a lot of press, and this matter may even wind up in court.
There’s also the consumer side of things to think about: will consumers put up with Microsoft’s bullying or will they side with Mozilla and Google? There’s no doubt that both Mozilla and Google are making this very technical issue well-known the world over, so consumers of all kinds will be hard-pressed not to be well-versed on the goings on of Microsoft.