If you’re used to freely choosing which browser you use in Windows, brace yourself: Mozilla is claiming that Microsoft is planning to limit user choice for browsers on tablets running Windows 8.
In a blog post, Mozilla explains that, on ARM-based devices, the only browser that will be allowed to run in Windows Classic mode will be Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer. No Firefox, no Chrome.
What’s weird is that it will be possible to use third-party browsers in the snazzy new Metro mode, just not in the classic Windows mode. Microsoft attorney David Heiner has explained that the company isn’t allowing other browsers because of the security and power needs of the ARM chips — which, apparently, only Microsoft can properly address. In Metro mode, at least.
All of which sounds rather dubious, and is reminiscent of Microsoft’s wranglings with the Department of Justice over monopolizing the browser market way back in the nineties.
Mozilla’s general counsel Harvey Anderson explained to CNET that “sometimes [Microsoft] need some pressure… If it turns out to be legal pressure, that could be the thing.” Whatever works, Harvey. Whatever works. [CNET via Wall Street Journal]
Update: Turns out Google isn’t happy, either, and has announced that it shares Mozilla’s concerns.