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Author Topic: Kiss Your Browser Goodbye - Windows 8 to BAN Firefox and Chrome  (Read 4702 times)
Renegade
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« on: May 16, 2012, 03:35:07 AM »

I can just hear the sinister laughter coming out of Redmond now...

http://thehackernews.com/...ting-system-will-ban.html

Quote
A new version of the Windows 8 operating system could shut out browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, according to Mozilla. Microsoft has been saying all along that x86 apps wouldn't run on Windows on ARM and it explicitly said there would be no third-party code on Windows RT when it announced the details of the platform back in February.

That's no plugins for IE on the Windows RT desktop as well as no desktop Firefox and Chrome. According to Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, Microsoft is planning to allow only one fully-functioning browser on Windows RT: Microsoft's own Internet Explorer. Writing on the Mozilla blog, Harvey Anderson, general counsel for the company, lashed out at Microsoft for the slight, and called the alleged move "an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages where users and developers didn’t have browser choices."

Guess MS is finally learning some lessons from Apple. tongue

I can't wait to divorce myself from my dependency on Windows... Sad  mad
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Deozaan
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 04:25:30 AM »

What the smurf is Windows RT?
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 04:27:12 AM »

Walled garden is not that bad but walled zoo is defo bad.  thumb down
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 05:15:41 AM »

What the smurf is Windows RT?
see here.
This only applies to the tablet/smartphone/whatever version of windows, where applications must be programmed using a specific language which is not what firefox is coded in. It's a situation not unlike what happens in android/ios, I'm not surprised. I would be worried if this were to happen on the "regular" desktop Windows.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 06:42:08 AM »

This only applies to the tablet/smartphone/whatever version of windows, where applications must be programmed using a specific language which is not what firefox is coded in. It's a situation not unlike what happens in android/ios, I'm not surprised. I would be worried if this were to happen on the "regular" desktop Windows.

+1 - I can't use FF on my current Windows 7 phone either ... So what exactly is "changing"? Sounds like chapter two of the Vista era FUD bashing fad is cranking up to me.  undecided
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daddydave
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 07:33:05 AM »

I love the way the teaser headline contradicts the article, extremely typical these days. In the future there will be no articles, only teaser headlines. That's the only part people remember when they retell the story anyway (present company excepted, of course).

A more accurate headline would be "There's still not an ARM version of Firefox, if anyone cares"
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wraith808
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 07:59:11 AM »

This only applies to the tablet/smartphone/whatever version of windows, where applications must be programmed using a specific language which is not what firefox is coded in. It's a situation not unlike what happens in android/ios, I'm not surprised. I would be worried if this were to happen on the "regular" desktop Windows.

+1 - I can't use FF on my current Windows 7 phone either ... So what exactly is "changing"? Sounds like chapter two of the Vista era FUD bashing fad is cranking up to me.  undecided

^ This.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 08:45:43 AM »

What a stupid article - Firefox and Chrome will run just fine on Windows 8 on a PC, laptop or x86 tablet (so long as you have access to the desktop).

It is only Win 8 on ARM devices that won't support alternative browsers - which Microsoft have said all along will not contain a desktop.

I suppose they could start selling an ARM version Firefox or Chrome app for Metro through Microsoft's App Store. If MS refuse to do that then I am sure a lawsuit would follow - which might have interesting repercussions for Apple and Safari on iOS.

Who cares anyway - is anyone going to actually buy a Metro tablet? I would guess anyone who wants a tablet has already opted for Apple or Android.

Forcing people to use Internet Explorer on tablets is another good reason to avoid Metro, and the lack of any third party addons kills it in the water. I think it says a lot for IE that in Windows 7 MS ask you constantly to disable addons to make it work faster. MS just can't write browsers!

Maybe MS will start giving them away with cornflakes to make their sales look good.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 08:48:15 AM »

Maybe MS will start giving them away with cornflakes to make their sales look good.
Yep, from what I understand, Nokia is now selling their top-of-the-line (windows) phone for 99USD in the US, which is pretty much the same Wink
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Renegade
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 09:02:49 AM »

Well, yeah, it's just Windows RT, but whatever. Sure there's no FF ARM version, but Mozilla has obviously been following what's going on there if they came out swinging like this.

And yes, some FUD there, but really... Can you possibly underestimate just how evil MS can be? tongue
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 09:06:04 AM »

I suppose they could start selling an ARM version Firefox or Chrome app for Metro through Microsoft's App Store. If MS refuse to do that then I am sure a lawsuit would follow - which might have interesting repercussions for Apple and Safari on iOS.

Why?  I never use safari on my iOS device.  Never have, never will.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 10:35:58 AM »

Sorry don't use iOS - but I thought the implications of the above comments was Safari lock-in - I apologise if I got that wrong.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »

Shame...oh wait...I use Opera...HA!  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

(Opera has ARM builds)  Wink

Either way...Windows & Apple are both dying a very funny death, and I don't expect either to be around for much longer now.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 10:48:08 AM »

Well if Microsoft makes Surface tablets in cheap cost, trust me i'll buy them. Right now they are super expensive and are suitable for cafes, artistic studios and for other expensive places. As for firefox taking shot on windows, it is obvious that because they're having trouble keeping market against webkit browsers. They have somehow managed to beat IE but chrome is beyond their playground now.

By the way if they make surface tablet with sync feature for office and games, I don't think Ipad hype will remain much. Game syncing between devices is currently apples court and unless microsoft or other tablet companies bring such a feature, Ipad will be hard to beat.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 02:38:07 PM »

I think not allowing 3rd party Win32 apps (hence FF and other browsers) on ARM tablets is a very stupid move from Microsoft. If recompiled, native Win32 applications worked on an ARM tablet, that would be a big advantage. Without it, why choose a Win8 ARM tablet over Android or iPad? I see no reason at all.
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wraith808
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2012, 03:51:07 PM »

I think not allowing 3rd party Win32 apps (hence FF and other browsers) on ARM tablets is a very stupid move from Microsoft. If recompiled, native Win32 applications worked on an ARM tablet, that would be a big advantage. Without it, why choose a Win8 ARM tablet over Android or iPad? I see no reason at all.

Win32 apps have never worked on ARM on any of the Microsoft mobile platforms.  I'm not sure why this non-issue is such an issue.  Mozilla made Firefox home on iOS which definitely required development- if they want a browser on the platform, then port their browser to the platform.  It would be different if they said that no 3rd party browsers are allowed, but that's not what this is saying.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2012, 04:46:52 PM »

So how come Firefox works on Android? Aren't all Android devices ARM devices? huh

I am confuzzled.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2012, 04:59:42 PM »

Presumably Android is open so you can install what you like. I presume Firefox is annoyed that any install will have to be approved by MS through their app store and I guess getting approval is going to be expensive (if MS's past track record on that sort of thing is anything to go by). Also one of the major strengths of Firefox is extensibility - I presume since MS is not going to allow any extensions in IE then any app in the store is likely to haveto adhere to the same principle.
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2012, 05:16:42 PM »

Win32 apps have never worked on ARM on any of the Microsoft mobile platforms.  I'm not sure why this non-issue is such an issue. ...

I am not saying it is an issue, I am just saying it is missed opportunity for Microsoft.

While Microsoft does not ban 3rd party web browsers on ARM devices, those browsers (unlike IE) would have to run in a WinRT sandbox. They'll be like 2nd class citizens compared to IE.
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wraith808
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2012, 06:26:42 PM »

So how come Firefox works on Android? Aren't all Android devices ARM devices? huh

I am confuzzled.

It's an OS level issue.  Consider that Google made the Android OS on the Linux kernel but for mobile devices (helped by the fact that pure Linux has been used in such applications) and that Windows doesn't fit on mobile devices (the mobile environment has always been on a different kernel) and you start to see the difference.  I doubt that Windows could be stripped down enough to make it mobile.

While Microsoft does not ban 3rd party web browsers on ARM devices, those browsers (unlike IE) would have to run in a WinRT sandbox. They'll be like 2nd class citizens compared to IE.

Will it necessarily be a WinRT sandbox, or is this just bad information disseminated without knowledge of what it really means?  Microsoft is building WOA (windows on ARM), which will support the same WinRT APIs, in addition to having a commonality with Windows on Intel and AMD.  (1)  They haven't stated whether you can even build for WOA without using WinRT, but it seems so from that blog post- MS is just minimizing word of it in favor of WinRT, which only makes sense from their perspective as changing platforms is a big deal and they want total buy in (and seem to be muscling people to get it).  I don't agree with this approach, but I can understand it from a business perspective.
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vlastimil
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« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2012, 04:49:00 AM »

Yes, Microsoft's position is understandable, but I still do not think it is a smart move from them. At this moment, Win32 is still the biggest competitive advantage Microsoft's Windows has over any other OS. Microsoft is victim of its own success. Yes, Win32 is old, it is sometimes painful to use, but it gets the job done and there are countless developers knowing how to create Win32 applications.

Microsoft feels they are slipping behind, because the API of other OSes look so much more modern. They are desperately trying to create a new platform/API to replace Win32. The .net experiment did not succeed, it is now 10 years since it was introduced and there is still no .net-only OS for .net apps. Almost every larger .net desktop application is PInvoking something and would not work in a Win32-free environment...

And now, Microsoft gives the new API/platform another shot with WinRT. While I applaud them they do not want to force a garbage collector on everyone anymore, and WinRT may be a good API, I do not believe they have a good position and marketing power to push it through this way. Developers would have to learn a new API in order to be able to write applications for ARM Windows 8 tablets. If I want to learn a new API, why not make something for Android instead? The Windows brand is strong, but without Win32 backing it up, it may not be enough.
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wraith808
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« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2012, 06:49:40 AM »

The .net experiment did not succeed, it is now 10 years since it was introduced and there is still no .net-only OS for .net apps.

This, I don't get.  I don't think there is a failed experiment there, nor was there the intent for a .net only OS.  They never made that push like they are for WinRT.  Not so sure it is just about the API either; it seems more a function of the functionality of the OS, and how they see that to have a successful tablet, they apparently need to go the Apple route.  They tried the Linux/Android route several times, and Windows just isn't meant to be a tablet OS.  Having never used an Android device, I'm not even sure how they pulled it off as Linux is very much more keyboard oriented than Windows, so hats off to them.  But if Microsoft has tried it twice and failed miserably both times, then why would they try the same thing again?
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2012, 12:00:21 PM »

Owning platforms in in Microsoft blood, it is their core business. Microsoft more or less owned the DOS platform and made a successful switch to Win32 in the nineties. When the computing power reached the threshold to make windowing OS possible, Microsoft was there with a decent product.

In 2002, Microsoft introduced .net and decided to push it very hard (I was attending a conference back then and it was obvious). They even used the Visual Studio.net name instead of Visual Studio 7 confusing many developers. It is my understanding that their goal was to make another switch, this time from Win32 to .net and then own the .net environment. But that did not happen, there is no obvious advantage of .net over win32 (and some people, including me, still consider Win32 a better choice due to compatibility).

And now, we are seeing another attempt to introduce a new API and replace Win32 with WinRT. If Android and iOS did not exist, Microsoft would have a good chance of succeeding and establishing WinRT as the next API. But they missed the right time. When the computing power and efficiency allowed feasible tablets, Microsoft was not there with the right product. Someone else was.
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