webmonkey | By Scott Gilbertson
Mozilla is crying foul at Microsoft’s coming Windows 8, which will limit what third-party applications like Firefox can do on future Windows devices. The limitations in the coming Windows RT — Microsoft’s name for the flavor of Windows 8 specifically tailored to tablet-friendly ARM chips — mean that on ARM-based devices Microsoft’s Internet Explorer will enjoy privileged access not granted to other web browsers.
In a post on the Mozilla blog, Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s General Counsel, says that Windows RT’s restrictions signal “an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages.”
While Mozilla is already hard at work on a version of Firefox for Windows 8 on traditional PCs, Microsoft’s restrictions mean that there will be no similar version of Firefox for the new Windows RT.
The crux of Mozilla’s gripe is that in Windows RT Microsoft gives its own Internet Explorer access to special APIs other web browsers can’t use.