So, Mozilla and Google are upset because Firefox and Chrome won’t be able to run on Windows RT. But isn’t that obvious? For all the talk of “no compromises” out of Redmond, that’s exactly what Windows RT is: a compromise.
It’s a less-powerful version of Windows 8 that needs to be more tightly controlled to be able to run on less powerful ARM chips. Again, that means compromises. One of them is apparently browser control.
And Microsoft can probably do this because they’re a total non-player in the tablet space right now. While Mozilla and Google obviously think this should fall under the “browser choice” antitrust stuff from the 90s, this is clearly different. Windows RT is not going to have a monopoly over the market in any way, shape, or form. At least not anytime soon.
John Gruber brings up a good question:
What if Windows 8 for ARM, instead of being called “Windows RT”, were instead called, say, “Metro OS”? Would that make a difference? Is Dotzler arguing that Microsoft should not be permitted to ship a version of Windows that locks out third-party browsers, or that Microsoft should not be permitted to ship any OS that locks out third-party browsers?
In light of what Apple has done with iOS, it’s not clear how you can actually make the second argument. As such, it would be humorous if Microsoft continuing to use the “Windows” brand (even when they probably shouldn’t) came back to bit them in the ass here (but I don’t think it actually will).