Microsoft is releasing Windows 8 on October 26th 2012. What does this mean for the state of the web? According to Mozilla and Google, Microsoft is bringing the web back to the digital dark ages when there was only Internet Explorer available on the windows platform.
Microsoft is blocking API access to other applications, sound familiar? Microsoft pulled the same stunt with Netscape Navigator, which resulted in a major antitrust lawsuit. Windows 8 will limit third-party applications, meaning Internet Explorer will have privileges that other web browsers, like Firefox or Chrome, will not be granted. Mozilla claims this “reduces competition and chills innovation”, by giving Internet Explorer special API’s other browsers can not use, “there’s no way another browser can possibly compete with IE in terms of features or performance” claims Asa Dotzler from Mozilla. These restrictions is a violation of promises Microsoft made during the past antitrust lawsuit. Mozilla stated,
“we encourage Microsoft to remain firm on its user choice principles and reject the temptation to pursue a closed path.”
Google, the maker of the Chrome browser, added;
“We share the concerns Mozilla has raised regarding the Windows 8 environment restricting user choice and innovation. We’ve always welcomed innovation in the browser space across all platforms and strongly believe that having great competitors makes us all work harder. In the end, consumers and developers benefit the most from robust competition.”
Microsoft will have more challenges to overcome other than limiting web browser competitors, such as poor user reaction to the new Metro User Interface and the removal of the start button while in Metro. Many new and old user’s are disappointed in the new UI and unhappy by these input design changes. Will you buy Windows 8 or is Microsoft driving you to a MAC?