Old Habits Or New Envy? Microsoft Bans 3rd Party Browsers On Windows RT
from the antitrust-bells? dept
However, a war of words is brewing between Microsoft and Mozilla over the fact that Microsoft is effectively banning native third party browsers on Windows RT -- which will effectively become the "mobile device" version of Windows. On top of that, the company apparently is blocking the use of certain APIs that would be useful -- and which Microsoft's own browser will be able to use.
It's easy to assume nefarious intent on the part of Microsoft, but reading through the details, it feels more like a case where Microsoft is growing jealous of Apple's control over the iPhone platform, and is effectively looking to do some of the same with its next generation mobile offering. I think that's pretty short-sighted. Denying third party browsers may have worked for now, for Apple, but that's driven (in large part) by the larger than life infatuation with Apple products. I'm not sure any other company can pull it off -- especially Microsoft.
The way to compete with Apple is to attack where it's weakest -- and that's by being more open. Instead, it looks like (in typical Microsoft fashion) Microsoft has decided to try to attack Apple by copying where Apple is strongest -- in its walled garden. And, in the process, the company may end up setting off some antitrust alarm bells. Oh, and also, along the way, it will severely hurt its own platform by limiting the types of useful innovations that others might provide. That doesn't seem like a very smart business plan.