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Question

Do you care if IE is the only Win 8 Browser?

by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 8:40 AM PDT

In the news is Microsoft locking down WOA (Windows On ARM) to disallow any browser other than IE.

That's not entirely true but MSFT is not going to share the API or system calls that will give them an edge in IE.

This issue was in the courts before and frankly I'm a bit surprised MSFT is about to repeat history.

But then I'm getting vibes that the only way to install apps on Windows 8 on ARM products will be through MSFT's App Store and no where else.

Bob

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All Answers

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Answer
No
by TWB404 / May 12, 2012 12:22 PM PDT

The main reason is that I will not be getting a tablet or anything else that runs Win RT. More to the point I just will not be getting a tablet or what they claim is a phone that is smart. Smart Phone, now that is a oxymoron. lol

To the point about this being in the courts once already. That case concerned the desktop version when there was no competition in the OS arena. This is going to be about the tablets and what they call smart phones. If they take M$ to court they will also have to take A$ and maybe even G$. I do not own an iPad but it is my understanding that they keep a real tight grip on what gets installed and the only browser for it is Safari. Maybe someone else can verify that for us. Personally, I think M$ could help itself by opening up and allowing other browser. That could be a marketing tool for them. At last, we know M$ to well to expect that.

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Answer
I saw that
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 8:35 PM PDT

and was a bit surprised about it considering the anti-trust battles MS have had before with bundling IE into their earlier OS.

But then your vibes makes sense if they are considering emulating Apple and restricting apps to their own App store.

Firefox and other browsers can be installed on Windows 8 PCs, (but Firefox at least doesn't work properly yet), but that would be of little use to those who have tablets or smart phones.

Mark

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Answer
Taking a wait and see
by Jimmy Greystone / May 12, 2012 10:20 PM PDT

Taking a wait and see approach here, knowing how the tech media can often be a bit... Inaccurate, in their rush to get a story out, and as I recall this whole thing was kicked off by a Mozilla developer.

Basically I'd be very surprised if Microsoft's lawyers thought this wouldn't bring fresh regulatory oversight down on them. Just because the oversight from the original antitrust case may have ended recently doesn't mean that fresh charges won't be dropped on them if they try it again. At least if Obama wins the upcoming election, and I doubt Microsoft would be feeling that confident about a Republican winning office to risk the business like this.

Granted I'm not really sure how Apple gets away with a lot of the stuff it pulls. It's a near total vertical supplier, and regularly rejects apps from the iOS app store that might in some way compete with the stock programs supplied by Apple. So given that Microsoft may be a dominate player, but can't really dictate terms in quite the same fashion as Apple can and does every day might have them feeling a little better about their odds.

Still, I'm waiting to see some kind of confirmation of this coming from Microsoft. As big a fan of Mozilla as I am, they have cried wolf a few times in the past on things like this. If it turns out to be true, then I hope regulators land on them with everything they've got, and hopefully this time there won't be a change in political parties at the last minute that lets Microsoft get off with barely even a slap on the wrist. I'd also like to see those same regulators land on Apple with equal force. However, I still remain skeptical of the claims until I see some kind of proof and/or confirmation from Microsoft. Which may well already be out there, I haven't really followed this particular story closely since it was first reported early on in the week.

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Answer
Covering all bases
by Willy / May 13, 2012 12:45 AM PDT

If this proves true or becomes implemented, then challenges are bound to happen. I find it very hard to see why some things are done when the overall purpose is nothing but a control grab which ultimately never serves the user or public at large well. Harrowing days are ahead and Win8 world maybe nothing more than sealing all holes now and in the future. Odd, when you think back that MS got its start "borrowing" its OS from someone else when being presented to IBM, long ago.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Answer
Do you care if IE is the only Win 8 Browser?
by baybreeze / May 13, 2012 4:11 AM PDT

At this point, I don't care since I doubt I would ever use Windows 8. From using the beta, to reading all the reviews, etc, I don't think I ever want to use Win 8. I would have used it primarily on a desktop and laptop and since it's geared more towards tablets and phones, I have no interest in it. I hate the user interface, I don't want to have to do a bunch more steps to do certain things, and I do not have touch enabled desktops or laptops. I will be buying a couple extra copies of Win 7 in hopes that I can install them on any new laptops or desktops I might buy in the next few years. Yes, I hear that Win 8 seems to be awesome on phones and tablets, but I prefer either Android or Apple phones and tablets. In the future, if Win 8 is the only option, I might end up going with Linux or Apple instead.

However, If I could only use Win 8, yes, I would certainly care if IE was the only browser available. As it is now, I don't care much for IE. I normally use Firefox or Chrome. I find both of these work much quicker for me. I seem to have too many issues with IE. I even have a bunch of add-ons in Firefox and it still works much quicker. I like to have several browsers available because I have found that if one isn't responding or is working too slow, a different one will have no problems at all.

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Answer
Ruht-Rho
by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2012 7:21 AM PDT

According to some blurb on Slashdot, it seems as if the Senate Judiciary committee is planning to investigate the anti-competitive implications of this move by Microsoft.

With any luck, Microsoft will be able to at least get Apple in the crosshairs for the same behavior.

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Hmm
by dc_2000 / May 14, 2012 8:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Ruht-Rho

WinRT will have the same popularity as Windows phones (translation: no one will care about it.) Thus, I absolutely don't care what browser they will put on it.

Windows was only popular because of their previous success, or I should probably say, because competition was asleep at the wheel .... now they latch on to a larger market share only because of the corporate world that is slow to respond. (Many are still running Windows XP family software.) Things will go downhill pretty rapidly for Microsoft when they release Windows 8 and abandon Windows XP, let alone Windows 7 and a familiar Windows architecture -- i.e. Start button, control panel, x86 and x64 apps.

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While I agree
by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2012 9:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmm

While I agree with you in the short-term, it does set kind of a dangerous precedent. What if WinRT really takes off providing that kind of happy medium between the ridiculously expensive iPad and the seemingly perpetual not-quite-there-yet Android in the tablet market? Maybe that in turn drives a lot of attention towards WinRT on smartphones, and pretty soon Microsoft is a significant player in these markets.

Then you'd have Microsoft AND Apple both putting rather severe restrictions on the software that can go onto these devices. It's one thing if Tom, ****, and Harry all choose to use IE on WinRT, it's quite another if they don't even have a real option to use anything else.

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:)
by dc_2000 / May 14, 2012 10:25 AM PDT
In reply to: While I agree

Yeah, it may take off like RIM's BlackBerry...

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You never know
by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2012 10:55 AM PDT
In reply to: :)

You never know. Windows 8 has been getting a lot of cautiously optimistic reviews. Besides, it's not like the Metro UI is completely replacing the old Windows UI... But then Windows95, which introduced the whole Start button concept and for all intents and purposes the Windows UI as we know it now, was a pretty big departure from the days of Windows 1.x-3.x with the Program Manager. Somehow the world failed to end for Microsoft back then.

And lest we forget, when Windows XP came out, everyone was complaining about how slow and bloated it was. That a bunch of programs didn't work, and for a lot of people that was their first introduction to the concept of user accounts, file permissions, and a lot of other security measures. There were a lot of privacy concerns about this new activation thing... Yet now XP is the OS that some people claim will be pried from their cold dead fingers.

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Something else to consider
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 14, 2012 8:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Hmm

While old timer desktop/PC users like us may not like the new Metro style, new users who purchase smart phones and tablets with Win 8 installed will get used to it quickly, and if they ever move on to larger computers they may have no problem adjusting.

I wonder if that has some bearing on what Microsoft are doing.

Mark

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