Summary: Microsoft will restrict third-party browsers like Firefox and Chrome to the Metro sandbox in Windows 8 for ARM devices, while treating Internet Explorer 10 as an "intrinsic feature" of Windows. Mozilla and its primary backer, Google, say that's not fair.
With Windows 8, is Microsoft returning to its monopolistic roots?
That's the question that Mozilla and Google seem to be asking this week. It's taken a few months, but it's finally dawned on both organizations that they won't be able to deliver desktop versions of their browsers in Windows RT, the forthcoming version of Windows 8 that will run on low-power ARM chips.
Both Mozilla and Google have announced plans to create "Metro style enabled desktop browsers" for Windows 8 on x86 and x64 platforms. Like Internet Explorer 10, those will be dual-personality products that will run on the Windows desktop and in the far more restrictive Metro environment. By contrast, Microsoft's own Internet Explorer 10 (and presumably later versions as well) will be the only browser that will run on the Windows RT desktop.