Microsoft seems to have ruffled a few feathers with its plans for browsers on Windows RT. Mozilla blasted the company over being unable to produce a fully working browser, restricted instead to the Metro interface and guidelines, while Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer would be able to run on Metro and the classic desktop interface. Google also voiced concerns, and now the US Senate Judiciary Committee will review the arguments to see if there’s any merit.
Mozilla argues that the proposed browser plans for Windows RT are anticompetitive, and it looks like those complaints haven’t gone unnoticed. Senator Herb Kohl, an aide Chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee, has confirmed that the Committee will be looking into the allegations, but there are no formal plans to launch an antitrust investigation right now.
Mozilla took to its blog last week in order to detail its exact complaints with the system. “On ARM chips, Microsoft gives IE access special APIs absolutely necessary for building a modern browser that it won’t give to other browsers so there’s no way another browser can possibly compete with IE in terms of features or performance.” Internet Explorer would gain access to both desktop and Metro APIs, while other browsers would be restricted to just Metro.
Despite this, Mozilla has committed to creating a Metro version of the Firefox browser for Windows RT, and Google has confirmed it will be doing the same with Chrome. Whether the two companies will be able to hook into those crucial desktop APIs remains to be seen.