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Browsers on Windows RT: It's a tough antitrust case to make

It's a good thing legal action is Mozilla's "last resort" for resolving its disagreement with Microsoft over bringing Firefox to the upcoming Windows RT, because it's likely a difficult antitrust case to make.

That's because Windows RT, the version of the operating system geared for devices using ARM processors, is a different beast than conventional Windows running on traditional x86 processors. Microsoft's present rules would hobble non-IE browsers on Windows RT, but the company's market power is with Windows on x86 chips.

ARM chips dominate today's smartphone and tablet devices running … Read more

Why Mozilla believes Firefox on Windows RT is a bust

Technically, Microsoft hasn't banned non-IE browsers in Windows RT, the forthcoming Windows 8 version for machines with ARM processors. But as Mozilla sees it, Microsoft may as well have.

Why? Because Microsoft permits only its own software to use a restricted set of Windows interfaces. This means Firefox and other browsers don't get access to the same application programming interfaces (APIs), which in turn means they don't get the same abilities and will effectively be crippled, said Mozilla spokesman and longtime participant Asa Dotzler.

"Without these APIs, it is not possible to build a modern Web … Read more

Google agrees with Mozilla's Windows RT browser concerns

Google has joined Mozilla in its attempt to push Microsoft to permit full-fledged browsers other than Internet Explorer on Windows RT, its operating system geared for devices running ARM processors.

Mozilla objects to Microsoft decisions that, it says, prevent it from bringing a competitive version of Firefox to Windows RT. Other browsers don't get access to the same operating system abilities that IE10 gets, recalling browser battles from earlier years that ultimately triggered government antitrust actions in the United States and Europe.

Now Google, maker of the Chrome browser, has weighed in:

We share the concerns Mozilla has raised … Read more

Microsoft bans Firefox on ARM-based Windows, Mozilla says

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Microsoft muscles aside other browsers and cements the dominance of Internet Explorer. The browser market, deprived of competition, stagnates.

That, of course, is what happened during the first browser war of the 1990s and beyond, on personal computers. Today, Mozilla's top lawyer warned that Microsoft's behavior threatens a repeat of history, because it's telling Mozilla that it's barring Firefox from forthcoming Windows 8 machines that use ARM processors.

"They're trying to make a new version of their operating system which denies their users choice, competition, … Read more

IE continues to rebound in browser market

The reversal of Internet Explorer's ill fortunes appears less likely to be a fluke with the release of April statistics for Web browser usage.

Net Applications' global browser statistics, updated today, showed the top browser reclaiming a sliver of usage from its rivals, growing from 53.8 percent in March to 54.1 percent of usage in April on personal computers.

The top rivals kept their rankings overall. No. 2. Firefox held dropped from 20.6 percent to 20.2 percent; Chrome rose from 18.6 percent to 18.9 percent; Safari dropped from 5.1 percent to 4.… Read more

IE10 in Windows 8: Can pinned Web sites truly replace Favorites?

Internet Explorer users accustomed to working with Favorites will find life a bit different in the new Windows 8 Metro version of the browser.

The desktop flavor of IE10 still lets you create Favorites to manage your Web sites, but the Metro edition does away with such legacy options. Instead, you're given the option of pinning often-used Web sites, as described in a new Microsoft blog. Pinning a site places a tile for it on both the Metro Start screen and in the browser when you click in the address bar.

That process sounds convenient in theory. No more … Read more

IE10 in Windows 8: Metro style vs. desktop style

For better or worse, IE10 is one of those Windows 8 apps with a split personality--part Metro and part desktop. Microsoft dubs it a "Metro style enabled desktop browser," which means that technically it's a single app that offers two different "experiences."

That sounds cool in theory. But in reality, bouncing back and forth between the Metro browser and the desktop browser can be clumsy and jarring. Both flavors do share the same history list, but otherwise there's a lack of consistency and standardization between the two.

I like the design of the Metro … Read more

See where you've browsed with MozillaHistoryView

NirSoft's MozillaHistoryView reads the history DAT file in Mozilla-based Web browsers such as Firefox as well as Netscape and displays your browsing history under a wide range of useful column headings. The built-in History feature in the latest version of Firefox also displays lots of useful information, it's true. But you must have Firefox open to use it. MozillaHistoryView is a standalone tool that reads history DAT files directly, whether your browser is open or not. You can save and export the data in various ways, too. The program also gives you greater flexibility in accessing multiple browser … Read more

Microsoft to world: You will browse Metro-style, or else

Think of it as Microsoft's version of a good-news, bad-news joke. The good news: Its upcoming IE10 browser for Windows 8 will come in two flavors--one a streamlined, "Metro-style" program designed to resemble a smartphone or tablet app, the other a more standard desktop browser.

The bad news? Microsoft's upcoming IE10 browser for Windows 8 will come in two flavors--one a streamlined, "Metro-style" program designed to resemble a smartphone or tablet app, the other a more standard desktop browser.

In other words, everyone who wants to use IE10 will have to choose which flavor … Read more

Microsoft stresses 'beauty' in new IE9 ad. Sure beats vomit

I confess to have become browser-bored. I have a feeling that Chrome might be the best, but I don't use it because it seems like Google is trying to trap me in a vortex of Googlephilia. Don't they have enough pieces of me already?

I use Firefox (I know, I know), because, oh, they seem like nice people. They're even nice when it crashes, which is more than I'd like it to.

Then there's Internet Explorer. It seems to have been around since PCs were worth using, without ever seeming terribly interesting.

So the advent … Read more