Will Microsoft Squeeze Out These Internet Companies?

Many are questioning Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) monopolistic tendencies given the computer giant’s special version of Windows 8 for ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) notebooks and tablets. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Mozilla have voiced their concerns over the new platform, accusing Microsoft of anti-competitive practices.

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The accusations stem from Windows RT, an operating system that pushes the Metro interface rather than the relatively locked-down Windows Classic desktop, with browsers like Firefox and Chrome only allowed to run in the former. Both Mozilla and Google say the move is unfair, especially since Microsoft will have a Classic version of Internet Explorer.

According to Mozilla, the prospect of the next generation of Windows on ARM devices would limit users to one browser and represents the first step toward a new platform lock-in. Microsoft’s platform could be a barrier that becomes increasingly important for third-party developers.

Microsoft would give Internet Explorer special APIs that are absolutely necessary for building a modern browser, but it won’t provide them on other browsers on the ARM chips. This does not give other browsers the chance to compete with IE in terms of features of performance, according to a Mozilla spokesman. Both Mozilla and Google assert that Microsoft’s IE strategy damages user-experience and security on future Windows RT devices.

Without a doubt, Microsoft hopes that Windows RT will help its OEM partners better challenge Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. Windows RT is designed to be used through Metro UI, which will certainly prove competitive for the iPad and Android-based tablets.

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