The European Union is investigating Microsoft on the counts of its shutting out of other browsers in Windows 8.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 Browser Exclusivity Under EU Scrutiny
The European Union (EU) has expressed concern regarding the seemingly unfair treatment of other browsers in Windows 8. As we already know by now, Windows 8 treats Internet Explorer 10 (Metro) as king and the rest are second class citizens who have to hack their way in almost. Microsoft has built IE10 right in to Metro so that the experience is seamless. But the EU thinks it might be putting the rival browsers at an unfair disadvantage.
Rival software makers (which includes the likes of Google, Apple as well as Mozilla and Opera) have apparently complained to the EU for an antitrust suite against Microsoft for Windows 8. The initial report came out of Reuters earlier today. In the complaint, Microsoft has been accused of willfully shutting out other browsers in favor of its own IE10 on Windows 8 RT specifically.
Windows 8 RT is the ARM-based version of Windows 8 that is designed primarily to run on tablets and has a lot of limitations compared to the full Windows 8 OS. It has been designed this way to perform smoothly on tablets but then that’s what the official reason says. The rivals claim that they have not been given full access to necessary API’s by Microsoft so that they can build their own alternatives for Windows 8 RT. API stands for Application Programming Interface and it is essentially to have access to them for a program to work normally and communicate with other programs and the OS.
Currently, rival browsers can only run on the Desktop mode on Windows 8 and Metro is a walled garden as of now. Also, lacking the proper APIs also means not being able to take advantage of some of the best features in Windows 8, thereby being at a disadvantage by default against IE10.