Microsoft’s Windows 8 Released: Only Compatible with Internet Explorer 10 on ARM


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Microsoft Windows 8 User Interface

Is Microsoft pushing out the competition with the new Windows 8 user interface? Image by Microsoft Sweden

Windows 8 was finally released on October 26, 2012, and it’s clear that the long-awaited operating system from Microsoft is completely different from any previous versions.

What’s the big difference?

For one, it only works with IE 10. Computers with Windows 8 automatically come with Internet Explorer version 10.

Microsoft has now confirmed that no earlier versions of the program will work with the operating system, and that only the Internet Explorer browser will work on Windows RT for ARM (for mobile or tablet devices).

Google and Mozilla Angry at the Development

In February 2012, Microsoft decided that only apps that used the Windows RT code would be able to work on the ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) version and confirmed this decision in May, 2012. These apps would only be available through the Windows Store, and so many companies worked on creating Windows RT-friendly apps, known as Metro apps. However, both Mozilla and Google accused Microsoft of withholding the APIs to make the software.

Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s General council, stated that Microsoft’s choice “restricts user choice, reduces competition and chills innovation” in a blog post on the Mozilla website. Google agreed with this.

Users Must Have Internet Explorer 10

It is not just Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and other alternative browser users who will suffer from this policy. Microsoft has only released the APIs for Internet Explorer 10, and no other form of Internet Explorer will be available for the ARM version of Windows 8. This decision severely limits user choice, including those who prefer older versions of the browser.

Mozilla and Google are taking steps to develop browsers that will run on Windows 8, and may submit them to the Windows Store, but Microsoft has noted that only one browser will run at once on the modern system.

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