Microsoft has revealed the new Windows RT, a version of its OS that is optimized for ARM processors. Like the other versions of Windows 8, it will include both a Windows interface and a mobile layout option.
The system, which comes complete with MS Office 2010, has come under fire from both Mozilla and Google for the limits it places on web browsing.
In a Wednesday blog post, Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s general counsel, argued that “Windows on ARM – as currently designed – restricts user choice, reduces competition and chills innovation.”
“Windows on ARM prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer from running in the privileged ‘Windows Classic’ environment,” Anderson wrote. “In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed. Given that IE can run in Windows on ARM, there is no technical reason to conclude other browsers can’t do the same.”
Google released a statement echoing Mozilla’s concerns.
“We’ve always welcomed innovation in the browser space across all platforms and strongly believe that having great competitors makes us all work harder,” Google said. “In the end, consumers and developers benefit the most from robust competition.”
Microsoft has yet to release a statement on the controversy.