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No Third-Party Code on the Windows on ARM Desktop

Peter Bright, Ars Technica:

The built-in Windows apps — including Explorer and Internet Explorer 10 — and four Office apps — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote — would run on the desktop, but nothing else would. Third-party applications would be prohibited, and there would be no provision to port existing desktop applications to run on the ARM desktop.

This led to an immediate, if somewhat surprising, reaction across the Internet. “But what about browser plugins? Will they also be forbidden?”

The answer to that is “Yes.” Or perhaps even “Yes, of course they are, since it was stated in unequivocal terms that there would be no provision to run third-party code on the desktop. That means you, Flash.”

So maybe I was right that Windows on ARM would go Metro-only — it’s just that they’ve made an exception for a few built-in apps from Microsoft itself. Why include desktop versions of Explorer and IE, though? Why include two different versions of IE if even the desktop version doesn’t allow plugins?

Also: this seems to suggest that the Office suite is included free-of-charge with Windows on ARM. That’s a pretty bold move considering how much money Microsoft makes from Office licensing.

Friday, 10 February 2012