OC Platform Tilt: Tracking issues which disadvantage Firefox relative to first-party browsers on major software platforms

Mozilla:

This dashboard tracks technical issues in major software platforms which disadvantage Firefox relative to the first-party browser. We consider aspects like security, stability, performance, and functionality, and propose changes to create a more level playing field.

Further discussion on the live issues can be found in our platform-tilt issue tracker.

Announcement:

Browsers are the principal gateway connecting people to the open Internet, acting as their agent and shaping their experience. The central role of browsers has long motivated us to build and improve Firefox in order to offer people an independent choice. However, this centrality also creates a strong incentive for dominant players to control the browser that people use. The right way to win users is to build a better product, but shortcuts can be irresistible — and there’s a long history of companies leveraging their control of devices and operating systems to tilt the playing field in favor of their own browser.

This tilt manifests in a variety of ways. For example: making it harder for a user to download and use a different browser, ignoring or resetting a user’s default browser preference, restricting capabilities to the first-party browser, or requiring the use of the first-party browser engine for third-party browsers.

For years, Mozilla has engaged in dialog with platform vendors in an effort to address these issues. With renewed public attention and an evolving regulatory environment, we think it’s time to publish these concerns using the same transparent process and tools we use to develop positions on emerging technical standards. So today we’re publishing a new issue tracker where we intend to document the ways in which platforms put Firefox at a disadvantage and engage with the vendors of those platforms to resolve them.

This tracker captures the issues we experience developing Firefox, but we believe in an even playing field for everyone, not just us. We encourage other browser vendors to publish their concerns in a similar fashion, and welcome the engagement and contributions of other non-browser groups interested in these issues. We’re particularly appreciative of the efforts of Open Web Advocacy in articulating the case for a level playing field and for documenting self-preferencing.

People deserve choice, and choice requires the existence of viable alternatives. Alternatives and competition are good for everyone, but they can only flourish if the playing field is fair. It’s not today, but it’s also not hard to fix if the platform vendors wish to do so.

We call on Apple, Google, and Microsoft to engage with us in this new forum to speedily resolve these concerns.

douglasg14b,
@douglasg14b@lemmy.world avatar

Things like android Google apps not respecting the default browser infuriates me

github.com/mozilla/platform-tilt/issues/8

bdonvr,

It’s been a minute since I was on Android but can’t you uninstall/disable every other browser except Firefox as a workaround?

MonkderZweite,

Except Chrome and some preinstalled vendor bullshit. Neither can you change the default Chrome webview without root, despite there being cromite and geckoview.

bdonvr,

You can still disable preinstalled apps I thought?

MonkderZweite,

Only via adb or if they are so nice to allow it for the less important (to them) apps.

whs,

I have Chrome disabled without adb on my Sony and Pixel Tablet. I think adb is only needed if you’re uninstalling it completely.

tb_,
@tb_@lemmy.world avatar

Have you heard about Windows?

Ganbat,

Yes, love the name-and-shame, done respectfully of course.

Sibbo,

[Apple] App Store forbids third-party browser engines

This sounds like food for a major anti-trust lawsuit.

Hope at least EU cares for that.

TheGrandNagus,

Already taken care of, with the Digital Markets Act that’s coming into force soon.

QuaternionsRock,

The DMA does not require Apple to allow alternative browser engines to use JIT compilation, meaning that while they will be allowed, their performance will be crippled compared to WebKit.

lemmyvore,

It’s not so simple because Apple makes it part of a larger security policy which forbids all methods of running custom code on iOS, including emulators, browser engines, shell terminals, programming languages etc. It also makes an exception for teaching apps under certain conditions. So it’s not easy to argue that it’s maliciously aimed specifically at subverting browser competition.

Sibbo,

Sure, that’s very easy to argue. If they don’t want “anyone’s” software to run, then they need to offer a certification process. Without making that hilariously hard or expensive of course.

lemmyvore,

Why do they need to offer a certification process?

Sibbo,

Security can’t be a reason for locking out all competition.

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