Home Mozilla Director Says Apple Trying to “Bypass the Web”

Mozilla Director Says Apple Trying to “Bypass the Web”

As we noted earlier this morning, Apple’s Mac Store guidelines have been revealed, including the long list of apps Apple plans to reject. While some developers will jump at the chance for exposure a Mac App Store provides, not everyone in the industry is happy about the news – least of all, Mozilla Firefox chief Mike Beltzner. For him, Apple’s version of a desktop-based Mac App Store is especially disturbing.

In fact, Beltzner accused Apple as attempting to “bypass the Web” altogether.

After hearing Steve Jobs speak at the press conference, Beltzner tweeted, “I wonder when Apple will stop shipping Safari. It’s obvious already from today’s keynote that they’re looking to bypass the web.”

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I wonder when Apple will stop shipping Safari. It’s obvious already from today’s keynote that they’re looking to bypass the web.less than a minute ago via Tweetie for MacMike Beltzner

The Mac App Store news comes only a day after Mozilla itself announced its own “open Web app store” – a move we recently called promising.

In Mozilla’s vision, the open Web “is a great platform for rich applications.” More importantly, perhaps, open Web apps are built using standards, and “can be distributed by developers directly to users without any gatekeeper…”

While obviously Mozilla is talking “Web” and Apple is talking “desktop,” the two visions are diametrically opposed.

In Apple’s case, the company plans to reject the buggy, the betas, apps built with Java, apps with Easter eggs, apps that aggregate content, apps that duplicate Apple’s own apps, apps that contain pornography, violence, promote drinking and drugs, and so on. Yes, Apple plans to reject a lot of apps in its vision of curation.

Says Beltzner, pointing to the somewhat onerous guidelines: “these Mac OS X App Store requirements are not going to work well with Mozilla’s ‘open beta’ development process.”

More Complaints

Beltzner is not alone with his misgivings. John Battelle, journalist and founder of Federated Media (disclosure: FM is a ReadWriteWeb partner), is none too pleased with the new guidelines either, saying, “I’m not holding out much hope for the Mac continuing to be a computer in any real sense of the word. You know, where a computer means you have choices as to what apps you run on it, what apps get developed for it, and how you express yourself using it.”

He even says that Apple’s rules could have him leaving the Mac platform for good: “If anything, ever, will make me leave Mac for good…it will be the integration of the Mac OS into Steve Jobs’ vision of where mobile is going.”


But Apple supporters will tell you all this bellyaching is just an overreaction: Apple isn’t going to stop shipping a Web browser or preventing the installation of alternative browsers like Firefox and Chrome. The Mac App Store will just offer a curated selection of apps, making it easier for Mac users to find great apps to try.

Apps will still exist on the Web for download and Apple won’t prevent you from using the apps you want on your own computer… At least, that’s what we’re hoping.

What do you think?

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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