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Where can I find Firefox or Chrome for Win8 RT? I checked both google.com/chrome and firefox.com, but they seem to only have x86 version of the browser, but not ARM.

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MS doesn't allow it. But there is a jailbreak tool: forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2092158 to run unsigned desktop applications. Wait if someone ports the Firefox code to ARM. –  magicandre1981 Mar 21 '13 at 4:58
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5 Answers

Neither is available as MS won't allow third-party apps full access to the system. This blog post from Mozilla outlines their objections to this policy.

It’s reported that Windows RT (the name Microsoft has given to Windows running on the ARM processor) will have two environments, a Windows Classic environment and a Metro environment for apps. However, Windows on ARM prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer from running in the privileged “Windows Classic” environment. 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.

From Firefox

Does Firefox work on Windows RT?

Firefox is not available for Windows RT.

From Google

(Chrome won’t run in WinRT, i.e. Windows 8 on ARM processors, as Microsoft is not allowing browsers other than Internet Explorer on the platform.)

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This is not correct. Firefox and Google have full access to the Windows RT API and have no need to use the desktop. –  Michael Jun 27 '13 at 4:12
    
@Michael the OP was if there was an alternative browser available not could one be written. If you would like to provide an answer to that question please feel free to do so. As it stands my I feel my answer is not only correct but provide factual links to back up that. –  Brad Patton Jun 27 '13 at 19:49
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In short, the Windows RT only supports applications written using Windows RT API and that prevents using C/C++ programming languages. Unfortunately, any real world web browser is written in C or C++, including Microsoft Internet Explorer. Luckily for Microsoft, they can bend the rules and MSIE does work on Windows RT. In theory, some other browser written using only RT API could work but nobody is willing to create one (performance would suck and it would cost a fortune). –  Mikko Rantalainen Jul 3 '13 at 11:51
    
@MikkoRantalainen: It is my understanding that using C++/COM is possible in WinRT, and you can also make use of the Windows Runtime Library (WRL). See the "Don't care for the component extensions?" section of this article. –  Karan Jul 3 '13 at 15:05
    
@Mikko: Hmm. There are two versions of IE on Windows RT - one is the desktop version that no-one uses, and there is a Windows RT one that goes through the RT api. So it's not a matter of closing an API for MS only. –  Isaac Abraham Aug 17 '13 at 19:30
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There is no real technical reason or Windows Store rules preventing Google or Firefox from bringing their browser to Windows RT. They have full access to the Windows RT API and have no reason to even need to access the desktop on Windows RT.

I also didn't hear Firefox or Google whine when they couldn't write a browser for iOS.

I really wish these browser companies would just stop whining about every choice Microsoft makes already.

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Mozilla/Firefox did whine but it didn't help: venturebeat.com/2013/03/10/mozilla-firefox-ios - Google did, too, and in the end released "Chrome" for iOS but that's really only a UI wrapper for iOS webkit (the Safari variant by Apple). –  Mikko Rantalainen Jul 3 '13 at 11:55
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The real technical reason is that VirtualAlloc function is not part of Windows RT API, and this function is vital for implementing JIT compiler. No JIT = slow JavaScript engine = unusable browser. –  Maratyszcza Jul 22 '13 at 5:52
    
However somehow Microsoft is able to do it with Metro IE that runs under the same rules as everyone else. –  Michael Feb 25 at 5:32
    
@Michael care to point to source that claims that Metro IE plays under the same rules as everyone else? –  Mikko Rantalainen Mar 31 at 11:18
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IE is the only browser to be provided access to the Desktop on Windows RT, and most probably as long as MS doesn't attain a monopoly in the market with WOA (Windows on ARM), this state of affairs will continue.

At this point it is unclear whether WinRT APIs solely without access to Desktop mode can enable creation of any other browser for WOA. Interestingly I did find UC BrowserHD that can run on ARM and thus WinRT, but I don't know whether it's just a "skin" for the IE Trident engine (couldn't find details on its site). I'll look into it further and perhaps try it myself, but if it's truly an independent browser for WinRT then that's quite an achievement and most likely the first of its kind.

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The main reason that there are no other browsers is that other browser companies would have to recreate both their browser's UI and their browser's engine, since they are not given permission to access the desktop, and also since C++ isn't compatible with WinRT. I personally find it really ironic that their less-powerful and less-popular Windows Phone 8 is compatible with the more advanced C++, however WinRT isn't.

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There is a browser called UC browser that looks a lot like Firefox. I think that it would be a good alternative for you.

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