Browser choice: A thing of the past? | Internet & Media - CNET News (click for full article) "Like to pick your browser? Beware, because new mobile devices threaten to stifle the competitive vigor of the market for Web browsers on PCs. On personal computers running Windows, Macs, and Linux, you can pick from a variety of browsers, finding the best combination of user interface, performance, expansion, customization, and other attributes. There are real differences between browsers, and the shifting share of browser usage shows that millions of people aren't content with whatever came with their computers. IE6 security flaws getting you down? Firefox to the rescue! Firefox seeming bloated? Chrome to the rescue! Chrome invading your privacy? Try Opera! But on a host of devices ranging from today's iPhones to tomorrow's Windows RT tablets, though, things are very different. The idea that the browser is a feature of the operating system -- an idea Microsoft floated to defend against an antitrust attack in the 1990s regarding the link between Internet Explorer and Windows -- has boomeranged back. Although many new devices technically can accommodate other browsers besides those that come with the operating system, those third-party browsers won't always get the full privileges and thus power of the built-in browser. That restriction could well mean that the only opportunity you'll get to truly change browsers is when your two-year smartphone contract expires or you decide it's worth shelling out another few hundred dollars for a new tablet. The organization that cares the most about this matter is Mozilla, whose founding purpose is to keep the Web open and whose Firefox browser is today at a significant disadvantage when it comes to spreading beyond personal computers. "