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Opera files antitrust complaint with the EU

 1:14 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer.




 5:56 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

This story is geting some major attention! See this Wired News article: Opera Opens New Round in Browser Battles [news.wired.com]


 8:07 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

These days, Opera is stronger on making browsers for mobile devices, an area where Microsoft is not a major player.

I wonder why...


Microsoft said Internet Explorer has been a part of Windows for more than a decade and supported a wide range of Web standards.

Dear Bill,

What's wrong with the idea of supporting all of the web standards?

Yours sincerely
C/- Teh Interwebs


 9:01 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I hope this gets some real attention. Choice needs to be absolutely fair; meaning Microsoft includes Internet Explorer installers then they must include installers for others*. And while they're at it; force them to support all browsers for Microsoft Windows Update.
* No sarcasm included. Fair treatment means no favouritism towards Internet Explorer at all, not in any way.

[edited by: vincevincevince at 9:15 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2007]


 9:07 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Choice needs to be absolutely fair; meaning Microsoft includes Internet Explorer installers then they must include installers for all the others.

I assume you are being sarcastic - don't forget, MS should also have installers for *nix bundled w/Windows and coupons for free IBM servers.


 9:26 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Choice needs to be absolutely fair; meaning Microsoft includes Internet Explorer installers then they must include installers for others.

Umm, why? Why can't Opera just create their own operating system and sell it/distribute it the way they think "is fair"?


 9:34 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not that I think that MS or Uncle Bill are saints or anything, and believe me I don't, but I'm starting to get really tired with this presumption that MS is required to make their OS support systems that are part of the open source community. It's not like we are totally controlled by MS.

I have FF and Opera running on my PC, and at no time during their installation did Windows try to stop me from doing it. This victim behavior from Opera is just...infantile.

FF is popular because PEOPLE decided to use it, and tell other people how cool it was. Webusers and consumers are the deciding factor, and putting it in the hands of a Government agency is just dumb. When we let the Government into the internet, we get NET NEUTRALITY.

When you go to McDonalds, and buy a burger, you cannot complain when they don't give you a turkey burger. You know that it brings pickles and onions and ketchup and mustard. Why? Cause that's the way they make them. I don't see people going out and accusing them of unfair practices, cause they won't use turkey in their burgers.

You don't HAVE to buy an MS Computer. Your not FORCED to. And before anybody comes up with the lame excuse we're forced to buy MS because of it's saturation in the market, EVERYBODY and their sister create documents, spreadsheets, presentation and database programs that work with, or independently of MS. If Google can do it, so can they.

I'm jaded in this issue. I make a really good product that are up to my standards, which are very high. When someone starts shouting that I have unfair practices because I don't use their product in mine, that's just dumb. I use what I use and too bad. If my customer wants your component in my product, they are more than welcome to install it. I don't offer the service.


 10:56 pm on Dec 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is a bunch of cry baby nonsense.

Firefox is making inroads and shows up as a reasonably popular browser on my website.

Here's my non-MSIE browser stats:

Firefox 19%
Safari 8%
Opera 1%

That's taken from a sampling of over 20K visitors/day.

Just get over it Opera, you lost the race and litigation isn't the way into the hearts and minds of web surfers. Take a clue from Firefox and go after the hearts and minds of the people and maybe you'll make a dent.

I think the easiest way for Opera to take root would to maybe do a branding deal with Yahoo since Google already pushes Firefox.


 4:07 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

The article about this in the tech section of the NYTimes today mentioned a similar suit brought over the inclusion of Windows Media player.
Guess what? Microsoft lost the case.
But keep on guessing because the judge's remedy was making Microsoft sell a version of Windows without Media Player included. MS complied and marketed a version called Windows Edition N without Media Player which, of course, nobody bought.

Legally, it was a fair decision. It simply made them stop using Windows to give unfair advantage to Media Player as the suit claimed they were doing. There's certainly nothing in the law that says they have to use Windows to promote other people's products. (And which products would be entitled to this peferential treatment, anyway? Do we get to vote from a list, or what?)

And did all this legal wrangling help anybody except the lawyers? Of course not.

Anyway, Opera's main problem is the product name.
What limp genius thought that one up?
What was the target market - fat ladies who sing?


 8:00 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think most people miss the point here. The biggest problem for alternative browsers is that is very hard to grow into the market of people that are ignorant of what browser they use, they use click the blue e. This is the current situation.
Firefox sees it now, they are not growing at anywhere close to the rate they used to.
And there is no doubt that bundling IE with Windows is exploiting a monopolistic position on the OS for their own web strategy. The US justice department saw it, but they didn't go far enough, and EU sees it. It doesn't matter what browser people decide to use _when they have a choice_, but it's important that they actually HAVE a choice and can make some decision on their own as to what they want to use.
This is not just about Opera, but all alternative browsers on a leveled playing field. It's not that right now, as it is with most any other application type. It should be, and that's the main point.


 9:56 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

MS complied and marketed a version called Windows Edition N without Media Player which, of course, nobody bought.

Important to note here that hardware manufacturers didn't bundle Edition N, and Edition N was not placed on the shelves. Lesson to be learnt from this is that it needs to be all or nothing - either you don't have and editions with IE, or you have all editions with a wide range of browsers and free unbiased choice.


 11:44 am on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Who cares? seriously?

As long as I get to the information I want and it works I couldnt personally care less how I got there.

MS includes IE as part of the OS, if you dont like it then dont use it. Opera is the worst browser I have ever used, its slow and most sites I have visited dont render properly.

I use Firefox 75% of the time I use the Internet purely because I dont like IE7.

This argument is pointless, if you went into Harvey Nichols in London and they didnt sell something made by Henry Lloyd would you try to sue them? I think not.


 2:03 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, the trolls are here.


 4:42 pm on Dec 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

MS includes IE as part of the OS, if you dont like it then dont use it. Opera is the worst browser I have ever used, its slow and most sites I have visited dont render properly.

Actually, Opera is perhaps the most compliant to standards of any browser.

And standards compliance, if anything, is what gives this legitimacy. IE's non-compliance to standards coupled with the bundeling of the browser to the OS creates a system that discourages developers from coding to standards. The entire web becomes based on proprietary (i.e. MS) technology.

It would be a reasonable outcome to simply see MS develop a standards compliant browser, which would save all of us a lot of time in our development work as well.


 6:49 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

most sites I have visited dont render properly


I wouldn't say MOST sites, but a couple of the ones I frequent have issues which is why Opera's off the table for me as well.


 8:24 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use Opera 90% of the time because it improves my workflow -- and that's like putting more time in my day. When it comes to standards support, Opera 9.0 was the first Windows based browser to pass the Acid 2 test.

The area where Opera has historically been problematic for me was javascript functionalty. But a recent re-write of Opera's javascript engine seems to have handled most of the issues I ran into in the past. I did all my holiday shopping online this year, and all of it with Opera.

Only sites that use IE proprietary mark-up give me trouble, but they give Firefox trouble too - and except for my bank where I'm locked in, I usually just find a different source for what I want to do. Also, I commonly have at least two browsers open and often more. So it's no issue to pop over to Firefox or whatever in the rare case that I need to.

I think Opera is doing well to keep this issue in front of the EU. It seems clear to me that MS does suppress browser choice for the consumer. And even more, by tying IE into the Windows operating system, MS has needlessly increased vulnerability for every Windows user, even those who rarely open the IE browser itself. MS understands this - they recently switched Outlook over to using the MSWord rendering engine instead of using IE, just for security reasons.


 9:26 pm on Dec 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think Opera is doing well to keep this issue in front of the EU.

What issue?

That they're worse at marketing than Firefox?

I would think they might have a case if all other browsers were less than 10% of the total user base which isn't the case at all which makes Opera just crying over sour grapes.


 12:04 am on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

i'm afraid that i have to agree with incrediBill

... and before i get flamed let me add that i'm a huge fan of opera, it is my browser of choice and i've used it since way back - eg. the days when you had to pay for it, which i happily did.

i have been suprised at its' lack of takeup, especially after it became free ... as i feel it is the best browser and so many of the innovations firefox users rave about have been standard on opera long before firefox was around!

yet the marketing sucks! firefox are making inroads, yet opera isn't - i don't think ms is to blame.


 3:50 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Time for facts...

030107 Apple Unveils Safari [apple.com...]

030107 Greetings from the Safari team at Apple Computer [lists.kde.org...]

030114 Apple snub stings Mozilla [news.com...]

030623 Safari 1.0 [apple.com...]

If Opera or Firefox are so great, why Apple didn't choose them?

Was it because of the "Steven Paul Jobs reality distortion field"? Or was it because Apple was able to build something better than Opera or Firefox?


 6:49 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

The way I read the press release, Opera has filed a complaint to the EU. This isn't going to cost them anything, unlike litigation which would.

Also part of the issue they raise about IE is pointless. IE should be forced to follow Web Standards? What standards? The W3C only publishes recommendations.

This smells like a PR stunt to me.


 8:03 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

What standards? The W3C only publishes recommendations.

This smells like a PR stunt to me.

This smells like an argument from ignorance to me


2007-11-30: On 28 November, W3C Chief Executive Officer Steve Bratt delivered two talks a keynote entitled "The World Wide Web Needs World Wide Standards" and an overview of W3C's standards work at the 2007 Open Standards International Conference in Beijing, China.

PDF: Steve Bratt: The World Wide Web Needs Worldwide Standards

"The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability."
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
W3C Director and Inventor of the World Wide Web

Saying in China:
"Third-class companies make products;
second-class companies develop technology;
first-class companies set standards."


 10:14 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

first-class companies set standards.

By that definition, Microsoft is a first class company.


 10:30 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Microsoft is a first class company


By the rationale in the quote, Microsoft is a third class company

Not first class: they ignore standards, even those that they devise in-house

Not second class: they do NOT develop web technology, they copy it (e.g .Net and IE) and mangle it in the process


 11:06 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

If Opera or Firefox are so great, why Apple didn't choose them?

Remember Microsoft used to make Mac IE for Apple too and abandoned that market at IE 5 if I'm not mistaken so even Microsoft didn't care about that market share and they've been one of the biggest Apple software sellers ever.

From a purely business perspective, Safari differentiates Apples product and that Safari browser showing up in server logs gives Apple a worldwide presence that every webmaster sees that they wouldn't see if Apple just bundled Firefox.


 11:17 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)


Depends on what you mean by 'standards.' Making your products compatible with microsoft products and platforms is a smart move, because they are often de facto industry standards. But that's actual compatibility, not the unrealised utopian standards that you're talking about.


 11:35 pm on Dec 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

The way I see it is Windows internet explorer is part of the OS, the same system is used for windows exporer as is used for internet browsing. Why do users "need" another choice to make the OS setup even more complicated than it is already.

For savy users the choice is there, if people don't know enough about computing to knwo there are browser choices then perhaps they are best left to use what they know.



 12:11 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just as a side note, I have two Compaq WinXP computers that are about a year old, and they both came with Netscape already installed, right out of the factory. I don't consider that being monopolistic at all, for a Windows based system.

They also came with a lot of other stuff included, which I consider unwanted junk, and some it is not easy to remove, including IE spouting new windows with the AOL home as default start page - which changing the IE setting does NOT work for. I seriously doubt that's Microsoft's choice.

Who says people want other stuff installed? And how many won't know how to uninstall the excess baggage, especially when it's virtually impossible in some cases.

If Compaq includes Netscape, why isn't Opera going after them for not including Opera as well? Is it because the free enterprise system with freedom of choice isn't dead yet?


 3:38 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

With an installed base of Windows users now at 1 billion people, I think there's a good case to be made that IE is one of the most-used tools in human history.
Maybe not on a par with the wheel as yet, but somewhere up there with the knife and fork, I think.

This is the world in which Opera is operating.

Standards support doesn't mean a damn thing if actual web sites aren't written to the standards.

You don't design a browser to the standards and then expect the world to change just to make you happy, you design a browser that:

1) Renders pages as they are rendered out in the real world by IE.

2) Also renders pages that make more sophisticated use of the standards.

Back in the day, I too bought and paid for Opera when its scripting support absolutely stank.

I've gotten kind of a kick watching them make changes over the years when it became obvious - even to them - that being a proving ground or testbed for the W3C just wasn't going to cut it.

Yeah, and I think it's a PR stunt, too.


 5:21 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firefox is free software (open source) but Opera is not.

This may be a significant factor for individuals or companies trying to avoid being at Microsoft's mercy, and not so keen on simply replacing them with another company (however "cute and cuddly").


 7:13 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firefox is free software (open source) but Opera is not.

Opera's PC browser has been free of charge for quite some time now [webmasterworld.com]. It may not be open source though.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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