Print 85 comment(s) - last by kelmon.. on Dec 17 at 2:25 AM

Opera sets its sights on Microsoft

Just when we all thought that things were finally dying down for Microsoft in the European Commission-based anti-trust case there is now more fuel to add to the fire.

Opera Software ASA, maker of the Opera web browser, yesterday officially filed a complaint with the European Commission regarding Microsoft's inclusion of Internet Explorer with Windows. Opera wants the EU to force Microsoft to provide users with a choice of web browser to use.

"We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner. "In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation. We cannot rest until we've brought fair and equitable options to consumers worldwide."

Opera is seeking the following actions from the EU to "keep Microsoft in line" with respects to its competitors:

  • Remove Internet Explorer from its Windows operating systems. Opera is also asking that Microsoft allow for other web browsers to be pre-installed with Windows along with desktop icons for each respective browser.
  • Force Microsoft to comply with open Web standards brought forth by Web-authoring communities.

"Our complaint is necessary to get Microsoft to amend its practices," said Jason Hoida, Deputy General Counsel for Opera. "The European Court of First Instance confirmed in September that Microsoft has illegally tied Windows Media Player to Windows. We are simply asking the Commission to apply these same, clear principles to the Internet Explorer tie, a tie that has even more profound effects on consumers and innovation."

As many may recall, Microsoft finally gave up its fight with the EU in late October. The Redmond, Washington-based company came under fire for its monopolistic business practices in Europe and was ordered to pay a fine of $710 million USD.

In addition, Microsoft was also forced to provide interoperability information to its software competitors and reduce the royalties for its software licenses and patents. To add insult to injury, Microsoft was also forced to pay 80 percent of the European Commission’s legal fees.

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By pauldovi on 12/13/2007 3:05:28 PM , Rating: 4
Windows is a Microsoft product, they have the full right to install whatever they want on it. The reality of the matter is, as long as people have something that works (IE) they are happy. They don't want to have to make any choices or do any configuring.

Is Microsoft going to have to start installing 4 different kinds of solitaire, paint, notepad, and every other component of Windows?

RE: Rediculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/13/2007 4:17:37 PM , Rating: 3
Notice they only file in the EU, not in the U.S. or other countries?

I'm not saying anything but the EU seems to have a pattern going here.

RE: Rediculous
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2007 4:31:03 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not saying anything but the EU seems to have a pattern going here.

I'll say it then. The EU sucks. Everything they sued Microsoft for in the past was being done by Apple. But Apple didn't have any money for them to steal so they ignored them. If OSX was to ever replace Windows at the dominant OS in the world, they'd sue Apple too.

RE: Rediculous
By kelmon on 12/14/2007 4:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
The EU does not suck - it's standing up for the rights of the consumer and not kowtowing to big business. That the US courts have not sorted this issue out already is damning on their part for complicitly allowing Microsoft to hijack what is supposed to be an open communications medium, i.e. the World Wide Web. Microsoft abused its position as the dominant desktop OS provider by distributing a browser that does not comply with web standards for the past decade and therefore created an IE-only Web.

The EU, in case you missed the news, is addressing Apple's iPod/iTunes monopoly so don't suggest that they are turning a blind eye to this. Apple, however, is safe with it's distribution of Safari with OS X since you can replace it with other browsers without penalty; the same is largely true with much of the other bundled applications in OS X in the same way that you can replace Windows Notepad if you want to.

RE: Rediculous
By Montrevux on 12/15/2007 11:35:34 AM , Rating: 2
What? There are absolutely NO rights of the consumer. The only right you have in a free market is the right NOT to buy their product. The reason this tripe isn't going on in the US is because they believe in more economical freedom than the EU.

RE: Rediculous
By kelmon on 12/17/2007 2:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, I must have imagined all that anti-trust stuff years ago then and the requested extensions to monitoring of Microsoft's activities in the US.

Honestly, I don't understand how anyone can support Microsoft's position in this - they have willfully implemented a browser within their monopoly OS that "breaks" the World Wide Web. Don't want to buy their product - don't but then the web sites/applications you want to use won't work because they are IE-only. As I have said many times already this is a Catch-22 situation and do you really think that Microsoft is going to resolve this? No. Can you honestly see a situation where another browser manufacturer is going to be able to resolve this situation by producing a product that is so much better than IE that its market share is competed away? No.

The free market is great when it works but in this case we have allowed it to become broken. As the old adage goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" - the browser market is, unfortunately, broken thanks to Microsoft and Netscape and now it needs fixing.

RE: Rediculous
By euclidean on 12/13/2007 4:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
The only part I agree with in this "requirement" or whatever is that Windows Update in XP requires that's changed in Vista, and there are many add-ons/plugins for FF to make it act like IE so you don't ever have to...but that's really the only thing I could see them going against....other than that...Nothing is stopping you from changing your browser.

"FireFox was not detected as your default browser, would you like it to make it so?" IE has the same thing...and it also has a check box to unselect so it doesn't ever ask you that hard is that? lol....crazy corporate bastards lol.

RE: Rediculous
By S3anister on 12/13/2007 6:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Remove Internet Explorer from its Windows operating systems.

Do people not understand that you need a web browser in an operating system??? I'm amazed that they're still going on with this ten year old waste of debate...

RE: Rediculous
By kelmon on 12/14/2007 4:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Please explain to me why a web browser is a required application. Surely the only function that the OS has to provide is the ability to run applications - there is nothing to say that the user ever wants to or needs a web browser. Yes, I do expect a browser to be delivered in the basic install but it is not needed for the OS to function. A browser, though, is not required to obtain new applications as the common floppy disk and applications such as those used in Linux distributions to download new applications has proven.

RE: Rediculous
By 3kliksphilip on 12/14/2007 8:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
With out Internet Explorer, how are you going to be able to install any other browsers from a fresh installation of Windows?

...Unless you had to have a disc, which would suck.

RE: Rediculous
By Jack Ripoff on 12/14/2007 9:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's a problem with how Windows was designed.

Installing software on Windows is a nightmare unless you have a disc. Otherwise you have to seek over the Internet for the software you want - and there's no guarantee the software you are downloading is trustworthy.

Other operating systems offer you package management systems and centralized, secure, updated repositories of software packages available to be installed at any moment with a single command.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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