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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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RE: Tired of complaints.
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2007 3:46:10 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
So why should our OS be any different, It is an OS, not an OS + browser + media player + whatever else. We should not be forced to install its sluggish overbearing MS crap just to use the host OS. I have thought this for years.


So do you feel the same about Apple including Safari in OSX? How about iTunes? Quicktime?

You only don't like it because Microsoft doing it. If you don't like their programs, you don't ever have to use them. But yes they are bundled with the OS. It's called added value. And yes they highly integrate their software because it works better that way. They're not doing anything Apple doesn't do. But you anti-Microsoft people always forget this.

Besides, if they didn't bundle in a web browser, how would you go get other web browsers from the web? Oh right you couldn't. You'd have to have it on a CD or flash drive. Since you need to have a web browser bundled in so you can go get other ones, which do you suppose they're going to include? Theirs or someone else's?

Should they be required to provide someone else's with their software? No. It's theirs. They wrote it. If you don't like it, don't use it.


RE: Tired of complaints.
By Mitch101 on 12/13/2007 4:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
The best comment I have heard by an attorney was in the Netscape trial where they were suing over IE being included with Windows and Netscape wanted their browser included with the sale of Windows and make the user choose.

"What your asking is that for every six pack of Coke sold there should be one can that is a Pepsi."

If I want Opera I will download it but last I recall it was buggy and they wanted to charge me for it. No Thanks.


RE: Tired of complaints.
By Clenathan on 12/13/2007 11:04:03 PM , Rating: 1
It's not buggy, they do not charge you for it, and there are no pop-ups, NEVER.


RE: Tired of complaints.
By Staples on 12/14/2007 9:23:59 AM , Rating: 2
I have used Opera for the last two years (when it went free). It is the best browser out there as far as I am concerned and it is not and never was buggy since I have been using it. However, there is a site or two that I have seen where I have to use IE because they do not like Opera and they do not load if they detect it.


RE: Tired of complaints.
By kelmon on 12/14/2007 5:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
There are merits to what you are saying and other areas where you miss the point of all this by a country mile. Let's look at where you hit the mark first:

Is the bundling of iTunes and QuickTime by Apple the same as the bundling of IE in Windows? Yes, if we are discussing the playback of proprietary file formats used by both applications. Both if both QuickTime and iTunes only played standard formats then there is no issue since then you could use another application to play back the media files but there is a problem with the likes of Apple Protected AAC since you MUST use iTunes for this. However, you can also argue that Real Networks has the same issue since you MUST use Real Player to playback Real Audio files.

Where do you miss the mark? Well, here:

Do you NEED a web browser to install a new application? Absolutely, categorically, no. Look at Linux (I don't use it, incidentally, but I'm not blind either) and you will see that almost all offer a GUI application that enables you to browser libraries of software and download without ever touching a web browser. Heck, I remember using FTP repositories before I ever touched Netscape.

Why is IE a problem when Safari is not? Simply because IE doesn't render the web correctly and the result of this and Window's dominant position in the market are IE-only sites and applications. Since Microsoft refuses to change the only way to break this Catch-22 situation, seemingly, is via litigation. Safari is not an issue here because it's a standards-compliant browser and therefore can be replaced by Opera very easily.

Finally, the "don't like it, don't use it" statement is either massively naive or just ignoring the real world. I don't like Windows or IE much but I still have to use it at work because that's what desktop applications and intranet applications need. The world is not as flexible as you suggest but does need to change if competition is to occur fully.


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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