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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 4:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
They already do offer Windows XP without IE and Windows Media player in Europe. It's just not any cheaper than the version with it.

RE: Tired of complaints.
By Mitch101 on 12/13/2007 5:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that stupid people having problems with the Opera browser will call Microsoft for support. But it came with my operating system.

I would agree Windows without IE is a good solution but you should never be forced to carry a competitors product in your own distribution. How would you download a Browser without one though. I can only laugh at the irony.

Its obvious that the EU commission has a dislike for Microsoft. If this passes I hope Microsoft charges even more for the software.

EU Govt sticks Microsoft and Microsoft sticks the users with the bill.

You think you will win if MS is forced to include Opera I'm betting even if Opera wins the consumer loses.

RE: Tired of complaints.
By Oregonian2 on 12/13/2007 9:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
As mentioned in the news report I read about it earlier, the problem is the same as the media player, so the solution, if anything, would likely be the same as well. The version of XP they sell in Europe w/o media player can be sold w/o IE as well. And it'll continue not to sell.

Always thought they'd discount it proportionally to the byte-count of the entire distribution. Should knock off at least half a Euro for the IE/MP free version.

Personally I still don't understand the problem. Firefox (etc) is what I use by choice w/o problem of IE being there. Likewise, other media players work fine too.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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