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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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Suing over the wrong thing...
By erikstarcher on 12/14/2007 1:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
If anything they should be suing over the nonstandard way IE works, not because it is included for free. I use IE because it does everything I want and it just works. I know other browser have different features, but I don't need them. I have not had an issue with IE since pop-up blockers were invented. I don't get spyware and the like because I practice safe computing. The last thing I want is to buy a copy of Windows and not be able to view every web page out there. XP wont be sold much longer so they arn't going to make a change there. In Vista, you don't have to use IE. If you don't want to use Vista, you don't have to. Use Linux, BSD, and whatever browser you want to. If you need to use IE for some office reasons, then force the software writers to make their software compatible with the compatition. If you want IE to adhere to standards, then sue for that, but don't force Microsoft to replace thier product with a competing one. The last thing I want is to install Windows, boot it up and have it ask me if I want to run Linux instead. Then ask me which browser I want. Then which search provider I want (google by the way, but that is easy to change, and I do). I bought a Micrsoft product, and I expect all default programs included to be Microsoft's also. Just like OSX. If you don't like Apples default programs, install different ones. If I don't like their version, then I will install one I do like. If a customer doesn't know how to, or even care to change it, then at least they still have a useable program. It might not be the best (a mater of opinion) but it will be functional.

This is not an issue with giving away something for free, this is an issue with compatibility. So sue for compatibily, not inclusion. I want it included, along with Media Player. I use them and I like them.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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