December 14, 2007 6:50 AM PST

Microsoft strikes back at Opera antitrust claims

Microsoft denied on Friday antitrust claims from Opera Software that the software giant is abusing its dominant market position to lock users into the Internet Explorer Web browser.

Opera, based in Norway, announced Thursday that it had filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by bundling IE with the Windows operating system. Bundling IE with Windows means people have no choice in receiving it and only afterward have the option of deleting it or using an alternative product as the default browser, Opera said.

Opera also claimed that Microsoft is hindering interoperability by not following accepted open Web standards.

Microsoft struck back Friday, indicating that it would not willingly unbundle IE from Windows.

"We believe the inclusion of the (IE) browser into the operating system benefits consumers, and that consumers and PC manufacturers are already free to choose to use any browsers they wish," a Microsoft representative said. "Internet Explorer has been an integral part of the Windows operating system for over a decade and supports a wide range of Web standards."

The Microsoft representative added that "computer users have complete freedom of choice to use and set as default any browser they wish, including Opera, and PC manufacturers can also preinstall any browser as the default on any Windows machine they sell."

Opera filed the complaint against Microsoft this week, asserting that Microsoft has locked consumers into using IE, which has "only recently begun to offer some of the innovative features that other browsers have offered for years," such as tabbed browsing.

"We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Jon von Tetzchner, chief executive officer of Opera. "In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation."

Opera asked the European Commission to force Microsoft to unbundle IE from Windows and to carry alternative browsers preinstalled on the desktop. Opera also asked the EC to require Microsoft to follow "fundamental and open Web standards accepted by Web-authoring communities."

The browser company asserts that Microsoft's "unilateral control over standards in some markets has created a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks."

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Opera Software, antitrust, Microsoft Internet Explorer, PC company, Web browser

239 comments

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What I Do Mind Is...
I don't mind that IE comes with windows. All modern OSs need to come with some kind of basic browser. That way you can download the browser of your choice.

What I don't like is that IE is so integrated into windows and applications that I can't get rid of it when I do download another browser I'd rather use. Then it's just taking up space and bloating up my computer.

Opera may not win the case but they still have a point.
Posted by Renegade Knight (13748 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have to agree about the integration thing
I have to agree about the integration into Windows point that you made..... though IE is very SMALL even compared to Firefox and Opera when you take into account how many things in it are used as system files for numerous different things connected to the Windows Explorer program and itself.

I would say that adding up things that are IE only..... it only takes up about the same amount of space as Firefox, a grand total of 20-40MB's all total.
Posted by Leria (585 comments )
Link Flag
Integration
I was thinking exactly this. If there is no internet browser included with the OS, how is Joe Average going to get on the internet to get one of the other browsers?

As far as integration, if I, for whatever reason, feel that IE is inferior, and wish to remove it, and its vulnerabilities, I can't. If Microsoft would just resurrect File Manager, and take that functionality out of IE, no one could make any complaints.
Posted by Ushiikun (30 comments )
Link Flag
Microsft behaving badly
The US justice system has failed. The landmark antitrust case against Microsoft did not do anything but waste the tax payer's money. Nothing changed after the consent decree. Microsoft is still bundling any software they choose and calling it integral part of the OS.
Posted by winstein (460 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MSFT Monopoly abuser
I so totally agree. Unfortunately, Kollar Kotelly just does not see
through the "commercial" and "legal" tactics of MSFT.
Posted by TheBoots (13 comments )
Link Flag
Get another OS!
See, this is stupid. The way I look at it is Microsoft developed the software. Microsoft owns the software. Microsoft licenses the software. Microsoft does not force anyone to install Windows or use it. If someone doesn't like the fact that IE is built into Windows then that user should get a different operating system. Linux would be a good alternative. There have been several cases like this over the past decade. If someone wins against Microsoft it will change everything. Not just for Microsoft but for all software manufacturers, including me. I have used Microsoft Access for single connection database access before in my programs. Who's to say that if Microsoft was to ever lose this case that I could be sued for forcing Microsoft Access "built-in" with my applications instead of another database file type.

Don't get me wrong. I fully understand the complaint. I understand having to deal with someone in an OS that I do not want in there (heh, demo progs in newly purchased computers is another example) but if it is so big of a deal that one must complain so much to file a disbute over it I think that person (or group) needs to just get another OS. Microsoft is not forcing anyone to install or use their OS. You are free to install any OS on your system that you want.
Posted by pfrabott (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Browsers come in all the OS's
Apple has Safari and doesn't give you the option of not installing it when you buy your Macintosh. It's part of the system.

It's called the aftermarket for a reason. Opera would have better luck spending their money in putting out a better product that people want to use and advertise it accordingly. Sueing for money because of their failure to do this isn't responsible.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
MSFT Monopoly abuser
Not when you are already deemed to have a monopoly by the
law. Being one is not against the law but abusing it by adopting
keeping or slowing competitors innovations is illegal. It is
complex and hard to prove but MSFT has always used one tactic
that works, It drags the courts though years and stacks of
paperwork but fights the battle in the marketplace instead. Look
at Netscape. MSFT lost right? IT is the only convicted corporate
felon that I know, yet unlike individuals it appears to be going
about enjoying all the benefits of its illegal acts against Netscape
and hence the consumer.
Posted by TheBoots (13 comments )
Link Flag
Alternative OS
Unfortunately it is not always that simple!
I have Apple and Sun computers but as a Radio Ham the type of software I use is not available for these systems, if it were I would be happy to bid farewell to Microsoft. Must do is the master!
Posted by gi0zgb (8 comments )
Link Flag
Boring
This is a poor attempt by Opera to get free distribution. Installing Opera or Firefox is straight forward, thanks to both those vendors and Microsoft. I.E. going forward looks like a much more secure product than it has been historically, and one hears plenty of stories on blogs and podcasts about problems with some alternative browsers, even amont their fans. This is not the topic to attack MS on - how about sensible packaging of the OS, less extreme pricing for the OS and office, etc? That would help us all.
Posted by toastiejoe (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Stupid Cry Babies
Who said you have to use Internet Explorer? Microsoft?! Maybe. But as they said, you can install another browser and set it as default. I'm using Firefox and it's 10 times greater. "But what about the Windows updates and other websites that require IE?" Go search for the IE TAB plug-in for Firefox and you're straight. This is why Opera sucks and is crying right now.
Posted by JonathonStriker (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
YOU are the stupid crybaby
That you can install Firefox is irrelevant to the fact that Microsoft has abused its market power to prevent competition. To this day, there are MANY sites that require MSIE. That you can install Firefox doesn't mean that it will magically work on all these sites.

At least read the details of the complaint before making an ass of yourself.
Posted by mababah (24 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft is the cry-baby
The fact that you can "fix" Windows by installing a proper browser does NOT change the fact that Microsoft ship a non-standards-compliant (and hence BROKEN) browser with Windows.

That is and remains Opera's complaint. They want a better IE. Why do all the Microsoft shills and Firefox fanbois have to take a public cr*p whenever Opera is mentioned?
Posted by JadedGamer (207 comments )
Link Flag
Opera is wrong...
With Windows, users are free to use any browser that they want. I for example, have Firefox installed on my PC.

Opera's actions are an act of desperation by a company with a near-zero market share. I suppose next, Opera will sue Mozilla-Firefox for the crime of having a more popular browser.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well, actulaly...
Um, yeah, you CAN install any browser you want. However, can you uninstall IE to save space? No.

And of course, frequently programs just ignore the default browser settings and load IE anyway. Not to mention it's constantly running in the background, meaning that you're open to all the usual security holes in IE whenever you're running Windows, period.

THAT'S what the complaint is about; that Microsoft forces people to use IE (because, make no mistake, if you're running Windows, you're using IE, though you may not be aware of it), yet refuses to follow the web standards like everyone else does, leading to web fragmentation. Quite frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for SOMEONE to complain about it...
Posted by DarkPhoenixFF4 (206 comments )
Link Flag
YOU are wrong
Opera is NOT suing Microsoft. It is an antitrust complaint, which the EU is investigating.

And that you can install Firefox is irrelevant to the fact that Microsoft has abused its market power to prevent competition. To this day, there are MANY sites that require MSIE. That you can install Firefox doesn't mean that it will magically work on all these sites.

Opera also has a huge foothold in the mobile browser market, a market which is expected to overtake the PC market by 2009-2010.
Posted by mababah (24 comments )
Link Flag
Not wrong, and still not suing
You have just failed to notice what is the real issue the complaint is about: That Microsoft ship a non-standard compliant (and thus broken) browser.

Opera would be happy enough if IE was standard compliant (and IE 8 apparently willl be as far as CSS is concerned anyway).

Mozilla/Firefox IS standards compliant and do not have an effective monopoly on desktops so Opera would not complain about them.

And THEY ARE NOT SUING MICROSOFT, they are complaining to a legal body.
Posted by JadedGamer (207 comments )
Link Flag
Doesn't Apple bundle Safari with it's OS?
Why doesn't Opera file a complaint against Apple as well? Because everyone likes to go after MS, and it's getting old. Can you uninstall Safari from the new Leopard OS?
Posted by sntholiday (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
just a little different
Sntholiday posed this question:

"Can you uninstall Safari from the new Leopard OS?"

Yes, but it's a little complicated for those who are used to the
way winblows works:

Step 1: Drag the Safari.app from your Applications folder to the
trash.

Step 2 (optional): Empty trash.

This is why M$ should be broken up and forced into extinction.
People expect such simple concepts as "uninstall" to be next to
impossible without either a degree in computers or an
"uninstall" program. Forget the fact that winblows is a plague
and a junkware OS that's good for nothing except playing video
games.
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
Yes, you can uninstall it
You can uninstall IE, Opera, Safari, etc, from any of the OS's if people read the instructions.

With OS X, you can remove the application shortcut, but you will still have the system library files that you cannot delete.. without corrupting the OS.

If you want a better example of things you don't have a choice of with Apple, try installing Quicktime on your PC. You automatically get iTunes installed (no choice) and two applications are running at that point too- iTunesHelper and iPodService. You didn't ask for those two to be run- and if you don't have an iPod, that's really offensive.

That sort of bundling is invasive and inexcusable.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Finally, MS defends themselves
Just like when Google was whining that Vista Search feature didn't give people the option to choose. First of all, when the EU forced MS to sell a version of XP without the Media Player, that bombed. The consumer will always buy an OS that is fully-loaded (even though some features are dumb-down). Opera, Google, and the other companies out there complaining out there, if your product is better than MS, then Market your product. Get your target market aware instead of just suing and using the "Monopoly" reason. Which is irrelevant. If the consumer likes your product then they will use it instead of MS. People don't want a barebone OS and have to download numerous programs to surf the net, email, music, pictures, video, etc....they expect the OS to have it all.
Posted by mailbox001 (68 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is a free-market problem
Open source is all about a free market. But this isn't a free market economy. By using proprietary protocols, Microsoft is abusing the market to prevent competition. The last thing Microsoft wants is to compete on a level playing field. What Microsoft is good at is controlling the market. Innovation was never their strong suit.

Here's an analogy. You wake up on morning and Exxon has bought up 98% of the gas stations. They install special pumps that only work with Miatas. You can buy an adapter for your car but it costs $200 and stops working when Exxon installs new pumps. Exxon only sells them to people it likes. Your only effective choice is to buy a Miata or else stick to the small portion of the highway where there are friendly gas stations. Non-Exxon gas stations can not compete because Exxon will not allow then to fuel the Miatas that everyone else is using. There is nothing inherently superior about the Exxon fuel pumps. In fact, random spark occationally cause the Miatas to blow up.

You may not agree with that analogy, but I think it at least explains the perspective of the people you are arguing against.
Posted by Orpeus (19 comments )
Link Flag
the average user
I've been in customer service for 15 years. The average user won't use another product because they can't. Most people don't want to; they just want their "computer to work". They don't have the time or the knowledge to "install" another browser. The problem IS THE MONOPOLY. . . ok? Your suggestion shows your lack of consideration, and your inexperience, and blind adherence to the cult of microsofties.
Posted by the_piano_man (53 comments )
Link Flag
You are missing the point
There is a HUGE difference between shipping software with an OS and making that software part of the OS.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
Link Flag
To no avail, apparently.
[i]"First of all, when the EU forced MS to sell a version of XP without the Media Player, that bombed."[/i]

...could it be that the OS literally didn't work after they ripped out every .dll file associated w/ WMP (including more than a few core system components)? Nah... it must've been because the mases loved WMP so!

Or maybe you should just try selling that 'popularity' line to folks who don't know any better...

[i]"Opera, Google, and the other companies out there complaining out there, if your product is better than MS, then Market your product."[/i]

Netscape did, and look where it got them. The US Department of Justice agreed w/ Netscape's assertions of MSFT crippling things to rub them out as well.

Nice argument on your part, until the fact that MSFT is a convicted monopolist who was found guilty specifically due to their behavior with web browsers...

The real funny part is, in order to get to an alternate browser and download it, you have to use IE on a default Windows install.

[i]"People don't want a barebone OS"[/i]

So instead they have to set aside roughly 7-10 gigabytes just to get all of Vista installed? A little extreme, dontcha think?

By the by, MSFT is using the exact same arguments they used back when they were charged with monopolistic behavior in the US. It wasn't much of a defense back then, and it's not that much better now.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
The problem is
there is a fine line between a great platform, a great platform for building on, and the building blocks that make a platform better. Microsoft doesn't ever want to stop, they want to have all three pieces and on some level that is fine, it's a free country (sort of) but what isn't ok is that when microsoft goes after a particular market they stop being the "great platform" and now try and stop others from using their platform for whatever they think is best. The two fight each other, do I create a great platform for others to extend or do I use my great platform for only my advantage.

The problem is most users just use what is put in front of them, I see many people think the answer is "well your free to go get a different browser" unfortunately 98% of users have no idea how to do this and just because 100% of the readers of cnet news do doesn't make what microsoft does right.

Personally I've been using linux for 3 years and will never go back, the freedom and integration is very balanced because if it becomes unbalanced I just pick another distro, load up the programs I like and continue... It is the way it should be.

tim
Posted by tashman (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Always blame others
When exactly did Microsoft Windows OS go from a commercial product to a public utility? Last I checked, it is not a public utility and there are no longer any sense of obligation for anyone to use anything Microsoft-related in any capacity whatsoever anywhere in the world.

Apple does not target Windows (although they started to port some code over). Nokia/Symbian/etc do not target Windows. GNOME/KDE/etc do not target Windows. Opera does not need to target Windows. If they have any issues, then it's up to them to read how-tos on programming.

If they want Opera pre-installed, then they have to convince the OEMs to include it. It's the OEMs who make the final decision now; Intel and MS are restricted from enforcing any exclusivity clauses over OEMs.

Opera: hire better software developers before you start suing the company whose offering you wish to exploit for greedy purposes.
Posted by nasserd (112 comments )
Link Flag
good for you...
I am still struggling with plaing video files from a network drive. They play fine in Windows, with a little delay on a Mac, but not at all on Ubuntu. I have to copy them on local hard drive to play.

This is a little off-topic, but what I am trying to say is that a "Free" (or Open Source) product is not always the best.
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Bundling is not the issue
Although the point is glossed over in this particular story, the real issue here is adherence to accepted web standards.

Microsoft has, from day one, flooded the web with it's own, Windows-specific mechanisms, in an Internet that is founded on the idea of open communication protocols. From perverting standard Java, to non-standard scripts and HTML, to such abominations as Active-X. Next up we have the proprietary "Moonlight" crap.

Open standards will win out in the end, just as the Internet won out over <shudder> MSN, or whatever that MS system was. In the meantime, MS is dragging it's feet and gumming up the works for everyone else.

They can include whatever browser they want, as far as I care. I just wish that their default browser would follow the web standards so that we don't have millions of web services that can only talk to Microsoft computers.
Posted by Orpeus (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Education
Moonlight is the Mono/Open-source alternative to Silverlight.

XML-based Web Services: by far and wide, their offering is the most consistent. It's not their fault if Java-based or Flash-based server packages do not support the web services standards as aggressively.
Posted by nasserd (112 comments )
Link Flag
Those pesky propriatery things
Why don't you blame MS for their nasty non-standard proprietary XMLHTTPRequest they flooded the whole Internet with. Oh, wait, it's base of AJAX, one of the most important things on the web.
Posted by alegr (1590 comments )
Link Flag
flash
what part of flash is NOT proprietary?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
MS Servers the real abuse
You are absolutely right that bundling IE isn't the real antitrust
issue, and I wish Apple, Opera, and Mozilla would get together
and address the real issue of locking people into proprietary MS
crap instead of open Web standards. There are increasing
numbers of applications for the Web and Enterprise that use MS
server software that actively blocks access by anything other
than the latest versions of Windows Internet Explorer. iSite
enterprise is software used by doctors to access radiology
reports over the web, but it blocks access to anything other than
the latest versions of Windows IE. It won't even allow Internet
Explorer for Mac to work. The same applies to many programs
that serve medical records over the web. This forces people to
purchase Windows Vista to access these applications. This is a
clear violation of antitrust principles of leveraging their OS
monopoly to force out competitors in other markets.
Posted by whidbeyben (13 comments )
Link Flag
microsoft strikes back. . . On the defensive now huh?
This corporate behemoth golem called microsoft has no ethical basis to "strike back." They should be smashed to pieces, and the pieces divided up amongst the employees and consumers and their monkeydancer put in a zoo. I am a web programmer. IE is a pain. A big pain. Get rid of it. It was copied from Netscape and then ruined anyway. That's the way ms does things. . . copy, then claim ownership and back it up with expensive lawyers and then make it crappy so people have to buy more of it. Don't believe me read "The Making of Microsoft" by Daniel Ichbiah, and Susan Knepper; ISBN 1-55958-071-2; and then check out all the claims of originality ms makes now, and you will see many cases of outright plagiarism. The sooner ms is broken up the better. Force them to un-bundle their browser and their company.
Posted by the_piano_man (53 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am a web programmer
Life was easy when you only had to worry about IE. Now every little crappy browser want things done their way. As long as IE is 80 90 % of teh traffic, IE get precedence. What self respecting commercial web programmer wastes time on anything that does not comform to the defacto MS standard?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
This is great news
If MS were to unbundle IE, then Windows could potentially become
more secure. If Windows became more secure, more malware
authors might start working harder on breaking into other
operating systems. No thanks, I like things just as they are.

Let them keep picking off the low hanging fruit.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its not about bundling
It is, but it's not. Being a web designer and programmer what frustrates us the most is this.

We design a killer look and feel for a website. We program the website in clean code that's by the w3c standards, our css is clean and to spec.

We start debugging process in multiple browsers Firefox for Mac and Wintel, the same with Opera and Safari, all these web browsers display the code almost identically. Then the challenge... IE6 destroys the code and specially written css hacks are needed to allow IE6 to display the site correctly, thinking thats the end of the nightmare, IE7 uses a different rendering engine than IE6 and there for IE7 doesn't display the clean code properly either, but the css hacks for IE6 don't work in IE7 either. So now additional css hacks for IE7 are needed.

Microsoft should either do one of two things. Make their browser render code to actually approved standards so we programmers can write code once and have it look the same across all browsers and platforms, or even better STOP producing browsers. Microsoft is the nightmare browser for programmers.
Posted by thru9 (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Blind faith?
Have you and your professional peers ever read the standards word-for-word? There is a whole lot of ambiguity and possibilities for alternate interpretations scattered throughout.

Here's a kicker: the IE HTML Rendering Engine functions differently for end-users depending on their platform. IE 5.x on Windows had different tweaks than IE 5.5 on Macs. IE6 and IE7 also render things differently as upgrades often do. What looked sexy in Netscape 4.x doesn't look sexy in Firefox because both the standards and their interpretations have changed.

At the lowest level, the OS interprets things differently. A submit button renders differently between Windows and Mac. On a Mac, it does not have the highest z-index; on Windows, it has a higher z-index than overlayed browser code (hence some IE6 hacks). Blame the browser, or the OS?
Posted by nasserd (112 comments )
Link Flag
Interesting - they call it a browser
One of the most contentious battles in the MS US anti-trust trial was when the DOJ tried to define IE as a web browser and MS witnesses on the stand would *not* allow it to be defined as a browser. I guess that doesn't matter anymore.
Posted by jeromatron (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Follow the Money
This case has nothing to do with the integration of IE into Windows or non-standard protocols. Those are the excuses used my Opera in the attempt to expunge money from MS. The EU's recent anti-trust activity against MS has opened the door for anyone to try and extort $'s from US companies (INTC,AAPL,MSFT) to name just a few. Firefox has proved that a quality alternative to a MS product will be successful without governmental intervention.
Posted by tbsteph (62 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are ignorant about the facts
Opera is NOT suing Microsoft. It is an antitrust complaint, which the EU is investigating. Opera will not make a SINGLE CENT from this.

That you can install Firefox is irrelevant to the fact that Microsoft has abused its market power to prevent competition. To this day, there are MANY sites that require MSIE. That you can install Firefox doesn't mean that it will magically work on all these sites.
Posted by mababah (24 comments )
Link Flag
Opera is getting desperate now...
Seriously... I don't know what all these EU companies have against Microsoft. Before they wanted Microsoft to unbundle Windows Media Player, now they want to remove IE...

Opera's complaint would be valid if Microsoft didn't allow people to install Opera on Windows or wouldn't let people make it their default browser. Compare this to iPhone, where you can't install any other browser.

Any decent OS comes with a browser preinstalled. Windows, OS X, Ubuntu, iPhone, Windows Mobile, even Wii. Removing the borwser might be in best interest of Opera, but it won't be in best interest of the consumers.

The worst part is that the EU regulators might actually force MS to remove IE. I am glad I don't live there.
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
YOU are desperate and ignorant
That you can install Firefox is irrelevant to the fact that Microsoft has abused its market power to prevent competition. To this day, there are MANY sites that require MSIE. That you can install Firefox doesn't mean that it will magically work on all these sites.

Apple does not have a market position like Microsoft does, so the comparison is completely bogus.
Posted by mababah (24 comments )
Link Flag
Imagine.... if there was no IE
If MS finally agrees and they start shipping Windows without IE, what is going to happen?

How do people normally download their "favorite" browser on a brand new computer?
They start Internet Explorer, go to Mozilla.com or Opera.com and download it.

If IE goes missing, how will people download Opera? They will have to get it on a CD or something... back to the stone ages!
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Imagine.... if there was no IE
Wait, wait... are you saying AOL is behind the latest Opera complaints in the EU? Because that would be quite the newsworthy breakthrough.

Seriously, though, "yes" would be the answer to your last question. It's a conspiracy, I tell you, to have us get off the computer and actually interact with the world to obtain whatever it is we want from the Information Superhighway.
Posted by nasserd (112 comments )
Link Flag
re: no IE
No one is suggesting that Microsoft not ship IE with Windows.

I don't have a problem with them shipping it or making it the default browser. I think they earned that right through their market dominance, and good for them.

But in a world without any IE at all, maybe all that time people spent working on Microsoft-specific solutions could be used to develop better platform-independent protocols. Then maybe the web wouldn't be so fractured.
Posted by Orpeus (19 comments )
Link Flag
What a silly, stupid question...
[i]"If MS finally agrees and they start shipping Windows without IE, what is going to happen?"[/i]

* OEMs start pre-loading their wares with Firefox or Opera. 99.99% of your silly question gets solved right there.

* FTP to releases.mozilla.org/pub and grab Firefox there.

* Go to friend's house, burn copy of Firefox, go home, install from burned copy.

(are all MSFT shills that desperate, or is it just you?)

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Multiple browsers
Let's say Opera wins the lawsuit and MS has to include Opera in Windows, other browser makers will follow it.

Before you know it, Firefox will come whining, then Netscape, then Apple and so on, and before you know it, there will be 15 Browsers preinstalled on a new computer that you buy. If Opera wins, how will the courts deny other browser companies, however small they may be.

and then this whole cycle will repeat with media player, desktop search engine, email client, antivirus, firewall, backup utility etc etc etc.

One day you will launch calculator and your computer will ask you which one you want: Microsoft calculator, Google calculator or Mozilla calculator.

I just hope that doesn't happen.
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
multiple browsers
Yes, if there's one thing I just hate it's having a choice! Like all these new cars to choose from. Heck, just give me one kind, Ok? And the video games , why all the choices. Simple. I want my life simple. microsoft can do it for me.
Posted by the_piano_man (53 comments )
Link Flag
Urgh...
My God, you're an idiot. That wouldn't freaking happen; no one in their right mind would allow that.

The point here is, have you ever attempted to order a Windows-based computer that doesn't have IE installed by default? If you go to a chain store, they'll refuse. It's against the Windows license to install another browser as default, just like it's against the Windows license to offer a dual boot option or to sell computers with no OS.
Posted by DarkPhoenixFF4 (206 comments )
Link Flag
No is forced...
Well, if you work for the US government, you are forced to use Windows, MS Office, and IE (except NASA who uses PCs and Macs). The government is a huge consumer of computer products, and can defintely sway the market especially if they required standards based browsers and open documents formats.
Posted by sagan.nexx (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
can someone please explain me?
Opera is free, Firefox is free, even Internet explorer is free... so why are they fighting?

One free product is competing with another free product and people are calling it anti-competitive.

So one day, a church decides to give free food to the homeless, will another church call it anti-competitive?
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Again the Problem is
That only one browser comes with windows for free and that is IE. If you want the others you must know what to do and go find it yourself. That would be like the church giving out the free food from a producer they like but refuse to give out free food from a producer of food they don't, then running commercials tauting how great the first producer of food is and how much marketshare they have because of their superior product.

tim
Posted by tashman (42 comments )
Link Flag
If Opera is a better browser...
If Opera is a beter browser, it is going to win.

Opera has been around for ten years, but still have less than one percent share. Look at firefox on the other hand. It was released just a few years ago and now has almost 20% market share. What's the difference? There might be some minor differences between the two, but Firefox can't do anything that Opera can't do. Why is that Opera got left behind in the race?
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera's Problem is just like Apple's
Opera would have more market share except in the beginning it had two versions, free with ads or non-free. So just like Apple 20 years ago their product was two expensive when compared to the competition, in others words EGO.

tim
Posted by tashman (42 comments )
Link Flag
You are missing the point
That you can install Firefox is irrelevant to the fact that Microsoft has abused its market power to prevent competition. To this day, there are MANY sites that require MSIE. That you can install Firefox doesn't mean that it will magically work on all these sites.

Mozilla has had billions of dollars and many years of support from the likes of Google, IBM and Sun.

AND YET MICROSOFT STILL HOLDS NEARLY 90% OF THE BROWSER MARKET.

AND YET MSIE IS STILL REQUIRED ON MANY SITES.

It doesn't matter if you make a better browser. Microsoft's market position and undermining of standards ensures that you will be FORCED to continue usine MSIE.
Posted by mababah (24 comments )
Link Flag
Opera v IE
I agree, Opera is a better browser in many respects, and that whilst competing on a playing field that is anything but level!
All browsers are entitled to fair play and equal opportunity to win public support. As it stands that is not happening, and, despite hiding behind weasel words, Microsoft is exploiting the loopholes for unfair advantage and self interest.
It behoves the EU to make a watertight case against this behemoth and control its self evident contempt for fair competition.
Posted by gi0zgb (8 comments )
Link Flag
We all have standerds
Like the previous comment so eloquently put it ?bundling is not the issue.? Microsoft bundling IE with windows is no worst then automotive manufactures bundling audio systems with there cars. And just like you can change your factory issue sound system for something better you can also install another browser on your windows OS.

The real problem is Microsoft blatant disregard of the current web standards. Because Microsoft chooses to ?do its own thing? when it comes to IE combined with the fact that everyone have IE on there windows PC, I and other developer are forces the code for IE first and everyone else second. How many times have you seen a website with the words ?best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer? at the bottom of the page. The whole idea of having the internet conform to a browser and not the browse conforming to the internet is wrong in so many ways. Can you imagine Sony dictating the format broadcasters should send there TV signals in. The amount of productivity (aka money) lost by developers having the write all this cross browser code is ridicules. Opera would get more support if they drop the whole bundling thing and emphasize the real issue of Microsoft conforming to web standards.
Posted by TheRealMegatronlives (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I completely agree with this...
I think the growing share of Firefox will force Microsoft to be more standards compliant. Till then, I will code for IE first.. coz that brings me bread and butter
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Sony
I guess you have beed succesful in buying a SOny pictures movie on HD-DVD?
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
More MS shortsightedness
First of all this is an admission that MS knows it can not compete on a level playing field.

A large part of the security woes of MS has to do with the fact that IE, WMP, Messenger, OE are all part of the operating system. These are application level programs and do not belong in the OS level. If they were to properly disengage these programs from the OS, much of the security issues would vanish.

Of course, it wouldn't help them from the core OS being insecure, or the security nightmare of ActiveX, but it would be a good start.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Core OS
The core OS is very secure. Probably more secure than Unix.

The problem is that Microsoft pokes all sorts of holes through the security to make their network access (web, email, etc..) seem flashier.
Posted by Orpeus (19 comments )
Link Flag
They should sue Ubuntu next...
After all, the Opera browser works in Linux... and Ubuntu comes bundled with Firefox.

I am not an M$ fan, but come on... this is silly. The OS needs a browser...
Posted by jschind (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox's goals include W3C compliance
IE has no such stated goals.

And Ubuntu is one distro of many, though it has an impressive share at present (I use it myself).
Windows distros? Well, that's basically piracy.

And with WINE progressing as fast as it is.. We won't need windows very much longer.
Posted by ethana2 (348 comments )
Link Flag
For consumers or for Opera's top line
Opera Corporation filed the claim against Microsoft on behalf of consumers, but are they looking out for consumers? Data proves otherwise.

I'm in charge of global Web initiatives for a billion dollar consumer goods company with access to consumer data that reveals much about browser usage. According to server logs, Opera is used less than 0.5% compared to IE leading at 74% followed by Firefox at 18%. Consumers surveyed also reveal that most are unaware of Opera and those who are don't use it because it's not free.

Browsers should be free just as Linux is.

Instead of focusing on lawsuits against competitors, Opera should focus on brand marketing and changing its support-based revenue model. Opera should have learned from the many Linux distributions that went belly up a few years ago that shared a similar revenue model. So, is Opera looking out the for the consumers' best interest or just desparate to increase revenues because of a weak revenue model?
Posted by wwwXpert (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Comment from wwwXpert
Quote from wwwXpert: "I'm in charge of global Web initiatives for a billion dollar consumer goods company with access to consumer data that reveals much about browser usage."
Quote from wwwXpert: "Consumers surveyed also reveal that most are unaware of Opera and those who are don't use it because it's not free.
I cannot believe you are in this high position and say Opera is not free. The Opera Browser is free for all operating systems.
Posted by wahoospa (111 comments )
Link Flag
 

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