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back to article Opera applauds scepticism on MS browser pledge

Browser maker Opera has applauded EU officials for rejecting Microsoft's promises not to include Internet Explorer in European copies of Windows 7. The European Commission indicated this morning the pledge would not satisfy its anti-trust investigators. Opera, which is frequently critical of Microsoft's dominance, reacted to …

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Anonymous Coward

Just Die Opera

Every week they sound more and more like a little kid throwing toys out of the pram.

'Redmond must not be allowed to circumvent browser rules by pushing Internet Explorer via other channels afforded by its dominance, such as by tying it to Silverlight'

So they don't want them to be able to push their own software through their own channels? Seems they won't be happy until the EU say no MS products at all.

Try advertising your own browser better instead of asking the playground bully to help you. Even if MS stopped making IE altogether, most people would probably go to Firefox and not your obscure crappy browser.

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can i pick IE

or are opera going to say its unfair to allow IE as so many people use it already

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Which five?

Which five browsers would they say it 'has' to include? Isn't that just dropping a brand new monopoly, just a slightly more diverse one?

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Gates Horns

Beating the crowds

Before anyone spouts the same flawed defence of MS.

Apple is not a convicted monopolist

Safari is not embedded into OSX

Linux distributions come with more than one browser

You don't need a browser to get another browser

That is all.

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Flogging a dead horse?

I know I'm not the only one who is bored by this ongoing Anti-Trust witch hunt against MS. I am all for monopolistic business tactics being reprimanded but MS is damned whatever it does regarding IE.

The simple fact is there aren't five decent browsers to bundle with Windows and why should MS be forced to bundle other Browsers with its OS? Windows is in a dominant market position because it's a great all round solution, it's not superb at any one thing, but it is well supported and despite all its faults it is a good fit for a lot of individuals and business.

Many companies develop their web apps to work with IE primarily and from a desktop support perspective a browser integrated into the OS like IE makes a lot of sense.

I support users who are hardly IT literate but those that want an alternative have all happily toddled off and downloaded Firefox or Chrome for the home PC's with little or no difficulty.

It's time the EU went after bigger fish and spent some effort on the far more shady business tactics of banks!

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5 other browsers...

And who exactly is responsible for those 5 other browsers? Are there even 5 other browsers to choose from? What if Browser #2 has major security issues? Is MS responsible for patching it?

Opera just wants a piece of the action, that's all. MS isn't in such a dominant position in the browser wars any longer, there is choice and people who know about the choice make the decision. I for one am getting the Win7 with IE installed, because I like IE, and I'll download Chrome too.

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Opera stink of desperation

Perhaps if the Opera browser was any good people would actually choose to install it regardless of which browser was preinstalled. The simple fact is that it doesn't cut it and it's just not good enough to compete with the big boys - not due to any monopoly but based purely on technical merit. It's simply outclassed by Firefox, I.E, Chrome and even Safari (I'm guessing this is why they want a choice of 5 browsers because they know damn well thats the only way they will make it onto the list).

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Dear Opera

..wahhhh boo hoo not fair.....

Read the comments on this site and see what total bollocks most people think your idea is.

I hope MS are forced to bundle say 5 browsers and they leave Opera out. That'll shut you up won't it? Knocked down from 3rd place to 6th (or lower)

They are just like some little sulky kid.....

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Put it this way...

...I won't be choosing Opera as my browser of choice.

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Coat

Just me then?!

I quite like Opera because of it's SVG handling. Oh, just me then? I'll get me coat.... :)

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Stop

What...?

Why the problem with 'illegal tying practices'?

IE gets used exactly once on every machine I install, to download the latest Firefox. I know I'd have a much harder time talking non-techies through the process of installing Firefox if IE wasn't bundled with Windows.

Imagine trying to convince an elderly relative or beancounter associate how to handle the process via FTP or wget.

Until MS prevent the installation of other browsers I don't see the problem. Are you going to stop Ford from bundling CD players in their cars if Sony et. al. complain, or tyres for that matter are Bridgstone complaining.

Dear Opera, if you can't compete improve, don't complain.

P.S. I'm not a MS fanboy, desktop runs Nix, laptop is Mac and lab boxes run Windows or ESXi.

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Alert

How the BBC reported the News

'European buyers of Windows 7 will have to download and install a web browser for themselves.'

But how will they do that if W7 does not come with a browser ??

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Dear moaners

This move is designed to get people using ALL SORTS of browsers. It doesn't matter whether people move to Firefox, or Chrome, or Safari. It all benefits us, and reduces MS's stranglehold on what should be a platform-neutral environment.

Opera don't care if you don't choose their browser - lots of people do, and are very happy. Opera are one of the few tech companies right now that are actually making money. They're quite comfortable, not in the least bit desperate. Their business would be made a lot easier if they didn't have to fix other people's problems, and that's what this is about.

Remember that much of Opera's business is on non-Windows, non-Mac and non-Linux platforms - they stand to benefit from anything that supports open standards, regardless of what people put on their desktops.

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who use Opera?

and beside. Peoples can choose for themself. If i want opera, IE, Firefox or whatever browser i want i can just D/L for Free of the internet.

Opera is trying to get FREE publicity on the back of Microsft.

MS should not be forced to put a (extremly bad) competitor on hist Desktop. Unless that competitor is willing to pay for it.

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ballot screen!

Yup I agree, give us a ballot screen, I want to choose my browser on first use, I would choose Firefox every time. I wouldn't choose Opera but I respect them in that they are fighting a company whose position allows them far too much influence over peoples decisions.

In answer to the above badly thought through comments...

5 is not a monopoly, mono=1.

I doubt very much if IE would not be the default option.

M$ are making more and more of their web apps FF (AKA Web) compatible rather than just IE, just look at OWA 2007.

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Linux

All together now: "I am a one in ten ..."

The problem with having 90% of the browsers in use being IE is that loads of people when developing new spiffy web thingies go with the 90% solution. For those people, like me who don't have a PC running Windows that is an immediate problem. If the monopoly didn't exist then we would have this crazy situation of MS forcing a browser down peoples throats that doesn't even bother to adhere to the standards.

The problem goes further than that, of course. Suppose you're developing a spiffy web thingy and the 10% is important to them for one reason or another. You now have a dramatically increased development and test cost because you simply cannot rely on people to develop to the standards and to fix standards-related problems as they arise.

And then MS decide, for whatever reason, that they really ought to make IE8 standards compliant and then all those spiffy web thingies that wheel out the "compatability" layer when they detect IE suddenly start to break.

MS's attempted domination costs everyone dear and Opera's stance makes a lot of sense. I wonder how much it costs Opera to code round problems so that web pages that work fine in IE are passably good in their browser?

Why should MS do this to us?

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To the Opera knockers

Unlike some other commentators, I won't pass judgements on the other browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome or Safari since I don't use them on a regular basis.

I DO use Opera, every day, for all my email and almost all my browsing. I find it fast and reliable and I like the way that I am able to set it up exactly how I like it. That said, I do fear they are fighting a lost battle against IE in the desktop market.

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@Ian Bonham

I quite like Opera (the browser) too. I'm not keen on the antics of Opera (the company) though.

Next they'll write a basic word processor and argue that MS should be barred from including Notepad with Windows.

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Happy

Best of a bad bunch

Even though it's been my browser of choice for years, I'd be the first to admit that Opera is far from perfect. It is, however, the best of a very poor bunch. Firefox, for ex, has a couple of irritating little bugs dating back to 2001, for God's sake.

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Just go away

Opera - just go away. Noone likes you. The end.

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Watch your mouth sweetheart!

Put down Opera all you want but they have an execellent product, that granted doesn't have a massive share of the desktop market but have done more of open and interoperable standards than most others.

I can understand why Opera hates Microsoft so much, sure they are the dominant browser, but M$ started out playing dirty back when they started serving up faulty CSS to Opera user agents.

It's thanks to Opera that the web is a more. And also thanks to Opera that there is a freely available fully web standards capable browser for J2ME device around.

What I hope now is that they go after Apple for bundling Safari with the Mac's.

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Joke

I know what will happen...

Please choose your browser of choice:

IE 5.5

IE 6

IE 7

IE 8

Lynx

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Revisionist History

Name any non-MS product in the IT sector that has remained dominant for six years without any updates (and only then because FF was gaining ground). Only a monopoly could achieve this.

Let's face it, IE is a legacy product (it singularly fails to properly implement virtually every open standard it touches and completely omits others), yet still contrives to hold the major market share.

A bit like seeing Trabant* holding a 90% share of cars and then ripping into Ford, BMW & co for trying to sell a better vehicle through the dominant Trabant dealerships (who have all the available forecourts contractually tied up).

IEisPants - it is the Trabant on the information highway...

[* substitute Austin Allegro if you like Trabants]

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Anonymous Coward

@Beating the crowds

Use those then.

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Re: Comments...

I see a lot of people deriding the Opera browser as not good enough or outclassed by others, and I wonder if they have tried it at all?

The Opera browser is a very capable and innovative browser. It is faster more stable than most others, and used to be since even before it was fashionable to be fast, snappy and stable.

In fact, many of the "innovations" included in Safari and Chrome now had their start in Opera.

The reason it is not as popular as Internet Explorer has little to do with the effectiveness of their marketting or the quality of their product, but with the barriers to entry into the desktop computer market, which is strictly controlled by Microsoft. They have been trying to rectify this and bring equality and justice to the market for almost a decade, and I commend them for doing so against popular apathy and other odds.

And before you start thinking I'm just a fanboi with an irrational fondness for crappy software, I'll have you know that I use a combination of browsers, and my browser of choice at this time is Firefox--only because of AdBlock. In my opinion Opera is far superior, faster and more stable than Firefox, and a worthy competitor in the current browser wars.

-dZ.

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Opera and Advertising

Advertising is expensive, how is Opera meant to compete with companies with deep pockets like Microsoft? Even Mozilla is financially backed by Google.

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Gates Halo

This is totally unreasonable

How can the EU really feel it's reasonable to force MS to become distributer of other people's software? This is like saying every book that's sold should be required to include a forward written by a random stranger, and the author of the book proper gets no editorial rights on said forward.

Just because MS used to do some questionable things doesn't mean it's fair to treat them this way for the rest of eternity - they've paid their debt to society already. These days the things Apple does (I'm not talking about Safari, I'm mostly talking about the iTunes/iPod linkage) are far worse than anything Microsoft did even at its worst.

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Black Helicopters

Makes no difference

So i've just installed my shiny new copy of Windows 7, stated it up, opened my web browser. Ah but I can't. Ooops. So how do I download and install this essential piece of software ? Given that most web browsers need to be downloaded using, wait for it, a web browser you're now stuck. However, helpful Microsoft will presumably provide an nice big 'download and install IE NOW' button on the desktop to help solve this conundrum. How many people will bother to download an alternative browser on another computer and transfer it across ? Probably not very many.

Rather than forcing MS to produce feature incomplete versions of windows, the EU commission should force MS to licence windows core technology to 3rd parties at a fair price. These 3rd parties can then create their own windows distributions with alternative software for all the main apps, different configuration and branding, (just like the linux distros do) while still being compatible with windows as a whole.

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Linux

Whats the point???

If Microsoft ship with a Ballot Screen or No browser, nothing will effectively change.

Ballot Screen - people who use IE now will choose IE again, Firefox users choose Firefox etc, so nothing new there, going to end with the same market share.

No browser - people will just go and find a way of getting their existing browser, so no change again.

Personally I have used most of the major browsers, and in the end my general browsing comes back to IE for compatability, all Web Devs code for IE, not all code for the rest.

What does opera expect to gain from this, because all i can see is the exact same situation, because in the end people are lazy and will stick with what they know.

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Stop

Smells like astroturfing

I´ve used every major browser avaiable 1995, and guess which one is my favorite.

The funny thing is to see all these morons spouting about that bloated piece of memory leaking crap (firefox), and actually knowing it stole most of its good ideas and design choices from Opera.

Tabbed browsing? Mouse Gestures? "Speed Dial"?

Guess which browser was the first to come up with them...

Opera was.

And it is still the best browser around.

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@Red Bren

No one gives a shit about hobby computers.

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BOTH ARE MORONS!

Opera is stupid for bringing up such a tired solution

and Microsoft is stupid for mixing Internet Explorer with Windows core functions. Its plagued Microsoft since they first come up with the idiotic idea... Many security concerns and anti-trust woes would have vanished if Microsoft just uncoupled the two. Heck, even the base code for windows might shrink :)

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Happy

Wouldnt it be funny

If MS is forced to include 5 different browsers and Opera isn't one of them.

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Ballot?

Good grief...

Let me think...

1) IE8

2) Nexus

3) Lynx

4) Netscape Navigator 2

5) Spry Mosaic

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to @ Red Bren

"Safari is not embedded into OSX". Yeah, but ...

1. Safari is installed on OSX by default, correct? They want IE not to be part of Windows OS at all. I totally agree that you should be able to uninstall it.

2. isn't webKit part of OSX? it's not a browser, but still it's preloaded rendering engine. Can you easily uninstall it? I'm not sure if you can that easily

3. can you pick what browser you install on iPhone?

I agree that you should be able to uninstall any web browser or any music/movie player from any OS, but I am really not sure if Mac OS is good example which direction to go....

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Coat

Opera?

I'm not installing Opera on any of my computers anymore....and if I go by my parents and brother's house and they have it installed I'm going to unistall it.

mine is the one with the hammer in the pocket

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meh

Opera is my browser of choice, and has been for a long while. It's fast, doesn't need any f*cking plugins to work the way I want it to, and it's not IE. But this whining isn't doing them any good IMO.

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the details...

peeps seem to have missed the why, and the list....

1 - IE, cos its there, and most are too dumb to think of looking for another...

2 - Firefox, got there on the kudos of netscape & their workers/relations... Also not afraid to shout, get 'infamous, put in prison, anything to get in the news, and get noticed, maybe why many use it!!

AND its heading for 50% share, some say...

3 - safari - the reaction against MS did not come fom linux.. Apple has made its reputation on reliability & made to work together stuff.... and it comes with safari...

4 - google chrome - peeps love gadgets, love google... and they have so much security stuff, the browser dont matter... hype or reality, you decide...

5 - yes, down among the low single figures...

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

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Anonymous Coward

Fanboys

Funny how the fanboys who for so long battled the evil empire now pounce on anyone who challenges it and wants them to 'die'. Instead of welcoming the prospect of someone seriously giving a monopoly a taste of its own medicine.

Who cares if Opera get MS to give people a choice of five browsers and they leave Opera out of the list. You should be celebrating the choice.

And don't the fanboys pick and choose their criteria so carefully? Not long ago, it was being able to pass the acid2 test and not be full of security holes (how many were patched this week by Opera? How many by other browsers?) that dictated how good a web browser was. But now IE8 passes that and two ot three other web browsers pass the Acid3 test (but not Firefox) and suddenly that doesn't matter and other browsers are still rubbish all the same. Nerds. But the EU isn't acting in the interests of nerds. It's protecting its normal citizens from abusive Americans who are acting like the modern day slave masters.

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Flame

Damnit Reg let me set my titel to my account

Im getting tired of having to type it in everytime I want to comment.

On the article, Opera what? Seriously I used it back in the day just to check it out and even then it was complete crap. Just for kicks I installed it here at work and couldnt stand it. Not to mention I couldnt use the software i need to do my job, you know, the way FF and IE let me. Just get lost Opera.

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Gates Horns

Hmmmm

Is this going to be *totally* removed or as usual - just hidden away?

The whole monopoly issue will never go away until MS actually bother to COMPLETELY unbundle their Operating Systems from other software. An OS is exactly that - any other feature / program should be the users choice.

PS Opera, get a grip.

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Bye Bye Opera.

I seldom use it, but I've never bothered to uninstall it. But I'm uninstalling it now, and I won't ever re-install it.

If they put have as much effort into popularising Opera as they do into playing politics, they might not be such a bunch of whiners.

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When will we see...

Microsoft Windows "Naked Edition" - No IM software, no file manager, no web browser, no nice control panel for changing things, everything done by the command line -hell remove the entire desktop.

Actually sounds quite a nice system to me but I would imagine if the only other choice was:

Microsoft Windows "Super Duper Ultimate" edition, with IE, Live Messenger, Control Panel, File Explorer, Calculator, Paint, Wordpad, and other such niceties.

Then most users would chose the 2nd. Surely Microsoft could just come out with these two editions and solve all the problems, no monopoly on the desktop software because you can choose to install none of it. I think especially as the price difference between the two versions would mostly likely end up something like £30

At the risk of sounding unpopular, it's Microsoft's operating system, they should be able to do what they want with it.

Actually the best idea would be to watch the panic set in if Microsoft just suddenly announced they would no longer be selling or supporting any new licenses for windows inside Europe - how long until the powers that be are begging for Microsoft to return?

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Happy

I'm uninstalling it now, blah, blah...

Only the cool can appreciate my browser of choice.

When your product is as great as this, you can say and do what you like because you rule.

So, Al Jones, lennie, Darren, Godric, Kevin, Geoff, Dave, Dylan, etc. go ahead and uninstall Opera. That's your choice. To uninstall it, without breaking the OS.

Choice is good.

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Opera

I have IE, Firefox, and Opera on my computer. I use Opera. As far as I can tell, the people rattling on about hating Opera are just that - rattling on.

On the other hand, maybe they're trying to use it for something I don't. Since I can't know that, I'll just say stop pushing your prejudices off as fact unless you want to document specific failures of Opera versus other browsers.

Failing that, do us all a favor and belt up.

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Anonymous Coward

acclimatized

I've been using Opera for a long time now. Easily my favourite browser. Other posts here tell of the progress it has made in web browsers, I don't need to repeat them.

But I do I think this case is kind of silly. A ballot screen? wha? Come on. I don't know the solution, honestly, but this all sounds rather ridiculous.

But when it comes down to it, IE is a crap product that only has maintained its market share through unfair tactics. It hurts the web, and it bad for everyone.

I think it's hilarious people are saying they're going to uninstall Opera because of this. I think Opera is being kind of stupid, sure, but they're right. At least you CAN uninstall Opera. You can't do that to IE.

But for some reason, a company whining is a bigger concern than the problems with IE.

You've all just gotten so used to it that it no longer bugs you.

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Flame

bah

in other news Opera stamps foot , shouts 'It's not good enough' and holds breath

Twats

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Stop

@ Jimmer Himself

Jimmer Himself Posted Friday 12th June 2009 14:47 GMT

>>> The simple fact is there aren't five decent browsers to bundle with Windows and why should MS be forced to bundle other Browsers with its OS? Windows is in a dominant market position because it's a great all round solution, it's not superb at any one thing, but it is well supported and despite all its faults it is a good fit for a lot of individuals and business.

Actually that's an outright lie. Microsoft got where it is with Windows for one reason* - they broke the law, deliberately and persistently, in order to kill off competition. They got caught, multiple times in multiple legal jurisdictions, and got away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist - until recently. They've deliberately used their dominance with Windows to kill off competition with web browsers, and if it hadn't been for Firefox then we'd probably still have IE 6 (and web sites artificially crippled down to work with it).

* OK, actually there is a second, an incredibly efficient marketing machine that managed to persuade senior management that there was no alternative.

MS don't actually have to bundle ANY competing software - all they have to do is make it as easy to install some alternatives as it is to install IE. That can be as simple as having several icons on the desktop, or a ballot screen, that allow you to download one of a number of alternatives (and no, that doesn't require IE to be installed first).

Lots of people will probably choose to install IE, but it will mean that a HUGE number of users will find out that they have a choice - a great many users these days do not know that there is any alternative to that blue "E" thing they click to get to "the internet". With that choice will come a lessening of IE's market share, and then MS will be forced to play the game they've made others play - they will have to make IE work with the rest of the internet instead of making the rest of the internet work with IE.

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@Simon Hobson 12-6-0 14:47 GMT

I really don't get what you're saying. It's not like MS have coded Windows to BLOCK the installation of other browsers.

What it boils down to is that Opera wants us to pay them for a browser.

Personally, I'd rather use Lynx than IE.

I could care less what the numpties use, unless it's a system that I have to take care of, In which case they use Firefox (and learn to like it).

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