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back to article Opera sings praises of Microsoft-browser statement

Microsoft browser-rival Opera Software has welcomed a European Commission statement that the company has broken European competition law by including Internet Explorer with Windows. Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner said the Commission's statement demonstrated that it's serious about getting Microsoft to "start competing …

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Pointless

OK, so as has already been stated this will not be retroactive.

Therefore it will only hit Windows 7 and Vista and you don't use IE to apply windows updates in either OS.

So the comments about browser integration above are slightly misleading.

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Stop

A few facts

I hate to rain on some incredibly silly folks' messages, but I just thought I should clear things up..

Norway isn't in the EU.

Opera is a Norwegian company.

Therefor, Opera isn't an EU company.

This is not an example of cronyism.

Furthermore, this is about being able to remove IE, and to prevent you *having* to use IE. It's not about bundling things in or not, like the WMP debate at all, Opera do not necessarily wish Windows to ship without IE. This is about MS forcing you to use IE for things like Windows Update.. And also about being able to remove IE from the system altogether.

If you so wish, you can remove Safari from OSX. From my machine, I can remove Safari, Chrome, FF, Opera, but not IE.

As for the Americans thinking the EU has the power to remove programs from machines already out there, just wtf? Your ignorance is frankly, astounding.

I think this can only be a good thing, if it goes ahead, as at least it will force people to think about what they're doing with their machine. And it will be amazing to see the vast increase in security of any Windows box post-IE.

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Anonymous Coward

I see that the Wintard sockpuppets are out in force...

...again. Yawn.

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Wait...What?

I'm an avid Opera user, but this complaint is just getting silly.

A modern OS has to include some basic functionality out of the box these days, and with the Internet so important, a browser is obviously top of that list. The basic components of IE are used within Windows to render web content, and some programs explicitly rely on it to function. Linux is much the same, using whatever component it is these days (KHTML?). In both OS, you remove these components and something won't work, simple as that. Despite IE's shortcomings, it is extremely useful to different people for different reasons, so why would you want to remove IE completely by default?

Anyway - nothing prevents an OEM or PC manufacturer from putting an alternative browser on if they so wish. It's perfectly likely that Google will push for exactly that, once Chrome has fully matured. But OEM's will only put the extra effort in if they're getting paid to do so - which is why IE remains the default.

You as a user also have the choice. Since XP, Windows has had prominent "default programs" links in control panel/start menu, where you can explicitly set it so IE is not used. If you want to use FireFox for everything web related, nothing is stopping you from ever having to use IE again. Same with WMP, photo viewer, Windows Defender, Windows Mail, WIndows Firewall....etc..etc... There is nothing to stop these never being used again.

Opera is whining and moaning as a result of simple layman behaviour - IE is 'good enough', and therefore most people won't bother changing it. It's the same with Safari on Mac, and whatever browser is thrown into your Linux distro, there is no difference. Opera desktop use is disappointingly low - but this will do nothing to change that, people will only resent them for it.

PS. to all the fools claiming you can do fine without a browser ("WGET is like, so easy!"), you need to get out more and meet the %80+ of the population who wouldn't have the faintest clue where to even begin. For the vast majority of computer users, a pre-installed browser is an absolute neccessity. For the rest of us, it would just be a pain, WGET or not.

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Stop

My car

My car has a clock in it. It was installed at the factory. I cant fit any other clock into my car wihout damaging it or leaving parts of the clock in the registrly (I mean dashboard). The clock was free so lets go against Landorover and all the other car manufactureres for being anti competative.

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Bundle wget

Like I said, MS should bundle wget with Windows and all of this chicken-and-egg nonsense is solved.

(BTW, loved your post, David Webb.)

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Anonymous Coward

Reg journalism standards must be slipping.

They must be, mustn't they, because the Great Unwashed Readership still don't get the fact that this isn't primarily about bundling per se, it's about Microsoft undermining the standards to reinforce their monopoly.

But I'm pretty certain I learnt that from your article, so maybe your readers are just mindless automatons.

So to answer the yawnsome usual questions:

1) Why aren't they complaining about Mac OS and Safari?

a: Safari is about as standards-compliant as it gets, so bundling does not proliferate proprietary variants of HTML on the web

b: MacOS doesn't have a majority market share in the PC market, therefore there is no dominant position to abuse. And given a) it wouldn't really do all that much harm.

2) IE 8 is going to be standards compliant.

They announced that *after* the suit was announced. The continued action maintains the pressure on them: remember that they were originally going to make "IE7 compatible" the default mode -- the U-turn on that will be in no small part down to this suit.

And once again, it's not just about PCs.

Opera is very successful in the consumer electronics space, but the browsing experience on consumer electronics is being damaged by the vast number of non-compliant webpages. Opera wants to be able to display every webpage on your palmtop or mobile, and on your Wii. Microsoft want to keep browsing a PC-based activity, as that means more sales of Windows. If not, do it on Windows Mobile or an XBox.

So it's about market dominance -- and a monopoly is only good for Microsoft.

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Dan
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Gates Halo

So say that MS do this...

Say their Internet Connection wizard connects to MS to download a list of browsers and then it opens a wizard to give you the choice of browser (i.e. each browser's icon with its name underneath and a bit of blurb selling the snakeoil) followed by an invitation to click on a browser you want to use. It then downloads the browser installer from MS, Mozilla, Opera, Apple, Google, or whoever, runs it, runs the browser itself, and brings up the home page.

It has to be done like this otherwise MS can get shafted from another browser provider when they go bleating to the EU, and it's easy enough to do because the MSHTML and MSXML DLLs will have to be on the system anyway.

So how would the uninitiated user know to click on the red O instead of the blue e? Everyone knows what the blue e does. And the blurb would be something like "Windows Internet Explorer is the standard browser that was built into Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista" just to hammer the point home. And the uninitiated user will willingly press the mouse button over the blue e to remove all doubt and the browser they know and love will appear about a nanosecond later as it's all built in anyway.

So I'm not too sure that Opera's usage is going to skyrocket.

And what about those broadband connections that need a browser to configure them in the first place? Getting an offline installation from another computer will be close to an insurmountable task.

And then we need to wait for a complaint to the EU over the order of browsers in the list...

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Anonymous Coward

Oh how quickly yoiu forget....

...you don't need a browser to download from the internet.... have you all forgotten wget ? You'd think you people had never seen a command shell.....geeez

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@James

Windows Update in Vista is a separate application, although you do still need to go to the Windows Update site in IE to enable Microsoft Update (which is a bit stupid - I don't know why there's no tick box option in the WU application by default).

As for removing IE, a lot of applications use DLLs related to IE to display web pages, such as mshtml.dll, as this is part of the Windows API. Developers could use other rendering options, but I guess that this is the easiest way to do it, and means that you don't need to bundle as many DLLs with your application. Even if developers from now on used something like WebKit, there'd still be legacy applications which would be broken by the unbundling of IE.

If IE is unbundled then how exactly would you be able to download another browser, as many people have already said? You could use FTP, but an average user would probably struggle with that, and would need to know the URL to connect to. You could also bundle other browsers with Windows, but Microsoft would have to include every single browser available to avoid others complaining about unfair treatment (and it would have to be Microsoft doing it, for the people who buy Windows separately to their computers).

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Stop

my 1.3p (at current exchange rates)

you do need somway of getting a defult browser on your system and just to give my ansers to a lot of the points pepol raised

@ the pepol who say you used to get browsers on cd's and things

yes any you usted to get lots of programs on cd's and you used to get your porn on VHS the internet has changed a lot of things and pepol no lomger get things on cd

@ the pepol who say they should bundle "the most popular browsers" with windows

so who decided who gets in this special bundle and how long before the first complaint about z new browser not being included

@ pepol who say use wget or ftp

how meny pepol do you seriosley expect to be able to understand that sort of thing 90% of the pepol I suported when I was a self inployed it tech could not handle a text ftp or anything else some of them could not handle downloading a new browser using the IE

@ pepol complaning about ie being tied in to windows

it is there os if you do not like it build your own one

@ pepol complaing about lack of ms following stanbdards

what univers have you been living in

@ pepol complaing about ms behavior in the late 90's

get with the times

there my job here is done

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Anonymous Coward

yeah

@'tards

yeah becouse my mum is gonna use command line ftp to get a browser. And why should the link be to download firefox or opera, there's plenty of other browsers out there - but being trapped in your failfox world they are hidden to you.

As to the notion of having multiple browsers to select from at installation.

"[] INTERNET EXPLORER - Microsofts recommended choice for a better brower experiance."

"[] Lunarscape Browser - An IE Compatible browser."

"[] Green Browser - Another interesting browser from the competition."

"[] SpaceTime - Amazing browsing experiance - may not be compatible with some sites"

Looks like a pretty healthy list to me. I could probably and another 20 or so browsers and never mention "Opera, Firefox or Safari."

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Pirate

Why not strip it then?

What I can see happening if Microsoft is asked to remove the browser is they'll offer a download link which downloads IE, WMP, Live mail and whatever else they have. So we're back to square one.

What I'd like to see them do is stop providing Windows to the EU. You don't want it the way we sell it? Ok we won't sell it anymore. Let's see what uproar that provides.

Or just remove IE and add the notion that with this version of windows you cannot get updates or patches seeing this is integral part of windows.

Regarding solutions so far:

- Use the command line / wget

--> how would including wget or ftp not be bundling?

--> how would you get your granny to figure this out?

- Add a list of browsers

--> why would Microsoft ever promote their competitiors. That's just retarded.

--> how could Microsoft be held responsible for providing the correct links if they are located on other people's servers OR how could Microsoft be held responsible if they did not have the latest version available.

--> would these browsers need patching by Microsoft? I gues not.

Both solutions so far are bollocks imo. Having antitrust for being anti-competitive, sure. Making Microsoft provide other people's software to harm their own business, no way!

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Puzzled

As an Opera user I sort of wonder how people would even get another browser if it was unbundled, do an AOL style campagne of Opera discs at every shop?

Think they are shooting themselves in the foot trying to promote Opera, its a brilliant browser but this sort of coverage makes the company look childish.

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The story later

5 weeks after the EU ruling

Guy > "So instead of having the big blue E on my desktop, I've got to go to the local store and buy a magazine with a DVD for £6 and install an internet browser thingy? Why do I need to pay for something thats free?"

BOFH > "Well, even though IE8 is apparently getting more standards compliant and passes the Acid2 test, but not the Acid3 test - companies which have minimal market share complained to the EU. The EU enjoy slapping companies, gives them something to do, so they agreed and told MS to stop bundling IE with Windows. MS threw a hissy fit and went OTT, the EU didn't think things through like 'so, if they do remove IE, how will people use the internets?', its all to foister competition!"

Guy > "Competition? Huh? I just want to install IE, what other browsers are there?"

BOFH > "Firefox, Opera to name two"

Guy > "Firefox, I've heard of that, but Opera?"

BOFH > "Decent browser, doesn't have the sex appeal of Firefox, hardly well known, hardly used, doesn't advertise on every website with 'Get Opera' and blames MS for its poor market share"

Guy > "So what does that mean for most people?

BOFH > "Why don't you search the internet and find out?!"

Guy > "....."

BOFH > "Oh, right. For most home users, like the older generation who don't want to faf around with installing a new browser, who just want to use their computer for email and the internet, it means they are screwed and will now spend a fortune on 0870 numbers calling their ISP's (if they can find the number) and be left wondering how they get on the internet. I'm making a fortune out of it! For the tech savy, they already have Firefox or Opera or even Chrome already downloaded so does not effect them.

Guy > "So it kinda screws the not so tech savvy?"

BOFH > "No, it gives ME lots of work. Do you know how many intranets use IIS rather than Apache? Using ASPX rather than PHP? Using functions which only work properly in IE? More than 4, probably more than 6, so now the system admin has to stop playing F.E.A.R. 2 and get IE back on thousands of computers, some colleges will have over 4,000 computers that need IE installed!"

Guy > "So why did MS retroactivly remove IE?"

BOFH > "You realise this is a premium rate number right? The PFY set it up just as the EU ruled?"

Guy > "..."

BOFH > "They did it to prove a point, an OS without a browser is like a rampant rabbit without batteries, sure its fun, but its just not enough, you may get satisfied, but wheres the buzz?"

Guy > "So basically Windows is a vibrator, and IE is batteries?"

BOFH > "..."

Guy > "So whats my solution?"

BOFH > "Well, I got several copies of this wonderful OS laying around, called OS2.. Warp... its fantastic and for only £75 a licence!"

I just don't think the EU are thinking this through, they are on an anti-MS crusade and will take whatever action they think they can get away with when it comes to MS. They have a history of screwing with competition and damaging the big guy in the hopes the little guy will actually make in-roads. Firefox is gaining popularity, not because its a better browser, but because everywhere you go there is "Get Firefox!" and through word of mouth. Opera is not doing this, I don't think I've seen a "Get Opera" advert.

If MS were to lock down Windows in such a way that FF/Opera/Chrome couldn't work, or did an Apple Quicktime and changes file associations every time you used it, then yeah, Opera would have a valid case. But people won't stop using IE if IE is removed.

The sort of people who use this site will know how to get a browser installed via FTP, but the vast majority of people wouldn't know their FTP from their NTP and asking them to accept an OS without a browser installed is punishing them. They won't switch to Firefox/Opera, they will most likely INSTALL IE off a cover disc and stick with it. I know if IE was removed from Windows I'd never go near Opera again.

Its 2009, the whole world needs to be online to do business, do the EU really want to put the EU at a major disadvantage to other trading blocs? What next, Windows must unbundle its boot loader as it over-writes Linux? That'd be a laugh.

People should be given their own choice, but every OS should have a browser installed by default. IE is the browser that comes with Windows, sure they could bundle Firefox/Opera, but they get in trouble for bundling, and also who would offer support then? If it comes with Windows, MS would be expected to support Firefox/Opera, and should FF/Opera suddenly develop a major exploit that lets hackers download your hard drives or something, MS would be to blame as they bundled the software.

Mind you, they could try adding Chrome to a Windows install......

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Flame

Oh Dear...

@michael

The universe where we all use a common fucking dictionary! You are a pyjama developer (one that develops in their bedroom) aren't you! I take it "self employed in tech" means fixing your mates pc's...

@Charlie Mason

Good joined up thinking there. MS to pull out out of Europe. Opening the door for Limix and Apple to battle over a Market that is enomous, ultimately allowing Microsofts competitors to dwarf them. Please tell me you are not in management..

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Seriously...

Sorry for asking a silly question, but why exactly is FF3/Chrome better than Opera? Chrome especially. The only downside I've ever found to Opera is that there are less plugins than FF, but since most of the functionality I need to get from plugins is already in Opera, this doesn't really bother me. Seriously, it's a great browser..

That doesn't mean I agree with what's happening here, it's clearly ridiculous. Might as well suggest that you don't bundle notepad/calc because there's plenty of other alternatives.

As for Apple, I wouldn't agree that an Apple PC is a PC in the same sense as any other PC. They clearly have a monopoly on shiny computers that cost stupid money and are good at about 5 things.

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Coat

er

>So, if my OS doesn't come with a browser, how do I download a browser

sudo apt-get install <browser>

I'm only using that because a comment doesn't support the quick screen grab of the UI where a normal user would do it.

What do you mean your OS can't download and install software you ask it to at will? Oh, right, you're using a crap one. Might I suggest you go get a proper OS? You know, one that works? And has things like security?

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Paris Hilton

Benders

So the most corrupt (allegedly) organisation in Europe, who have never published accounts because we might see exactly what we are paying for tell Billy boy what he is and isn't allowed to do.

Paris - she doesn't mind a bent cucumber and I love her

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@Mac Phreak

actuley I currently work as it suport for an international company of 500+ enployes but the reasion I can not spell is I am servley dyslexic and we use our own dictnorys

if fact self imployed tech ment I fixed the computers of all the old pepol in the village I lived in who could not sort out how to get online even with IE as the defult so I know how completeley clueless some users can be

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Gates Halo

Re: Mac OS, Ian Ferguson

Mac OSX and Safari are less tied because they both have a crappy market share. Thus nobody can really complain.

I can't wait for the first batch of machines to hit the EU with NO browser installed.

"How do I get the one I like?"

"Go on the internet and download it."

"Uhm... HOW exactly?"

"Oh yeah..."

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Stop

wanting a browser is not the same as buying MS

Strange it is that anyone would give up their right to buy products of their choice. But, just look at the Microsoft salesman.

I guess they still have their mom put out their cloths on the bed each day so that they do not have to decide what to wear. Their mommy also packs their box lunch so that decision need not be made either.

Needing to wear cloths or eat lunch NEVER means you have to give that choice to someone else.

But, look at the Microsoft salsman (if you can call them that). They think your choice only extends to the plastic numbers you use to pay for IE.

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Pirate

FTP

Hey, here's an idea. If Joe Luser can't figure out how to download a browser with something simple like FTP, maybe he shouldn't be connected to the Internet in the first place, since he's probably also not smart enough to have installed antivirus/anti-malware software to prevent his Windblows box from becoming a spam-spewing zombie. Think of all the bandwidth the rest of us would have without that bunch of lusers chewing it up.

NetWare forever!!!

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Paris Hilton

@AC (14:23)

And you, a coward, are telling us what they should do?

Shit, man, how deluded are you..?

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@ Pirate Dave

Quick question for you, without using a web browser to find the URL of the FTP download, how do you expect Joe Luser to be able to find the URL to get the FTP to download the browser? Random guessing? :P

People *need* browsers to get the information they require to like, do stuff.

However, worst case scenario, MS agree and change the Internet Explorer icon to a "Download IE" icon, it isn't tied to the system and only screws up the people who need a browser to go to http://10.0.0.1 or http://192.168.0.1 to set up their internet connection.... so that'll be a lot of people.

Either way, the EU are not thinking this through properly, MS really should *not* be forced to include other companies browsers as that is unfair competition *coff* on other browsers, but forcing them to remove the browser is just asking for trouble, in fact I'm going to find out who my MEP is and tell them so!

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Paris Hilton

@ All those who think this means Opera want MS to remove IE

Start reading and comprehending.

Nobody is saying that MS should be forced to remove IE from Windows, just that I as an administrator should be able to do so if I wish without borking the rest of the OS.

Paris as that seems to be the level of comprehension.

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Anonymous Coward

@David Webb

At no point have the EU (as far as I can read) suggested that Microsoft unbundle Internet Explorer. The issue is two-fold.

1. You CANNOT completely remove the software if you wish. I am going to differentiate between MSHTML/MSXML(FWIW both are terrible layout engines compared with Gecko and WebKit) and IE here. Sure, keep a layout engine installed for the OS, but make it easy to COMPLETELY REMOVE IE.

2. Standards Compliance. A web page written for IE is generally broken on ALL other web browsers. The biggest install base is Windows. That means, BY DEFAULT, IE is the biggest browser install base (see above for problem with this). This, therefore, encourages individuals to write non-standard HTML using propiatary tags. This means standards compliant browsers will not render the page properly. This mean Johnny Average User thinks that Firefox/Safari/Opera/SuperduperFOSS Browser is rubbish and doesn't work. THIS IS THE CRUX! This is anti-competitive behaviour from Microsoft. The EU should really be saying that MS browser is not fit for purpose, and therefore can no-longer be called INTERNET Explorer. If it pleases the "Daily Express" style reactionaries,it should be called INTRANET Explorer.

Sorry about the caps, no italics...

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Paris Hilton

@David Webb

You don't read much do you?

As several people said before, same as when Windows didn't have IE:

1) OEM picks one

2) ISP picks one for the setup CD

3) ftp

4) from a cover CD

5) from a plus pack

6) from "X Internet Safety Suite"

Dumb fuck

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Flame

Lol, just lol.

Some of these comments are hilarious. Absolutely cracking.

Rather then making things easy for the average user, you elitist pricks would rather they have to learn how to FTP/command line just to browse the internet. News flash idiots, just because it's easy for you doesn't mean it is for Joe Public.

Oh, oh! Or they could use CDs! Because that's not a total waste of materials, not to mention regressing back 10 years. Yeah, the brainstorms just keep coming don't they.

Fire; Some of you need to jump into one.

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Unhappy

Next step

So MS removes IE, keeping opera happy, but wait what will people use to download their browser of choice?

Yes they can use FTP, but wait that is bundle with windows as well, so then generic FTP software company pops up and whines, it will never end.

Maybe remove TCP/IP from windows to stop all the fuss!!

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