back to article IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?

Details could undermine Microsoft's proposal to let Windows users pick their browser, the company's effort to keep Internet Explorer on the right side of European Union regulatory law. Speaking with TechFlash, Opera Software CTO Hakon Wium Lie has questioned the use of the famous IE icon in a ballot screen Microsoft said it's …


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  1. vincent himpe

    that's bovine byproduct of the male type...

    thw indows loko are the four colored squares forming a waving flag.

    ie is internet explorer.

    I would replace the logo with a stuck up middle finger ...

    Even though i love the opera browser i am really starting to hate this attitude from the opera company.

  2. evilbob thebob

    It's a LOGO

    And the logo of EVERY OTHER WEB BROWSER is being displayed...seriously, what is the EU's problem with this. /rant

  3. lightman

    Regulation gone mad

    Dear God, what is the matter with the EU ?

    I have to say I don't use ANY M$ software at all - dedicated open source "geek" here - BUT - and I don't say this lightly,;


    If a user doesn't want to use IE, they will install something else anyway - some daft poll isn't going to help get any bigger market share for the competition, in fact, it will likely only serve to confuse end users.

    And why shouldn't Microsoft be able to include whatever the hell they want in their software bundle ?

    Perhaps the next idiotic lunacy will be to insist they include several alternative operating systems as well (wouldn't Apple just love that?)

    Bottom line - let the customer vote with their feet (wallet) and get government the hell out of interfering with free enterprise.

  4. Kev K
    Gates Halo

    PLEASE Microsoft

    Just don't include opera as one of the options of installable browsers

    A: It would amuse the hell out of me personally.

    B: I wont have to support that buggy pile of shit.

    C: It will stop every other half arsed "look at me" (I'm looking at you Real Player - you will be forever blocked at all my firewalls) POS software demanding to be included in the next release of Windows or else it wont "be fair"

    Apple must be crapping themselves - cos as their market share grows - they are going to be the next victims of this type of blackmail - cos if M$ cave to it then surely Apple will have too as well

  5. David Webb


    Will Opera never be happy unless IE is actually not even an option to install? They got what they wanted, a ballot, and *still* they complain? Sheesh.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Why don't we go ahead and just revert to plain-text browsing, while we're at it? Sheesh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wow, I think the EU is doing great...

    with fining firms for anti-competitive behavior, but this is just crazy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I will never use Opera

    This is so stupid. MS has gone above and beyond. It's not their fault Opera's browser sucks and no one wants to use it so they have to force a company to market their browser. What a joke. Why don't they just develop something that people want to use, instead of developing more crap.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Supported the EU, but saw this coming.

    "The blue 'e' has become so associated with the Internet in general, due to the bundling with Windows."

    This was always going to be the problem. People have been trained to think that the blue e is the secret gateway to the internet. That's how MS works. Get in early with illegal tactics then back off when the damage has already been done. That's why, oh ye wintards, we don't give them money if we can help it. They're convicted criminals that have to serve their time. As a society we try not to reward criminals. Yes? Oh but whiny whiny, linux is so hard to use. No. No it isn't.

    EU, can't you just fine MS billions and then levy a tax on all MS products until such time as the fine (plus interest) is paid off?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Guess which is first on the list?

    That was easy, eh?

  11. Chris iverson


    they spoke up, they got the EU to listen, now icons are an issue? I can see the point that they are trying to make but seriously. Does Lie just want them to remove the IE logo or all of them. Considering the situation this part should an all or nothing case.

    Seriously, shut the F**K up Opera. Make a better browser and market it appropriately.

    Opera = no better than M$ with far less market share

  12. psyq
    Thumb Down

    Wow, Opera w*nkers are really over the top...

    What's next - when Microsoft even changes IE icon, Opera will request that Internet Explorer gets renamed to "WhgrhGB0l Grhvrw1AL" - otherwise, the name would be too familiar and users would chose it due to familiarity reasons alone...

    Jesus, will those Opera tossers die already...

  13. northern monkey
    Thumb Down


    Do they get ordered randomly? Otherwise surely there's some sort of bias towards certain positions.

    Plus the description for firefox really sucks - who wrote that!! Posing it as a question almost leads you say 'no, probably not - screw installing that'.

  14. Chad H.

    Natural bias to IE?

    Lie has reportly said that the use of icons in the ballot screen could result in a natural bias towards IE. The sticking point could be that the IE logo has become synonymous with Windows.


    I think if anything, theres a natural bias towards google.... "What point is an interweb without google?"

  15. Petrea Mitchell

    Associated with online services?

    If that's the worry, I'd expect people to be more biased toward Chrome, seeing the Google logo and not realizing that they're selecting the Google browser instead of the Google that's their portal on the Web, and then getting annoyed later because they were expecting a browser like IE.

    In fact, there's a lot of room to worry about how most people aren't even clear on what a browser is to begin with. The only way to know how well this whole "browser ballot" will work would be to run some proper usability testing before the final remedy is decided on, but I don't suppose the court has any way to order that sort of thing?

    Now, there *will* for sure be a bias toward whatever the first option is, which gives IE a small but definite edge. Seems only fair, given that MS is going to get all the angry complaints from people who don't understand what they're doing, pick something other than IE, and get surprised that their internet doesn't work the way they're used to.

  16. Tom 15

    I agree...

    I agree with the original case but the ballot screen appears more than adequate. I'd like to be able to reaccess the ballot screen from Control Panel later on too...

  17. Anonymous Coward


    So, someone walks into a ford dealer after a new wheel-trim for their fiesta.

    Instead of being given the one that woud have come with their car, they now get presented with a choice from all the competition as well.

    And now their saying that the ford one shouldn't be identified by the ford logo or the fiesta insignia???

    FFS, just get over it opera. Mozilla and Google have shown that if you make a good enough product that people want, you can get a share of the market.

    The EU really should go after Apple though - they bundle everything. It's almost like a car manufacturer supplying the chassis, engine, seats, doors, windscreen, radio, headlights, bulbs, etc.

  18. Balefire

    I was with him until now

    I mean, really. This is beginning to be embarrassing. I don't like MS or their software but this is taking the piss. As long as the "Tell me more" link doesn't go on about how much your Windows experience will be retarded (if possible) by using another browser, this is close to acceptable.

    They can easily tie the Windows Update service into a separate program (like Synaptics, YUM, etc) so you don't have to have IE installed.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Someone shoot this twat

    Opera's recent behaviour has put them on a par with Microsoft in terms of cynical manipulation of the legal process. (String out the lawyers for long enough and perhaps the other side will lose more than you do.) I hope they are sent packing. Sadly, I doubt it. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be toothless and far to easy to deceive or divert.

    The irony is that all the legal flak Microsoft have taken in recent years has meant that IE is slowly turning into quite a nice compliant browser, so the main reason to go with Opera has largely disappeared. Could Opera be the next SCO? A company that had better technology but chose instead to destroy itself in legal wrangling?

  20. Matt Caldwell

    Well now...

    I can't say that I have a problem with the use of the "e" logo. I'm surprised at the animosity shown toward the Opera browser though. Like the company or not (they are currently looking a bit silly) but the browser is quite good, I've been using it for years. The new version 10 is really nice, very clean, and customizable / compatible with any site I want to use including the secure site my Uni uses as well as my banking.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    with possible exception of john dee

    actually some level headed comments made (at the time of writing, who knows what wonders will be published in the morn)

    @john dee: illegal tactics? make things easy for the consumer, by including the software they need to use to get up and running, and that's illegal? i dont think anyone complained about MS until they actually got successful and realised they weren't getting a look in, did they? (open to corrections on that, i'm only young, not like some o youse ole bastards!).

    even if people did complain, apparently no one cared anyway - if they did, MS wouldn't be where they are, would they?(unless they bribed and fucked their way through the courts, but the former they couldn't do until they had shitloads of cash, and the latter they couldn't do because...well, we're talking about microsoft here, i can't imagine that back in those days there were many, shall we say attractive, IT employees...)

  22. Ryan 7

    Oh FFS

    What's next? Making Renault offer Vauxhall windscreens at the showrooms?

    Let Microsoft offer whatever finished code they want! True competition will gain market share because people want it (ahem... Firefox... ahem), not because they are forced to invite the ugly kid to their party!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera need to learn when to STFU

    Opera are just bitter because noone will use their browser. And with PR like this, is anyone surprised? The software is fine, but the company need a lesson in when to shut the fuck up and stop whining because their product isn't as popular.

    You asked for the ballot screen, and you got it, and you still aren't happy.

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if MS decided they were only going to use the top 3 or 4 browsers instead and leave opera out after all this? I bet there are some people in MS thinking about it every time Opera comes up with one of these retarded complaints...

  24. ThomH Silver badge

    Opera making fools of themselves (+ @Kev K)

    Seriously, what's their next complaint? "Internet Explorer" sounds too much like a gateway to the internet compared to "Opera", so they don't want Microsoft to be allowed to display either the icon or the name of their product? I guess part of their strategy in reporting Microsoft may have been to try to gain some traction amongst developers by standing up to a much disliked adversary — if so then they need to stop making a joke of themselves like this.

    @Kav K: to be fair, Apple would probably need to multiply their market share by at least 10 to have a majority of the market in Europe, so I suspect they're not too concerned about what might happen if they ever have a monopolistic position. Hopefully they'll be taken to book for Pre blocking, should the Pre ever launch in the EU...

  25. Anonymous Coward

    EU = European Unintelligentsia

    Is anyone surprised? A third rate software company that writes a third rate browser whines that it's unfair that it chose to enter a market already occupied by a big legitimate company. The third rate company whines about how unfair it is that the big company has more resources than it does. Only in the European Unintelligentsia would that result in a smack down of the big company. Notice, that despite the US having much stronger anti-trust laws than the EU, Opera has not tried to walk down the same path. Why? Because they know the US Courts will toss them out on their ear since their case has no merit.

  26. Bruce 2

    Re: Guess which is first on the list?

    I think MS have a right to have their browser first on the list it is their bloody operating system after all!

    Personally I think the opera boys are all a bunch of idiots, ie doesn't stop Firefox from getting market share or chrome yet it some how stops opera. Or could it just be Opera is a shit browser that no one wants to use because it sucks! Why don't opera stop blaming their inability to create a decent browser on someone else and start making amends to there current browser and doing some of that marketing malarkey!.

    Grrr stick the Opera boys on a space rocket with Adobe and send them far far away!

    (Right I need a beer now!)

  27. Insane Reindeer

    Opera and the E.U.

    On a personal note if I worked for the E.U. or was an M.E.P. dealing with this I would be limbering myself up for a big swing at OPERA! Over what, or, at what, I don't know but then if I worked for the E.U. I imagine I could cook something up that need whacking! :-)

    The E.U. and Microsoft seem to be working through their problems in a pretty good way in my opinion, but the people (or maybe it should just be "a person") at Opera seem to come along and stick their noses up at every little thing.

    I honestly can't remember the last time I found IE set as the default web browser on a PC. Yes I can see how it has become such a large problem, but the E.U. are muddling through well enough I think.

    Opera, either get with the programme or prepared to get whacked!

  28. Kevin 6

    Is it microsofts fault

    Operas logo is a pile of crap? Their logo took what 15 seconds to make in MS paint? not many people will be attracted to a White O in a red box. Shocked their not trying to get fines put on Apple, Mozilla, and Google also for having more attractive icons.

    and like others have said it doesn't help that their browser is a pile of crap.

  29. magix

    What next Opera.......!

    Maybe you should spend longer looking at ways to improve your own browser instead of stalking Microsoft...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    I love that the screenshot clearly shows the ballot page in IE. MS are evil genius!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 20:38

    "Clearly they weren't a monopoly when they were working out of"i dont think anyone complained about MS until they actually got successful and realised they weren't getting a look in, did they?"

    Well, no-one complained about them being abusing their monopoly position until they were a monopoly, that's certainly true. What's your point? I rather lost it in all that youthful lack of grammar.

    "even if people did complain, apparently no one cared anyway "

    People complained, people cared. Hence the use of "convicted".

    "if they did, MS wouldn't be where they are, would they?"

    Well they did and they are. That's what strong-arm tactics are for. You kick your way to the front of the queue, say sorry, and walk off with the spoils.

  32. Michael 28


    "Lynx" isn't represented at all !

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    only one of the above was convicted as an "abusive monopoly"

    come on keep up!!

    To all those saying that MS should be able to do what it want with "ITS" software.

    No - MS is a convicted monopolist in both the US and the EU. They abused their market position to maintain a monopoly. THAT is why they are being forced into this situation.

    If you don't understand that, and why they are in this situation, go and educate yourself before posting utter rubbish. If Bush hadn't beaten Kerry it's quite likely MS would have been split up like Standard Oil and Ma Bell.

  34. Steve Evans
    Thumb Down

    Oh FFS (2)

    Will they stop moaning... They're just sore cos the Opera logo is just an O, which is basically shite!

    Just admit it, you're jealous cos M$ managed to make an e into a planet and you never thought about that despite already having a letter the right shape!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Cease yer whining

    And I don't mean Lie, I mean the majority of you commentards.

    When one car-maker has ABUSED their MONOPOLY on the automobile market, *then* you can make car comparisons, until then: KEEP YER TRAPS SHUT!

    I suggest that the browser decision should be made at the OEM level, but with IE not being an option at all. If people want to use IE they should have to explicitly go out and download it. MS have had a decade of IE being effectively the only option for most people, so they should have a decade of it effectively *not* being an option.

  36. Annihilator

    Oh... my... GOD!

    FFS Opera!

    I'm starting to get the impression that MS could just throw their toys out the pram and say "fine, default browser is Opera" and they STILL wouldn't be happy.

  37. Mark Donnison


    I'm not pro MS, but come on. I thought the idea was to give the consumer the choice of browser, not hide that IE exists.

    So what if most people still choose to use IE? Who cares why they make that choice?

    I dont think Opera will be happy until its compulsory to use their browser.................. I once held them and their product in high esteem, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot barge pole now, they are no better than the company that they are attacking.

  38. Rob Beard

    Oh come on!

    I agree with the fact that there should be more choice, and to be honest I think what Microsoft are showing is fair enough (although did anyone else notice that this ballot is running in a browser? ;-)

    No doubt when the time comes they'll just do something like they have done with Windows Update in Vista & Windows 7, no browser is required, it's just part of Control Panel now. I presume they'll do the same sort of thing, maybe coming up when the user starts their new machine as part of the welcome screen.

    To be honest though removing the IE icon is just plain stupid if they're going to keep the rest of the icons. Why don't they keep the icons, text descriptions and just order it alphabetically, that way it'll be...

    Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera...

    Oh hang on, that means Opera will be last...

    Okay, do it by company name first...

    Google Chrome,

    Microsoft Internet Explorer

    Mozilla Firefox

    Opera Software um... Opera

    Ahh no that won't work either. Not unless Opera rename their browser to something like "Aaardvark's A1 Browser Program". Yeah, don't see that happening.

    Troll icon, because well, thats what Opera is starting to be now.



    While they're at it, could Opera actually update the Wii browser for better Flash support and tabbed browsing please?!??!?

  39. Rob Beard

    Forgot to add....

    I forgot to add...

    When are Nintendo going to offer Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer for the Wii, I mean it's just the same, the Wii seems to have a monopoly and Opera is the only browser available for it!


  40. Al Jones

    What other browsers do I need to start using so that Opera get;'s pushed off the list?

    I'm so pissed off with Opera's constant whining that I'm prepared to do some of my browsing in some other minority browser just so that Opera get's pushed into 6th place, and off the ballot.

    Any suggestions?

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft fans are quick on the jump these days

    The problem isn't really the inclusion of IE on Windows, but the strategy of Microsoft prevents an OEM including a competing product on their release.

    This is the f***ing isse. Microsoft have been found guilty more than once in multiple jurisdictions of abusing their power. I fail to see why you guys seem to think that allowing Microsoft to continue to abuse their power is a good thing

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  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The same old retards

    Yet again, someone just makes a comment, the EU have made no ruling and MS are just making suggestions and all these thickos come spewing out their nonsense.

    This is why the EU is needed, to force common sense and a raised standard of living onto angry nerds who would otherwise go through life cutting their nose off to spite their face.

    Yes, the bug blue 'e' means "The Internet". The Internet is the web, the web is email, email is MSN messenger. Most people online think this to be true and don't care whether it's right or not as they're pre-occupied with the rest of their lives.

    The only way to help these people is to forcably break their habits, just like you have to in order to stop a whole nation having racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic tendencies.

    If messageboards and blog comments were around when William Wilberforce started suggesting slavery wasn't such a good thing, I'm sure he'd also be subject to such bile and hatered. In fact, there was exactly that when the age of consent was standardised for all just a few years ago. The same kind of minds that shouted then are shouting now.

  44. James Le Cuirot

    @ Matt Caldwell

    I agree and I'm a professional web monkey. This certainly has gone too far, even for my tastes, and IE has been the bane of my life for years, but that's no reason to slate the Opera browser itself. It's my browser of choice and I'm proud to use it.

  45. Naadir Jeewa

    Ballot fail

    The ballot screen runs in IE.

    Infinite FAIL.

  46. John P
    Thumb Down

    Really Opera, shut up!

    I am a loyal Opera user, personally considering it to be the best and most stable browser out there. But Opera's continual moaning about everything M$ do is really getting on my nerves now.

    In terms of features, Opera has always been the innovator of the browsers. If they expended as much effort on marketing and actually letting people know they exist, as they do on slagging off Microsoft, I guarantee they would have a much bigger market share.

    It seems like, rather than go to the effort of increasing their market share through marketing, etc, they are just willing to settle for dropping M$'s market share, which won't happen through the ballot screen.

    Even if you remove the icons, users will always go for what is familiar. You need to give them a reason to switch, not just present all the options and expect their curiosity to get the best of them.

    Thumbs down Opera, change the record already!

  47. Andy france

    It doesn't matter anymore

    Does is actually matter to Microsoft which browser you use?

    Once upon a time it did matter because people though the browser was the killer internet app.

    They were wrong: it was search. Google got that one right.

    Microsoft can only dislodge Google by building a better search engine. A browser that defaults to their search engine is no longer enough. History shows it never was.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going too far.

    So they want consumers to have a choice of installing an alternative browser to IE.

    Guess what - I'm not using IE!

    So didn't I have that choice?

    This gets more and more bizarre and pointless with every passing day.

  49. Aaron Scully

    Too far, but funny non the less.

    I am an Opera user - I even used to pay for it when it cost money because it was that good and so ahead of the competition (still is). And I don't blame Opera as a company for this tactic of trying to get their browser included. However, as much as I think IE is a slow clunky pile of rubbish and that anyone who used Opera for a month wouldn't go back, I laugh at the thought of MS not being able to use IE's own logo on a ballot screen - that's taking things a little too far! Still, as a business you can't blame Opera for trying - after all, MS in the past has a long history of using every underhand tactic in the book to kill off rivals with inferior products, so they can hardly complain.

  50. Studley

    Am I the only one...

    ...who's oddly intrigued by Browser 6?


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