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View Full Version : EU/ Opera vs Microsoft has it gone too far?


Gerri Shin
June 12th, 2009, 06:32 PM
You may have heard it in the news recently, Microsoft is currently the target of an antitrust lawsuit by the EU for bundling its Internet Explorer web browser as the default browser in Windows. That's right, they're being sued for including their own browser in their own operating system.

Who is behind all of this? Opera Software, makers of the Opera web browser. In December of 2008, Opera pushed the EU to open a case against Microsoft as Opera believed it to be anti-competitive for Microsoft to include its own browser as the default browser within their own OS.

For some unknown reason, instead of combating the lawsuit, Microsoft decided to settle, and on Thursday announced that they would no longer include Internet Explorer in versions of Windows 7 (Microsoft's next operating system) sold in Europe, and would leave it up to OEM builders to decide which browser to install.

Well, things took a turn for the worse today when Opera made a statement saying this was not enough, and have now pushed the EU to pursue with the antitrust case. Opera believes the only reasonable solution is for Microsoft to include a "ballot screen" for users to select which browser to use.

This is absolutely nothing more than a company who can't legitimately gain market share trying to squeeze their unpopular browser onto Windows systems. Opera is simply upset because their browser is dead last in market share, and has already been surpassed by the recently released Google Chrome browser and Apple's Safari browser for Windows.

Microsoft is entirely within their right to include Internet Explorer as the default browser within their own OS, just like Apple includes their own Safari as the default browser in Mac OS X, and just like Opera Software would be free to include Opera as the default browser in their own OS, should they ever make one.

No company should be forced to include a competitor's product within their own products. This is as ridiculous as suing Coca-Cola to include Pepsi in their cans and bottles, or suing Toyota to use engines manufactured by General Motors in their vehicles.


I heard about this on another forum and I do agree that Opera is simply pushing this issue too far. Microsoft has already promised the EU that It will not ship Windows 7 with IE8 in Europe, yet Opera still persists that more measures should be taken. The forum where I first received notice of this information has encouraged it's members to boycott all Opera products to show their support for Microsoft. I do believe that it is well within Microsoft's rights to bundle their own browser with their own Operating System and that Opera is simply trying to weasel their way into a bigger market share. While I don't already use any Opera products, I will leave it up to you whether you want to join that boycott or not. I would most likely not be so sympathetic to Microsoft if Opera and the EU were, in fact, targeting not only Microsoft, but all major Operating System manufacturers. However they are only targeting Microsoft so At this time I would like to say, "Opera, you shall not get any business from Me!"

What are your thoughts on this matter, has Opera and the EU gone too far? If you would like to read more upon this subject I have included the following articles covering the matter.
Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/06/eu-to-pursue-antitrust-case-despite-windows-7-e.ars)
NeoWin (http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/02/02/european-union-vs-microsoft-opera---the-war-continues)
BusinessWeek (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_34/b3846034.htm)
CNet (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9780402-16.html)

Morkula
June 12th, 2009, 09:04 PM
I don't use Opera anyway, but I still think they're taking it too far. It's perfectly within MS's rights to include IE with Windows - if someone doesn't like it, it's easy enough to download another browser.

That said, how are people going to get any browser if there's no IE included in the first place? o_O

Zet
June 12th, 2009, 10:51 PM
Opera is a slow terrible browser if you don't know how to configure it to run fast and you need to manually install a spell checker. Though they might as well sue Apple with Safari being the default for their products.


I'll make my own browser and sue Apple for only having Safari as the default browser

Glitchfinder
June 12th, 2009, 11:06 PM
What surprised me is that nobody has yet mentioned that this is double jeopardy for Microsoft. Not only have they already faced the exact same charges before, in both Europe and the US, they've already lost the case in the US, forcing them to report the inner workings of IE to the government and their competitors.

Cassino
June 13th, 2009, 05:07 AM
It's like something PETA would do. Although I use Opera and this doesn't put me off it (there's nothing else I like, tbh).
If anything though, this is a good demonstration of capitalism making epic fail happen.

you need to manually install a spell checker.
It concerns me that anyone should need a spellchecker in the first place.

Mitchman
June 13th, 2009, 05:12 AM
Well the only thing that could be good out of this is if Win7 does come with no default browser but a choice for it people won't have to suffer with internet explorer. All they would need to do is click firefox which description reads "fast,easy, and the best". But anyway thats not the point. How the hell do you get sued for putting your own browser into your own operating system.

Morkula
June 13th, 2009, 08:14 AM
It concerns me that anyone should need a spellchecker in the first place.
Um, people are human? Everyone makes typos, and honestly if I'm going along typing a post quickly, chances are I'm not going to notice if I missed a letter or reversed two letters by accident. But if I see that little red line under the word, it draws my attention to it and lets me fix it. So your argument, besides sounding absolutely snide and egotistical, is moot.

Gumball Watterson
June 13th, 2009, 08:36 AM
What has the world gone into idiocracy for? Are those Opera guys morons or something? If they continue to sue Microsoft they won't have 70% of people having operating systems to even download that stupid browser. It's their fault their browser is a big pile of crap that wastes precious Megabytes.

I really wish it was illegal to be a corporate idiot.

Counterfeit
June 13th, 2009, 10:17 AM
When I first started reading I thought it would be about Microsoft programs always choosing IE to open web pages instead of the browser set to default by the user; This I could agree with.

However what Opera is doing is ridiculous. o.o

Cassino
June 13th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Um, people are human? Everyone makes typos, and honestly if I'm going along typing a post quickly, chances are I'm not going to notice if I missed a letter or reversed two letters by accident. But if I see that little red line under the word, it draws my attention to it and lets me fix it. So your argument, besides sounding absolutely snide and egotistical, is moot.
I see then it's just a preference. No need to get accusative, I wasn't formulating an argument.

Rukario
June 13th, 2009, 02:52 PM
So how are people going to get any browser if there's no IE included in the first place? o_O

Gumball Watterson
June 13th, 2009, 03:35 PM
So how are people going to get any browser if there's no IE included in the first place? o_O

I bet what Opera will do next is sue Microsoft for not having its browser and some stupid judge will force them to have the Opera browser...

*shudders*

twocows
June 13th, 2009, 04:08 PM
I don't use Opera anyway, but I still think they're taking it too far. It's perfectly within MS's rights to include IE with Windows - if someone doesn't like it, it's easy enough to download another browser.

That said, how are people going to get any browser if there's no IE included in the first place? o_O

What has the world gone into idiocracy for? Are those Opera guys morons or something? If they continue to sue Microsoft they won't have 70% of people having operating systems to even download that stupid browser. It's their fault their browser is a big pile of crap that wastes precious Megabytes.

I really wish it was illegal to be a corporate idiot.

So how are people going to get any browser if there's no IE included in the first place? o_O

I bet what Opera will do next is sue Microsoft for not having its browser and some stupid judge will force them to have the Opera browser...

*shudders*

To the people asking how people will get the browser in the first place, the proposed solution is to bundle the installers for every major browser with the operating system and allow the user to select which one to use.


Well the only thing that could be good out of this is if Win7 does come with no default browser but a choice for it people won't have to suffer with internet explorer. All they would need to do is click firefox which description reads "fast,easy, and the best". But anyway thats not the point. How the hell do you get sued for putting your own browser into your own operating system.

The argument is that Microsoft is abusing their position as an OS vendor by including an unnecessary product for which there are other commercial alternatives. This interferes with competition in the browser market by putting the browsers on uneven footing to begin with, and as such, is a violation of anti-trust laws.


Opera is a slow terrible browser if you don't know how to configure it to run fast and you need to manually install a spell checker. Though they might as well sue Apple with Safari being the default for their products.


I'll make my own browser and sue Apple for only having Safari as the default browser

Apple's next in line if the lawsuit succeeds; they're potentially violating the exact same laws. Also, I've never had to configure Opera to be fast. The only thing I had to set was turning off mouse gestures (I prefer to navigate by keyboard).

Zet
June 13th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Apple's next in line if the lawsuit succeeds; they're potentially violating the exact same laws. Also, I've never had to configure Opera to be fast. The only thing I had to set was turning off mouse gestures (I prefer to navigate by keyboard).
Really? For me the latest version of Opera was running slower than IE7 and IE8

twocows
June 13th, 2009, 06:39 PM
Really? For me the latest version of Opera was running slower than IE7 and IE8
Just out of curiosity, what sort of options did you set to make it run faster?

Zet
June 13th, 2009, 06:42 PM
Just out of curiosity, what sort of options did you set to make it run faster?
I had to make reload images every hour, turn off gestures and something else I can't remember

abnegation
June 13th, 2009, 06:59 PM
It's simply Opera's last resort at trying to gain some of the market shares i mean what else were they gonna do?
They had to find some way of knocking down the other browsers in shares in hope they might snatch them up. Opera isn't what it says anyway! Worlds fastest web browser? No not really.... Not in the real general world Opera. Mozilla & IE will Always be Windows favourites as for mac Safari is built for mac Why need to change to a worse less efficient browser?

Zet
June 13th, 2009, 07:02 PM
It's simply Opera's last resort at trying to gain some of the market shares i mean what else were they gonna do?
They had to find some way of knocking down the other browsers in shares in hope they might snatch them up. Opera isn't what it says anyway! Worlds fastest web browser? No not really.... Not in the real general world Opera. Mozilla & IE will Always be Windows favourites as for mac Safari is built for mac Why need to change to a worse less efficient browser?

actually Safari is amongst the favourites seeing as how over 6million downloads were done for Safari 4 in a few days. http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/06/12/apple_sees_11_million_downloads_of_safari_4_in_three_days.html

.Seth
June 13th, 2009, 08:00 PM
This really has gone too far. Microsoft has every right to include their stuff with their product (Windows). Although I don't really care for IE, it's the only thing that brings up most modem control panel's. HughesNet users, you know exactly what I mean.

abnegation
June 13th, 2009, 08:02 PM
actually Safari is amongst the favourites seeing as how over 6million downloads were done for Safari 4 in a few days. http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/06/12/apple_sees_11_million_downloads_of_safari_4_in_three_days.html
Ah 2 shay my friend. I realized they were becoming popular but not as much!!

Archer
June 13th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I don't see why people are bashing Opera's usefulness. Firstly, the Opera 10 Beta has an in-built spell-checker (which automatically picked Autralian English on my computer, I might add. Something that irritates me with new FF installs.)

And while Opera is slightly slower displaying newly loaded pages than Pipelined Firefox 3.5 Preview, it boots faster and is far more responsive as an application. Also, for slower connections, you can enable Turbo Mode for Opera. This compresses the web page from the Opera Proxy Server and decreases the size of the web page file and images.

As for Javascript, in my test, Opera scored 20.6% faster than Firefox 3.5 Preview.

Put it this way, if Firefox wasn't available, I'd be running Opera. I just don't see why people insist on bashing something with false claims.

蜃気楼
June 14th, 2009, 01:42 PM
The worst problems are IE and Windows preventing other browsers from being installed.
One difference between Microsoft's IE and Apple's Safari is that Microsoft used IE to gain extra unfair advantages. M$ has rights to include IE, but M$ cannot make Windows reject to install Firefox.
It said IE’s dominance meant developers and content providers were more likely to create sites and software designed specifically for the Microsoft browser, further hurting competition and innovation.

See also: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/R/religious-issues.html and http://www.itpro.co.uk/609559/microsoft-accused-of-monopoly-abuse-over-ie

I Laugh at your Misfortune!
June 14th, 2009, 01:50 PM
But...That's like suing VW because their cars have VW brakes on them. Maybe when you buy a car, you should choose which brakes, which wheels and which engine to go with your VW chassis as well?

Opera really needs to realise that they're failing because their browser isn't that good.

Glitchfinder
June 14th, 2009, 04:49 PM
I don't see why people are bashing Opera's usefulness. Firstly, the Opera 10 Beta has an in-built spell-checker (which automatically picked Autralian English on my computer, I might add. Something that irritates me with new FF installs.)

And while Opera is slightly slower displaying newly loaded pages than Pipelined Firefox 3.5 Preview, it boots faster and is far more responsive as an application. Also, for slower connections, you can enable Turbo Mode for Opera. This compresses the web page from the Opera Proxy Server and decreases the size of the web page file and images.

As for Javascript, in my test, Opera scored 20.6% faster than Firefox 3.5 Preview.

Put it this way, if Firefox wasn't available, I'd be running Opera. I just don't see why people insist on bashing something with false claims.

The same thing happens to Vista and Norton, at this point. While Vista was released far too early, the current release is perfectly usable, especially on reasonable, computers. Most brand new computers can run it now, and it has far fewer issues with speed and compatibility than when it was first released. Still, people bash it with problems and issues that were only valid within the first few months of release.

Norton Antivirus is the same way. Their 2009 product was completely rewritten, runs much faster, and is much more effective than the previous versions. Yet, people still bash it as a memory hogging, ineffective piece of junk, because they never bothered to read up or check out the product after being offended by older versions.

As I've said countless times before, you can't count on something to stay the same way forever. Just because that see-saw you played on as a kid was made from a wood board on a hinge, doesn't mean they don't make them out of metal, rubber, and plastic now. Just because you used a CRT monitor as a kid doesn't mean that they aren't perfectly capable of making them out of OLEDs now. (Don't go looking for them. Sony released the first OLED TV a year ago, and they're still working on scaling it up) Just because your big Game Boy had a black and white screen that required direct light to see, doesn't mean that your DSI doesn't have a bright, self-lit color screen now.

Gerri Shin
June 14th, 2009, 05:10 PM
Ok I think things are turning down a rabbit trail, this thread was not made for discussing the differences in the Opera Browser over other browsers, This thread is about the Opera Software company trying to force it's software onto it's biggest competitor.
Microsoft should have the right to bundle their own browser with their own Operating system, I don't see Adobe making a fuss about Microsoft including Paint with their operating system. One of the best equivalency scenarios I've heard is that this case would be like a small name/home brew Soda company demanding that the Coca-Cola Corporation include on it's label "If you like Coke, why not try Pepsi or 'insert small name/homebrew brand name' instead!"
This is completely unacceptable and I cannot believe that an organisation like the EU can be bullied by them so easily.

Zet
June 14th, 2009, 10:42 PM
The worst problems are IE and Windows preventing other browsers from being installed.
One difference between Microsoft's IE and Apple's Safari is that Microsoft used IE to gain extra unfair advantages. M$ has rights to include IE, but M$ cannot make Windows reject to install Firefox.


See also: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/R/religious-issues.html and http://www.itpro.co.uk/609559/microsoft-accused-of-monopoly-abuse-over-ie
Since when did Microsoft prevent other browsers from being installed? and how exactly is IE gaining unfair advantages if Apple is doing the same thing with safari?

HarrisonH
June 14th, 2009, 10:44 PM
used IE to gain extra unfair advantages. M$ has rights to include IE, but M$ cannot make Windows reject to install Firefox.

Um, they never have.

Anyways, I'm going to have to agree that it's pretty stupid to not allow MS to bundle IE with Windows. Manufacturers are probably going to install it themselves anyways, and from what I understand if you buy Windows retail, you get IE with it. So this is a rather useless case.

SCV
June 15th, 2009, 06:13 AM
One of the best equivalency scenarios I've heard is that this case would be like a small name/home brew Soda company demanding that the Coca-Cola Corporation include on it's label "If you like Coke, why not try Pepsi or 'insert small name/homebrew brand name' instead!"
This is completely unacceptable and I cannot believe that an organisation like the EU can be bullied by them so easily.
That is not an equivalent scenario.

In this scenario:
Product: OS
Product being bundled for free: Web Browser.
Competitor objecting about: Web Browser

Your Scenario:
Product: Soda
Competitor objecting about name of a Soda Product.

For a Soda, the name of the Soda is not bundled for free, its simply the name. Also in your scenario the other company would be asking to include the name of an equivalent product. Which is not what is happening here. Its not the case that Opera is asking that their opreating system be bundled or mentioned with Microsoft's.

Your scenario would be like Apple suing Microsoft for not mentioning them as an operating system. However, there is no law that says you have to mention the competition in the product you are selling.

Also the example given about a car. Brakes, motor, etc are necessary for a car to do its intended task. Also whatever parts you get are not things that are being bundled, they are included in the price.

Web browsers are different in that they are free products. Try to get different brakes. Can you do that for free in most cases? For a browser, if you don't like it you get another for free. But by bundling IE with the OS, they are preventing people from seeing other browsers. So they are using their position in one market to gain an advantage in a different market.

Also for those of you saying "How can we even download opera if there is no browser" or similar things:
You don't need a browser to connect to the internet. :shocked:

Personally, I use Linux as my main OS and will get rid of my windows machine soon.

I installed the latest release of my favorite linux distribution, I was able to download and get firefox installed, without opening a web browser.

That said, it would have been interesting for microsoft intends to do. Simply, not including IE is not all that great since apparently people aren't aware that you don't need a browser. But also, either way, they would need to do something like what opera suggested, i.e., to give them an option about what to use. They could implement that by either including installers for each (as someone mentioned earlier) or by downloading whatever the user chooses.

twocows
June 15th, 2009, 08:39 PM
Also for those of you saying "How can we even download opera if there is no browser" or similar things:
You don't need a browser to connect to the internet. :shocked:

Personally, I use Linux as my main OS and will get rid of my windows machine soon.

I installed the latest release of my favorite linux distribution, I was able to download and get firefox installed, without opening a web browser.

That said, it would have been interesting for microsoft intends to do. Simply, not including IE is not all that great since apparently people aren't aware that you don't need a browser. But also, either way, they would need to do something like what opera suggested, i.e., to give them an option about what to use. They could implement that by either including installers for each (as someone mentioned earlier) or by downloading whatever the user chooses.

ReactOS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOS) (an OS designed to be binary compatible with Windows) has an interesting solution. The Add/Remove programs control panel interface opens up a dialogue that allows downloading some free software, kind of like Synaptic on Ubuntu. Since all the parts of ReactOS are made to be compatible with Windows, you can run it on your Windows OS. I've attached it so that you can try it out; just extract the xml and the exe files to the same directory, then run the exe.

If anyone wants the Add/Remove programs interface, PM me about it (the ReactOS version allows you to navigate by keyboard and isn't reliant on MS HMTL).

.little monster
June 16th, 2009, 06:44 PM
Okay, I am just going to ignore the posts except the first.

I do believe Opera has gone too far for the sole reason that Microsoft has the right to put their browser on their operating system. If Opera really wants more users, make a better browser.

Cherrim
June 18th, 2009, 05:21 AM
I think this is ridiculous. Microsoft makes an OS and markets it and sells it? They can include the browser they create and market too. I realize Opera is the severe underdog with less options available when it comes to marketing and getting their name out there but this does not strike me as the best way to do it.

Benadryl
June 18th, 2009, 05:53 AM
This is stupid. There is no reason that Microsoft should have to bundle or even mention another browser upon startup of new computer. Opera is just trying to find a way to familiarize the world with their unpopular product.

I still prefer IE as my primary internet browser and if I bought a new computer after the change, I would still use IE.