Opera Software, the Norway-based company that makes the Opera browsers, “the only company that can put the Web on any device”, has smacked Microsoft on its bottom and tried to send it to bed with bread and water. Well, actually, what’s really happened is that Opera has filed and antitrust complaint with the EU against Microsoft, accusing it of “abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards”.
Said CEO Jon von Tetzchner:
We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them. In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation. We cannot rest until we’ve brought fair and equitable options to consumers worldwide.
The press release goes on to say:
Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft’s abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate
Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers preinstalled on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities. The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of stifling them with its notorious “Embrace, Extend and Extinguish” strategy. Microsoft’s unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks.
Both of Opera’s requested remedies are intended to give consumers greater freedom and flexibility while at the same time ensuring that the Web further develops into a platform for innovation. Opera believes that the remedies will help promote consumer rights worldwide and force Microsoft to begin competing with Opera and others on the merits of its browser.