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Internet Explorer The Internet Businesses

Opera Tells EU That Microsoft's IE Hurts the Web 338

Posted by Zonk
from the ow-right-in-my-infrastructure dept.
kastababy writes "In yet another instance of up-and-coming browser developers fighting back against the Microsoft behemoth, the makers of Opera have filed a complaint with the European Union against Microsoft. In their complaint, they allege that IE's 77% market share abuses its dominant position by tying IE to Windows and its refusal to accept Web standards, causing significant interoperability issues. The complaint also requests that the EU's Antitrust Division force Microsoft to separate IE from Windows and accept several different standards, thereby resolving major interoperability issues and providing consumers more choice in the browser market." Update: 12/14 19:47 GMT by Z : We also discussed this yesterday.
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Opera Tells EU That Microsoft's IE Hurts the Web

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  • Dupe? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:28PM (#21700912) Homepage
    Didn't we see this yesterday here [slashdot.org]???

    This is just sad.
  • by dotpavan (829804) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:28PM (#21700924) Homepage
    EU seems to show signs of hard of hearing [slashdot.org] or is Zonk having hard of seeing?
  • by Recovering Hater (833107) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:28PM (#21700926)
    ...Fire burns and water is wet.
  • about time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pkadd (1203286) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:31PM (#21700960) Homepage
    Microsoft is the one company that comes up with new standards, most of them poor. However, they are also the ones who are the worst at following well established standards, as well as adapting to new commonly accepted ones. For example, when do you think IE will support SVG without any 3rd party plugins?
    • Re:about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:41PM (#21701118)

      SVG is almost on the bottom of my wish list. How 'bout meeting the CSS 2.1 spec without having to implement any hacks? I'd be plenty happy with just that!

      Question [slashdot.org]

      Answer [slashdot.org]

      • Re:about time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dracos (107777) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:45PM (#21703530)

        CSS2.1? How about they start with something simpler to fully implement, like

        • HTML 3.2
        • DOM Level 0
        • HTML 4
        • DOM Level 1
        • CSS 1
        • DOM Level 2
        • HTML 4.01
        • XHTML 1.0
        • CSS 2
        • DOM Level 3

        If there's anything I forgot, it belongs on that list. IE has never fully supported anything.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      For example, when do you think IE will support SVG without any 3rd party plugins?

      What do you think is taking 3D Realms so long to release Duke 4ever? They really NEED MS to support SVG as the game just won't play well without it.
    • Re:about time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by diskis (221264) on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:53PM (#21701298)
      Oh, standards indeed. Would you like me to inform you on how incompatible microsoft is with microsoft?
      Let's limit us to address books for example.

      Outlook express 4 and 5 not compatible:
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244459 [microsoft.com]

      MS outlook to MS spam software, not compatible:
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/179962 [microsoft.com]

      Outlook E supports folders in address book, but not exporting folders:
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/241875 [microsoft.com]

      That was only from the first result page using keywords address book import error... If they can't standardize on a way to store contact information, can you even claim that microsoft makes *standards*? There is nothing standardized in that company. Show me a single nontrivial webpage with CSS that looks the same in IE 5,6 and 7 WITHOUT any nonstandard hacks. Even when following Microsofts own guidelines, or software that is not possible.
      • Re:about time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:02PM (#21701424) Homepage
        And MS has decided to go with the MS Word HTML rendering engine for Outlook 2007. What a terrible piece of crap that is. Just when we thought they were making some headway with IE7, they go and pull this stunt. I'm not the biggest fan of HTML email, but making a move like this is just terrible.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by diskis (221264)
          Actually, IE7 is a step backwards. I work in software support for a large computer manufacturer. You would not believe the amount of calls we get from people who downgraded from IE6 to IE7 and IE7 suddenly stops working. Granted it has the reset button which is a step forward, but sometimes that too fails. No amounts of registry edits, or system restore gets it working. It stops. We install Firefox and the customer is happy.

          Now that I think of it, our team should really be getting some ffox swag. A t-shirt
    • by cyfer2000 (548592)
      Never, IE got VML [w3.org] already. But to be honest, I like VML more than SVG.
    • by dotancohen (1015143) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:14PM (#21702396) Homepage
      Fuck SVG. I'd like to see IE support HTML.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:31PM (#21700974)
    I think it would be great if IE at least tried to follow web standards, but forcing them to adopt them is hard to enforce, as no current browser (that I'm aware of) follows the standards 100%.

    But in IE's case, it seems almost to be a complete disregard for the standards.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bert64 (520050)
      They could at least be in the same ballpark as other browsers...
      And should definitely be required to fix bugs (bugs defined where behaviour differs from the published standard) for free and within a reasonable time frame.
      Perhaps make them implement any standard feature which is implemented by at least 2 other browsers.
      • by Zebra_X (13249)
        Yeah how about firefox....

        https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=9458 [mozilla.org]

        That is the bug for inline-block support. A very BASIC part of the CSS standard. For example it is useful for making a span tag retain a fixed predetermined width.

        It works in every. other. browser.

        Not only that - the bug has a 10 year history.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kelson (129150) *

          That is the bug for inline-block support.

          Yes. And it's marked as fixed. Firefox 3 will finally have this. You can check out the beta if you want.

          • Yea... it's *really* beta too. I tried it yesterday and CNN.com showed a news title in Windings!! I'm not joking. It was pretty funny.
            • My experience differs. I wonder if you have corrupted fonts on your machine or some such thing and it isn't really the fault of Firefox. I'm using the Firefox 3 prerelease "Minefield" right now to write this reply and I've been using it as my main browser for some time now. I have found very few bugs in it and it's at least as stable as any shipping version of IE.
      • by mstahl (701501)

        Perhaps make them implement any standard feature which is implemented by at least 2 other browsers.

        That's a pretty good idea on the surface, but just like adhering to the published standard I think it'd be hard to enforce. Decoupling IE from Windows would be a huuuuuuuge step; Microsoft abandoning it would be an even better step. What would replace it, though? I think that's the biggest problem: the fact that IE is so deeply tied into Windows that no browser could at this point take its place and it can never be removed without serious changes to the way the operating system works.

        Of course, I seem to

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:37PM (#21701058)
    would make it kind of irritating to get any browser. You can't really tell them they have to provide a browser written by a competitor, so how would people go to websites to download the browser they want?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kelson (129150) *

      You can't really tell them they have to provide a browser written by a competitor, so how would people go to websites to download the browser they want?

      That's where the OEM comes in. Decouple IE from Windows, and the OEM is free to install IE, Firefox, Opera, whatever.

      • by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) * <jbsouthsea.gmail@com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @02:52PM (#21701276)
        Sure, and the beige box builders get a browser how then?

        I, personally, have no qualms with Microsoft shipping IE with Windows. It is their product, after all. BUT they should give OEMs the option to strip it out and replace it with Firefox/Opera/Safari/K-Meleon if they so desire. Which, really, is what this is all about.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          "ftp ftp.mozilla.org". That's how I always download Firefox on my Windows machines. That way I never have to run IE.
        • Sure, and the beige box builders get a browser how then?

          They should, at the very least, make IE an optional installation and provide the ability to uninstall it after it has been installed. Since they're considered a monopoly, I don't think it would be too off-base to require them to provide at least two alternative browsers with the Windows install disk.

        • by Kelson (129150) *
          IMO, the way to go would be for Microsoft to just make IE an optional component. That way it's still on the install disc for people building their own systems (assuming they haven't already grabbed an installer for some browser via another computer), and it's easy to leave it out and put something else on instead.
        • by Sark666 (756464)
          I dislike microsoft for a lot of things, but coupling IE isn't one of them. I don't think it's bs that it is well integrated into the OS. Just stick to standards. And I don't see what would really motivate OEMs to bundle a different browser.

          And on the other side of the fence, try and remove konqueror from kde.
          • by Bent Mind (853241)

            And on the other side of the fence, try and remove konqueror from kde.

            OK, emerge -C konqueror. It's removed. I've run KDE without konqueror installed. Other packages can provide a file/Internet browser. In the case of Microsoft, I'd like to see a pluggable rendering engine. Sure, a lot of things are tied to the rendering engine. Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, Help, and the desktop are just a few. Now, imaging if you could uninstall IE's rendering engine and replace it with the Gecko or KHTML engine. That is what I'd like to see. That would be competition without removi

    • It doesn't mean not ship with a browser. It means the ability to un-install/get rid of IE without breaking windows so an OEM can for example do a deal with Opera to have their browser as default instead of IE.
      • by clodney (778910)

        It doesn't mean not ship with a browser. It means the ability to un-install/get rid of IE without breaking windows so an OEM can for example do a deal with Opera to have their browser as default instead of IE.

        Try looking in the control panel in Windows XP - go to add/remove programs, then click on the link at the left that says "Program access and defaults".

        OEMs already have the ability to ship a configuration with a default browser/mail/media player that is different from IE/OE/WMP. It doesn't uninstall IE, but it makes the other programs the default.

        • It doesn't uninstall IE, but it makes the other programs the default.
          Except when using other MS software (like messenger) that opens MSIE and not the default browser. And windows update. And several other things.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      MS could simply supply Firefox, the adware version of Opera, and any other free browsers along with its decoupled IE. When installing Windows the user would have the choice of browsers, including no browser at all, as not all computers need to be on the internet. You could also uninstall any of them at will should decide to buy the 4 CD box set MEGABWOWSER.
    • by mstahl (701501)
      Easy. Just have them provide IE, then force them to open up to other companies (like Opera, Firefox, etc.) that can pay them a reasonable fee to include their browser with the operating system. This way you don't get a bazillion browsers included on the desktop of the PC, but you still have open competition. The fee should be "reasonable" as in "reasonable enough that open-source operations like Firefox can afford to pay it".
    • As part of the installation, Microsoft Windows could provide the user with a radio-button list of possible browsers they can install, and the option of "other" where they can enter a URL to a direct download. The list of browsers, and "other" could be downloaded through a utility similar to wget in Linux from the commandline via a system call. That way the user can pick what they want, but the binaries for the browsers aren't actually provided on the Windows CD. Not that hard.
  • Work to Change it (Score:2, Informative)

    by zip6 (962224)
    Really, it all starts with getting rid of the damned thing in the first place--End 6! [end6.org]
    • by Kelson (129150) *

      Really, it all starts with getting rid of the damned thing in the first place--End 6!

      Hey, thanks for posting that. I've seriously been planning to set up an "upgrade or switch" page focusing on IE6, and it looks like you (or whoever built the site, if it's not you) have beat me to it. I'm not thrilled about the big annoying pop-up method, though.

      Bookmarked!

  • its refusal to accept Web standards, causing significant interoperability issues.
    you cant imagine how many problems this creates for web development/software houses, AND customers/clients/users.
  • Operatic. I hope this brings about an Operatic deneument to the internet exploder...

    (and, to dupes on Slashdot...)
    • Operatic. I hope this brings about an Operatic deneument to the internet exploder...

      I'd offer the suggestion that pithy comments meant to appeal to the erudite Slashdot reader will, when containing spelling [reference.com] errors, most likely miss their target audience, but first, I'd have to resolve the paradox of your "operatic denouement" construct, or entertain the grim prospects of my head exploding.

      Nice try, though. Seriously.
  • What everybody seems to misunderstand is that as a world wide monopoly, Microsoft is supposed to act in a responsible way so as not to inhibit the growth of competition. Unfortunately, that is exactly what Microsoft does at every turn.

    By denying access to it's communication protocols, Microsoft inhibits competition for network services.

    By creating media formats that are secret and proprietary it inhibits competition for media creation and playback.

    By creating a browser that is non-standard it skews the enti
    • What everybody seems to misunderstand is that as a world wide monopoly, Microsoft is supposed to act in a responsible way so as not to inhibit the growth of competition.

      At the same time, there's nothing preventing them from simply outcompeting their competition. Opera has to prove that MS is doing something unfair, and including a browser with their OS probably doesn't cut it. Nor does interpreting HTML in a slightly different way.

      By creating a browser that is non-standard it skews the entire browser

      • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:39PM (#21702730)

        Nor does interpreting HTML in a slightly different way.
        Indeed. But interpreting HTML the way IE does is vastly different.

        Since MS has over 80% of the market share, one could easily say they are the de-facto standard and if Opera doesn't like it
        Web standards are not defined by Microsoft.

        they can interpret pages how MS does.
        Not only does IE not interpret things to what is considered standards, but it also uses Microsoft's own incompatible technologies that prevent other browsers and operating systems from adopting them. Additionally, with Microsoft being the 'standard' in this case, this makes it impossible for the industry to grow without Microsoft creating more 'standards'.

        Additionally, the ultimate fault is with web developers - if they cared about Opera's users, they'd test their pages on it. They don't, and that tells you all you need to know.
        It isn't about caring. Opera will render standard compliant pages well, period. IE does not work with standard compliant pages - hell, it can't even do HTMLv2 properly. When you have to support a browser that is used by the majority in such a way that it makes it very difficult to support browsers which are standards compliant, the web developer can be forced due to other constraints (time, money, more effort) to just not support them. If a web developer could write for a standard and have browsers just work with them (it's rare that you will find standards compliant pages that do not work between firefox, safari, opera etc), it would be fine.

        That's not happening here. Equating the use of proprietary file formats and non-comformity to "standards" that some group has adopted with anticompetitive practices is ludicrous.
        Considering the fact a web browser is supposed to browse the web, the web having a standard that programs are supposed to follow to make it work. Microsoft taking this standard, breaking it and then adding their own proprietary additions, gaining control of the majority of the web 'market', leaving little choice to web developers when they develop new web sites.

        I don't know if you recall the purpose of the web. But it's main goal and design is meant be a cross-platform, cross-architecture design for handling content on the "world wide web" - granting access to all who adhere to the recommendations/standards from the formation of standard organizations such as the w3c, ISO/IEEE and others. Microsoft has broken the design of the web in ways that I consider is anti-competitive.

        Embrace, break standards (so other software does not work well with Microsoft's implementation) and extend with proprietary lock-ins.
  • No, seriously--this is great! This looks interesting but I'm mainly interested in the discussion here. (I've got my ideas; I'm curious how other people see it.) It just so happens I was pretty busy yesterday and didn't catch this story. Now I don't have to wait an hour for there to be a good number of +5 comments--I can just check out yesterday's! Thanks, Slashdot!

    Dupes: they're not a bug, they're a feature! :-)

    My opinion, in case anyone cares: I dislike MS and IE as much as anyone else here, but I think O
    • by sootman (158191)
      PS: the funniest part is... if MS did make a feature-full, standards-compliant browser, wouldn't that lower Opera usage?
      • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:29PM (#21701818) Homepage Journal

        if MS did make a feature-full, standards-compliant browser, wouldn't that lower Opera usage?

        Not necessarily. End users don't pick their browsers for standards compliance. They do pick them by questions like, "Does this browser work with my bank's website?"

        If the most-used browser (IE or otherwise) is fully standards-compliant, that lowers the bar for developers to build sites that work with multiple browsers: target standards and you get something that works in IE8, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc., instead of targeting IE6, tweaking for IE7, tweaking for Firefox, and deciding anyone running another browser is just SOL.

        End result: More websites are compatible across the board, so when people try Opera, fewer of them will run it for 2 days and say, "Well, I sorta like it, but the POS browser can't handle my favorite website. I'm going back to IE."

  • by m4g02 (541882)
    I agree with improving the browser and following the standards, but why ask to untie Windows and IE?, what about MacOS X and Linux? Linux and MacOS X are slowly getting market share from Windows and seems like this isn't going to stop, so why should Microsoft sell an OS without a web browser, why punish a company out to extinction? Is just because it isn't European? I understand Opera asking to make IE standards complaint, but what business do they have with the OS?
    • by geekoid (135745)
      There not monopoly. When you are a monopoly, the rules for you change.
      This won't make MS extinct. It will just means user can get it through the windows update.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I agree with improving the browser and following the standards, but why ask to untie Windows and IE?

      Because it is illegal to tie a product you have monopolized to one in a different market.

      ...what about MacOS X and Linux?

      It is illegal for them to tie products in markets they have monopolized with one in a different market. That is why the EU is investigating Apple's market share with the iPod (since they are close to having monopoly influence in that market) and may force them to remove the ties between the iPod and the ItTunes store and iTunes software.

      why should Microsoft sell an OS without a web browser

      Because it has destroyed both the market for Web browsers and slowed progre

  • Opera is doomed in its mission of a lawsuit. However, it's the best of the three browsers out there.

    As I explain in detail here [slashdot.org], the issue is more complicated than most people see.

    Most of us don't fit into these two sides:

    1. We hate the big guy side -- Firefox is God, Linux is God, they can do no wrong, the world will be saved if we go to Linux/FF.
    2. We distrust the little guy side -- Firefox is funded by Google, Firefox is a revenge project against MSFT, you get uneven results in open source, the world wil
  • .. some odds, but much beauty

    I run Opera 9.24 (int) and Firefox 2.0.0.1 (de)

    Opera_int (6.3 MB)
    Firefox_de (5.7 MB)

    1.) ODD

    - Opera is very slow handling
    ebay.de/.com
    reichelt.de (radioshackalike)
    pages, for these pages I use Firefox.

    - not OpenSource

    2.) Beauty
    - win32/bsd/linux
    - Email Client (IMAP/POP3)
    - Addressbook
    - lightweight
    - can close all tabs (beautifull and slick)
    - restores sessions faster than firefox
    - Wand (Password manager) == awesome
    - speeddial
    - Bookmarkmanager, i
  • Well; (Score:2, Funny)

    by h.ross.perot (1050420)
    ... she has been putting on weight and all ...
  • I wonder what all the high performance browsers built on the IE engine think about this?

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