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Internet Explorer The Internet Businesses

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

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:31PM (#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.
  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:35PM (#21701016) Homepage
    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 Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:37PM (#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:Opera (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:41PM (#21701124) Homepage Journal

    Opera's chief mission in life seems to be making it slightly more complicated to write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for cross-browser performance.

    s/Opera/Internet Explorer/ and I'll agree with you.

  • Re:Opera (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Average ( 648 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:44PM (#21701144)
    Opera's chief mission is mobile platforms. There's nothing even in the ballpark on Symbian or Windows Mobile.
  • by Joe Jay Bee ( 1151309 ) * <[jbsouthsea] [at] []> on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:52PM (#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:about time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by diskis ( 221264 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @03:53PM (#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: []

    MS outlook to MS spam software, not compatible: []

    Outlook E supports folders in address book, but not exporting folders: []

    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 @04:02PM (#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.
  • by mikiN ( 75494 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:08PM (#21701500)
    You are making the classic mistake of comparing goods and services where choice has little or no consequence to utility value with those which have come to be regarded as (standardized) utilities. Whether your car has an iPod connection or not doesn't change it's utility in taking you from A to B, whereas different electricity companies each using different mains plugs, voltages and AC frequencies would severely impact the utility of your laptop (assuming it didn't come with a Christmas tree of power plugs and a universal charger).

    The WWW has come to be regarded as a utility for all practical economic purposes, so requiring different browsers to be standards-compliant is not at all illogical.
  • Re:Simple (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:09PM (#21701504)
    Wow...just wow...

    you're a fucktard
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:10PM (#21701524) Homepage
    "ftp". That's how I always download Firefox on my Windows machines. That way I never have to run IE.
  • Re:Waaambulance (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:18PM (#21701630)

    Microsoft signed off on it, and then went off in their own direction.

    Someone posted what I thought was a rather insightful comment the other day pointing out that Microsoft will never adhere to "standards," since the majority of computer users will be using their software by default and will assume that it's every other browser that is "broken," or it's's fault that the MS Word document they're try to open isn't displaying the tables correctly.

    So I'm not surprised Microsoft went off in their own direction with regard to the W3C, just as nobody will be surprised when documents saved in the OOXML format by Microsoft software don't act as expected when opened in, for example. People will say is shit, and decide to stick with MS Office because it "just works."
  • by heckler95 ( 1140369 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:20PM (#21701668)
    Last time I checked, it's pretty easy for people with any kind of preference to install windows, use IE once to download Firefox/Opera/Lynx/etc. and delete all shortcuts to IE, never to be seen again (except maybe for Windows Update). Are we really saying that IE's significant majority in the browser market is wholly due to people's apathy/stupidity?

    This will probably result in a number of death threats, but, I've tried Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape and I still choose to use IE7. Yeah, the others might be a little faster rendering pages, but I make extensive use of tabbed browsing and rarely wait for a pages to render. Firefox is a memory sieve. The others don't support Windows Authentication (yes, I know, evil M$ proprietery, etc.) but that's a requirement at work, so switching to another browser (or running 2 browsers in parallel) on principle when I'm perfectly happy with IE just doesn't appeal to me.
  • Re:Why separate? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:21PM (#21701680)

    Why is it OK to tell Microsoft they can't include their own browser in their OS and yet Apple can tell you you must by their hardware to run their OS?

    What, the first 5,000 posts saying "the rules are different for monopolies" didn't answer the question for you?

  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Friday December 14, 2007 @04:29PM (#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 laffer1 ( 701823 ) <luke@ f o o l i s h g a m> on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:15PM (#21702412) Homepage Journal
    Or Mac OS. Safari is one thing, but consider webkit. Things like help wouldn't work if you removed it. I don't see opera insisting that they can be shipped on iPhones or Macs. Many websites do not work with safari. Either is strict about standards or they have a buggy browser as well. Similarly, most linux distros and even some BSD systems ship with browsers. Most people consider it part of the OS these days. If it doesn't "do" the Internet, it's not a computer. Will Opera complain that Dells shipping with ubuntu must include Opera? How about freedos?

    What about Opera's dominance on the Nintendo Wii?
  • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:39PM (#21702730) Journal

    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.
  • Re:Opera (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @05:58PM (#21702968)
    I am against adding hacks to my web site to make my site work with IE6 or 7 or any browser for that matter. I strongly feel that if you follow well established web standards your site will work on any browser.

    Well once you're in the real world and your job depends on the site you're building working in IE you'll change your tune.. or find other employment. If it doesn't look right in IE, you can't ignore it, like it or not.
  • Re:about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @06:45PM (#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.

  • by SyncNine ( 532248 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @07:30PM (#21703928)
    You missed some of the point. Actually, you missed most of the meat of the point. The 77% market share and lack of separation is only as big issue an issue because Microsoft refuses to implement proper web standard compliance in their browsers, and that forces programmers (who want their site to be seen properly by IE users) to program non-spec compliant code in conjunction with the spec-proper code for the _real_ browsers on the internet.

    If IE supported all current standards properly, users who switched away from it to other browsers would not see so much of a difference in web content, because they would be looking at a page which should render correctly in _all_ browsers, not just one. Does anyone but me remember what Microsoft's website looked like in Firefox 1.0 before they re-did it to make it compatible?

    I rest my case.
  • Re:Waaambulance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zero_offset ( 200586 ) on Friday December 14, 2007 @09:03PM (#21704584) Homepage
    It's depressing that this paranoid fantasy won you positive mod points.

    On and off over the years I've had occasion to work with Microsoft developers on various things. At one point I worked with the COM team and the IE team for several months. I didn't work for MS, I worked for a company that had discovered a weird and complicated bug. "They" are just a bunch of guys, regular programmers, just like you find at every other big company in the world. Nobody has a secret evil plan. It just doesn't exist. They bust their ass meeting deadlines and building things and dealing with bug reports and testing and builds and everything else, and frankly there are so many different people involved, any such Evil Agenda would be exposed so quickly from the inside it would make your head spin.

    It's exactly the same as people who talk about "the government" engaging in these elaborate machinations: both organizations are too large, and spread across too many people, and moving in too many different directions simultaneously to permit the kind of organization and single-mindedness of purpose that is required to execute these clever, evil plots. There are too many points of exposure. Too many potentially disgruntled employees in the loop.

    Sure, occasionally somebody really does take it upon themselves to do something underhanded, but as an organization-wide "strategy" it just doesn't happen that way.

    But this is slashdot, and reason takes a back seat to self-righteous anti-capitalism.

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