December 13, 2007

opera calls for ec investigation of microsoft

I'm a little behind on news the last 24 hours, but as I'm catching up, I see there's quite a bit of commentary on the topic of Opera's call for an EC investigation of Microsoft for bundling IE and not supporting Web standards.

I may have missed some articles because I'm only pulling from the sources that mention Firefox or Mozilla where my real interests lie. But what's most surprising to me is the hostility towards Opera and this complaint.

Here are a few of the articles that I've read today:

BetaNews - Out of options, Opera files EU antitrust against Microsoft "Opera has struggled against Microsoft's Internet Explorer, only managing a little over a half percent worldwide market share compared to IE's 77% in November, according to NetApplications. The browser is also falling further behind fellow alternative browser Firefox which now has 16 percent of the market, so filing an antitrust complaint seems like a last ditch effort."

Mashable - Opera To EU: Boo-Hoo, Microsoft Is Evil "The question is: why now? I reckon it's just free publicity, but maybe the folks at Opera know something I don't."

Inside Edge - Opera starts throwing rocks at Microsoft "To be honest it all sounds more than a little desperate to me. Some might point out that Firefox has managed to compete rather well with Microsoft, with market share of around 25% in some regions, something Opera has never got close to. And Firefox does take the standards compliant route. So what is Opera doing wrong that prevents it from being a power player in the web browser world and forces it to adopt a position of throwing rocks instead? Could it be, quite simply, that it just isn't as good a browser as either Firefox or Internet Explorer?"

The Guardian - Opera makes anti-trust complaint against IE, rekindling the spirit of 1998"If you enjoyed the last century's IE anti-trust cases in the US, Opera could help you relive the experience in Europe.... Still, you have to wonder whose fault it is when Opera can only get a market share of 0.65%"

Wired - Opera Software Tattles on Microsoft to European Commission "It's not clear, though, that we really need Opera to speak on our behalf. Even if Microsoft is a big bully, why does Mozilla Firefox continue to steal share away from Microsoft if it's if it's so difficult for other software makers to break into the browser market?"

The Machinist - Opera's misguided antitrust charges against Microsoft "Opera's latest innovation -- an antitrust charge -- leaves me skeptical."

Ars Technica - Opera tries to force IE into W3C compliance with EU complaint; Firefox's success may work against it "The state of competition in the browser market may actually work against Opera's complaint, however. Since its 1.0 release in November 2004, Firefox has gone from a blip on the browser radar to double-digit market share...Europe, in particular, has become something of a stronghold for Firefox. As of July 2007, Firefox has surpassed 40 percent market share in three EU member nations...The open-source browser is also well above the 30 percent mark in other EU nations....Firefox has managed its surge in popularity without the benefit of bundling agreements (and there's no reason why Opera can't negotiate agreements of its own) and in the same competitive environment that Opera has faced...."

Tech.Blorg - New Browser War: Opera sues Microsoft "I don't see how Microsoft can ship an OS without a browser so getting them to unpack IE would be hard to justify. It's the onus on Opera, really, to get people to be more aware of the existence of other browsers besides IE."

BloggingStocks - Microsoft may suffer from European Opera performance "Users of Microsoft Windows may be surprised to learn that they have a third alternative for an internet browser beyond Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. The Opera browser has been around since 1994, a product of the Norwegian telecom industry, which claims to be an equal to the big two in speed and security. However, its use has been minuscule, around 1% by some estimates."

TechDirt - Antitrust Law Is Supposed To Protect Consumers, Not Competitors "I don't know much about European antitrust law, but it's a little hard to take Opera's policy argument seriously. Mozilla has reported that Firefox's market share is 28 percent in Europe, a number that has been growing steadily for most of this decade...As far as I can see, there's nothing stopping consumers who are dissatisfied with Internet Explorer from downloading Firefox, Safari, or Opera. Indeed, a quarter of European Internet users have done just that. Perhaps the money Opera is currently sending on lawyers would be better spent on figuring out why Mozilla has been so much more successful than Opera at attracting new users."

DownloadSquad - Opera files complaint against Microsoft with European Commission "Opera wants Microsoft to either unbundle IE and Windows or to bundle alternative web browsers as well as Internet Explorer. As for the supporting standards bit, are you serious? "

By-Expression - Losing Respect for Opera "For a long time I have been an Opera user. I have licensed PAID versions back to either Opera 3 or Opera 4 all the way through the current version 9 but today I lost respect for the Opera company...What I want to do is set-up my computer with the applications I use and nothing else. I do NOT want more crap pre-installed on my computer, keep your legislative hands off!" - Opera vs. Microsoft: Didn't the fat lady already sing this one? "And, hey, if the Firefox folks can grab 16 percent of the browser share with a good product and a vibrant community, then what's Opera's real problem?"

ZdNet's All About Microsoft - Why Opera's antitrust complaint against Microsoft is a bad idea "With Firefox, Mozilla has proved you don't need government intervention to wrest a substantial percentage of the browser market from Microsoft."

ValleyWag - Opera's drama-queen antitrust lawsuit "Opera Software, maker of a feature-laden but forgotten Web browser, is complaining to the European Commission about Microsoft's Internet Explorer....This smells like a publicity stunt meant to remind people Opera still exists."

Tech Law Prof Blog - Opera Files Antitrust Complaint with the EU Over IE Bundling "This is honestly a case of failed marketers seeking refuge in the apron of regulators. It's hard to see a problem when Firefox has a market share somewhere in the mid 20s. Where were they three years ago? Somewhere outside of Oslo even the elk are laughing, and Norway's neighbors to the east are Borking it up."

The Inquirer - Microsoft and Opera are both right "Opera hasn't made it as a rival browser in the way that Firefox or even Safari has, which makes its claims sound a bit shrill and late in the day."

Matt Assay's The Open Road - Opera, Microsoft, and competition: A plea for an end to the whining " Opera failed to mention that other browsers like Firefox are doing just fine. Instead, it wants to turn its failure to be relevant into a case of victimhood. My heart bleeds for Opera.... Could it be that Opera emasculated its own efforts long ago by trying to sell a browser into a market that had decided that browsers are free?....Opera doesn't need the EC to wring a few Euros out of Microsoft for it. It should focus on competing for customers, not on regulating its way into relevance."

Posted by asa at 6:25 PM