Opera Bitching At Microsoft

According to the BBC, Opera have filed a complaint about Microsoft to the European Commission about the fact that Internet Explorer is still bundled with Windows. From the article:

Opera Software said the close ties between Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows made it hard for rivals to be a serious choice for web users.

This sounds fair enough, and I agree that users should be given the opportunity to make a choice about what they use (Firefox ftw) but where do we draw the line? When Windows comes with Firefox, Opera, Safari, Flock, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL’s browser, Avant and Maxthon? Who benefits from that list — not the user, because they sure as hell aren’t going to try each one to see which suits best. And what about any I’ve missed, who are they going to complain to if their browser doesn’t get included?

Of course, we could cut out the browser from Windows altogether, but then how would users be able to download a new browser if they haven’t got a browser to download with in the first place? How much of a pain in the ass would it be to buy a new PC, then discover you have to go out to your local computer shop just to get a disk with some browsing software on?

I think Opera need to spend less time chasing a goal that will be nigh-on impossible to score and more time educating the user on why they should be picking a new browser in the first place.

And now back to my ham and egg bap….

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32 comments so far

  1. Rachael said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    So, your site won’t let me comment on my phone, and now the layout is kinda messed up in IE… You really don’t like me today, do you Jem? As for Opera (which apparently isn’t pronounce “oprah”. wtf?), I think they need to stop complaining, yes. You buy a PC with MS windows on it. Microsoft have every right (or at least, they should do) to bundle their own software with their own product… Do Opera have a problem with Apple OS’s coming with Safari? Or is that not allowed either? And you raise a good point : if users don’t have a browser bundled with their computer when it’s brand new – what on Earth are they going to use to download the supposedly wonderful Opera browser? What do Opera suggest we do?

  2. Niki said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Though I despise IE… I don’t really care what browser is ready to use when I purchase a brand new computer? I’d get Fire Fox as soon as possible.

  3. Niki said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Correction: I don’t really care what browser is ready to use when I purchase a brand new computer. I’d get Fire Fox as soon as possible.

  4. Pointless Rambler said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Windows shouldn’t be shipped with a browser, it should be shipped with a lil’ program called internet, which gives people the choice, it downloads the program and thats it! Also, Firefox sucks, memory leaking everywhere, it’s making my pc look dirty. Flock is just Firefox with a load of crap extras BUT with that memory leak gone, it’s below half the memory of Firefox. I just disable all the crap. ^^

  5. Vera said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I was going to suggest just that: no browser :P but then… well we can always learn to browse by telepathy *grins* Firefox FTW!!!!!!!

  6. Carly said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Yeah, I cannot see the logic in filing a complaint that a company bundle their own software with their own product. Perhaps a bit of advertising, perhaps in the magazines for computer n00bs or elsewhere would help them fight their cause. I agree with what they’re saying about microsoft and ‘”de facto” standards.’ I can only see that instead of I.E being preinstalled, they bundle a disk with all those browsers you mentioned and any other that feel like getting in on the process with Microsoft PCs. I think even with the choice people will go with what they know. I think the 80% of I.E users think I.E IS the internet. Surely all this will do is give Microsoft the power to start charging people to have their software bundled with their computer, leading them to make more money?

  7. Jem said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    it should be shipped with a lil’ program called internet, which gives people the choice But that then brings the question of who comes top of the list? Put Firefox at the top, Opera will complain, but Safari at the top, Microsoft will complain.. and so on. You then also still have the issue of too many choices – if people see a list of 20 browsers they’d probably go with the one that sounds most like what they want and on a name-only basis and that’s likely to be Internet Explorer.

  8. Rhys said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Right as usual. Opera need to do better to promote their brand, rather than bitching at Microsoft. If Opera is included in windows, what does it achieve? However, the only way that I can see Opera being happy is if Microsoft includes a crippled version of IE1 on there, and Microsoft wouldn’t do that.

  9. Carly said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Sorry that sounds a little disjointed and rambled, I am tired :)

  10. Bella said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Also, Firefox sucks, memory leaking everywhere, it’s making my pc look dirty. I don’t think Firefox really sucks. It actually keeps your computer safe from any viruses.

  11. Rachael said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Windows shouldn’t be shipped with a browser, it should be shipped with a lil’ program called internet, which gives people the choice, it downloads the program and thats it! What about if (like I was when I first got a PC) you were trying to create web pages but couldn’t afford to connect to the Internet? You’d still be able to use a browser for offline testing… All logic points to computers *needing* to be shipped with a browser, just… which one? If Mac get to ship Safari without complaints, Microsoft should be able to do the same with their own browser.

  12. Carly said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Maybe opera should invent their own OS… lol

  13. Ben said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    But that then brings the question of who comes top of the list? Well in alphabetical order of course :)

  14. Karl said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I still think that browser I got with the U3 Cruzer was the winner of all browsers. “Free secure adult content browser”…it had a downloader, an image/video gallery feature, password protection and portability, and a prepopulated favourites list divided into “gay porn”, “Lesbian Porn”, and “Normal Porn” that was populated automatically when you answer the startup prompt of “Do you prefer Gay, Lesbian, or Normal Porn?” Excellent browser. “Heatsink” was it’s name.

  15. Josh(ua/y) said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Firefox has managed to be mega-popular among loads of people, and that browser doesn’t rely on being a free gift with an OS, so why shouldn’t Opera be able to persuade people to go to the trouble of downloading software too? Maybe if Mr. Gates dropped ‘Internet’ from his browser’s name, people would realise that it isn’t the only gizmo for internet browsing and the purveyors of alternative browsers would have an easier happier time…

  16. Joe said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    I think the main reason that Opera is attacking IE is because of the fact that IE doesn’t comply with the standards expected. http://tinyurl.com/2c9u7h

  17. Grant said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Windows has it sown point of that they use this for things like windows update ion older versions for them to change all this would mean recalling software that they no longer support such as ME and below! Maybe I’m wrong about that, but Microsoft make the software they can do what ever the hell they want! If opera make there own OS then they to can only include opera if they so dare wish! Now back to my cup of tea (ftw)…

  18. Rachel said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Frankly, I think Opera should STFU. If they’re that worried about people using IE over their browser, maybe they should concentrate on more advertising and less on what the competition is doing. I used IE ONCE when I got my laptop and that was only to download Firefox. Regardless of what comes with the computer, people are going to choose the browser they prefer. Besides, to most people, they probably don’t know or care what the differences between browsers are and since it doesn’t really make a difference, why even bother changing it? What irritates me the most, however, is how programs like Windows Messenger won’t let you change the browser it opens things up in. You can’t go from IE to Firefox or Safari or anything, you’re REQUIRED to use IE which I think sucks and is more irritating than IE being the default browser.

  19. Dave said:
    On December 14, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Geez, just as I started to gain respect for Opera after their “you gotta pay for our browser!” days they go and pull something like this. Last time I checked there are many serious rival browsers (that happen to be free, and do not require a genuine Windows install thank god!). Also, nobody is stopping Opera from developing their own OS. IE has been bundled with Windows since before half the folk working at Opera were in nappies. It’s hardly realistic to expect that *any* firm would change to suit another and gain nothing.

  20. Han said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 12:12 am

    they should make the bastard thing less linked in to some programs like messenger and god knows what else – its SO annoying when your main browser is FF and you click a link and it comes up in IE. (Ive found a way to stop it before but I can’t find it on my pc grr!)

  21. Carly said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Han, I had the same trouble, I can’t remember how to stop it. I have tried setting it as a custom browser and changing it somewhere else… grr… # Josh(ua/y) you bring up a good point. Maybe it is time for MS to take a leaf out of firefox’s book, in terms of usuabilty and standards, rebrand their own product, they could call it ‘explorer’ and have something swishy and blue. By the way, microsoft, I’m patenting it right here right now. :P

  22. Chrissy said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 7:56 am

    If I bought a computer and it came bundled with ALL of those browsers, I would be pissed. I rather use my brand new Internet Explorer to research a better browser than have to deal with picking one and uninstalling the rest. People will bitch about ANYTHING, I swear!

  23. Mumblies said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Forgive me if i am wrong here, but I am sure that IE was written for Windows, and therefore belongs with it surely? I would say that if new purchasers wanted a different browser the onus would be upon them to first purchase their new computer and then, once they had set it all up, switched it on and then gone onto the internet to browse for their personal choice of browser if they preferred not to use IE. (At this point the onus is upon the makers of browsers to advertise just how good their own is versus the IE in able to lure users to download their browser) Obviously they have to have some kind of browser to do this, and using the one that came supplied with the program makes sense to me. There is no unwritten rule that says one has to continue using the IE after they have installed the one they prefer is there? It is ridiculous to suggest that Microsoft sell their product without the browser that was written for it, Sounds a bit like selling a car but leaving off the tyres, just in case other car users want different tyres fitted and want the originals left off to facilitate ease of fitting the new ones. Personally the first thing I do is is search for Firefox and once that is installed I no longer use the IE (It’s not like leaving it installed takes up massive amounts of hard drive space) I freely admit, I am practically illiterate when it comes to computers and their workings so please, by all means ignore my comment if it offends or is incorrect but my ten pence worth is…. Opera, grow up!

  24. Nyxx said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I think what they meant is maybe that it should be possible to delete Internet Explorer completly like any program… Also, If you look at help files in windows, they use “open Internet Explorer” instead of saying “open your browser”… I think it’s right for Opera to complaint about unfairness, even if it gets nowhere… It will at least make them publicity :D

  25. Sam said:
    On December 15, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    i like this stance until IE becomes compliant, it can’t see my site. there’s no way around it. so i propose that more people do as i have done on their sites until there is nowhere apart from msn that can be seen by IE users… wouldn’t that be funny.

  26. Scott said:
    On December 16, 2007 at 1:09 am

    I think, Microsoft should be able to choose whatever they want to do, it’s as simple as that. Though i do always get FF right way, but that’s not the point..

  27. Shaun said:
    On December 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds like a little jealousy to me. Just about anyone with half a brain when it comes to computers can decide for themselves that Internet Explorer is not the right browser for them. I’m curious why the people at Opera would think Microsoft would bundle any other browser than the one they developed.

  28. Katy said:
    On December 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I thought it was more to do with how closely IE and Explorer are linked (like ooh, being pretty much the same thing…), as well as stuff like HAVING to use IE for windows update and various other microsofty website bits.. not really had time to read up in detail though

  29. Nan said:
    On December 17, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Instead of filing utopia complaints Opera should remember the greater common goal – put pressure on Microsoft by making high standard competitive products such as browsers that eventually will force Microsoft to adapt to the new standards. This could very well be utopia as well but there’s a bigger chance of succeeding that way I think.

  30. April said:
    On December 17, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Hmmm I agree with the whole needing a browser coupled with Windows but what if, when you’re installing windows, you have a screen pop up asking which browser you’d like and then, upon clicking the desired choice, the download file automatically downloads it without having to access a browser to download it. That would be genius lol. ^_^

  31. Jordan said:
    On December 17, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Common sense is apparently hard to come by these days. I guess the concept of having your own software bundled with your OS is a rarity. Someone needs to tell Apple that they need to start bundling IE instead of Safari (is Camino a default browser on OSX too, or is that just Safari…? *goes to google.)

  32. Rise said:
    On December 18, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    I seem to have a vague memory of being on a computer at around the age of five. I was trying to go on the internet, but the problem was that there was no browser installed on the computer. I’ve never felt so lost/stranded in my life. Just imagining being browser-less makes me feel emotional…I mean…I’m completely useless when it comes to hardware. I’ve no idea how to burn something to a CD. I know I could just copy installation files onto a *thing* from one computer and put it into the other and just get the stuff off of the *thing*…I just don’t know how to use *things*. FTP is my method of choice for moving things from computer to computer. Oh, my! Hmm. I’d better get to lesson. Ciao.