Last week, news got out that Microsoft had been charged with breaking competition laws by the European Commission. The EU stated that Microsoft has broken competition laws because it bundles its Internet Explorer browser with Windows, which gives the browser an unfair advantage over competing browsers such as Firefox and Opera. OSNews readers debated this topic lively, and it seems we can use this story to continue the discussion: Opera Software’s CEO Jon von Tetzchner joined in on the fun.
Opera, which first lodged the complaint to the EU in December 2007, in which the bowser maker asked the EU to force Microsoft to unbundle its IE web browser from Windows, as well as include other browsers with Windows. In addition, Opera wanted the EU to force Microsoft to better support web standards.
Not surprisingly, Von Tetzchner applauds the recent move by the EU. According to the CEO, it was time Microsoft “started competing on the merits in the browser market and letting consumers have a real choice of internet browsers.” “The Commission has confirmed that it will do what it can to make sure consumers are able to continue to freely enjoy one of the most important innovations in the history of humanity: the internet,” he wrote in a statement.
The statement further reads: “The Court of First Instance’s judgement was clear that Microsoft illegally tied Media Player to Windows. We are not surprised that the Commission has issued a Statement of Objections based on the principles in that judgement.” Opera also says that the browser is “the most important application on the PC.”
It’s of course not surprising that Opera is full of glee with the recent news. Opera has a hard time competing with open source browsers like Firefox and Chrome, the first of which is far more popular than Opera’s product. It remains to be seen whether or not a ruling in Opera’s favour would actually translate into more Opera installations.
I personally think it would only result in more success for Firefox. They have the brand, the momentum, the media attention. Opera doesn’t.