EU opens Microsoft Investigation (again), Thanks to Opera

After Opera’s complaint and after the European Committee for Interoperable Systems announced Microsoft did not disclose enough interoperability information for a range of its products, the European Commission has opened a new antitrust probe against Microsoft into whether the software giant unfairly tied its Web browser to Windows and made it harder for rival software to work with Windows. Yes, you read that right, IE being bundled with Windows is being questioned. The Commission noted that there is no proof of infringement but that the complaints make it necessary to investigate Microsoft's actions. The EU said it will also look at possible anticompetitive steps taken with products such as Microsoft's Office Open XML, Office word processing and spreadsheet programs, and the .NET framework.

Everyone thought the EU-Microsoft fiasco was all over; Microsoft had lost hundreds of millions and the EU had received useless new versions of XP. And yet, here we go again.

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So, let me get this straight. Microsoft cannot include any of it's own applications as part of Windows (Internet Explorer, Messenger, Windows Media Player etc.) But yet Apple can include iTunes/Quicktime, iChat, Safari and a host of others?

Microsoft's whole aim is to make Windows user-friendly, for beginners. How would this be done if no internet browser or media player was included in this day and age? And, on to Opera...they must obviously not be doing something right. If Mozilla can get Windows users to move away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer (even thought it's included on all Windows systems), then surely so can Opera. So how can Microsoft be blocking competitors? I mean if it wasn't for Firefox, we probably woudn't even have Internet Explorer 7 now, as version 6 was gonna be the last.

Opera shouldn't need to resort to sueing MS.

It looks as if any computer software company that doesn't have user base as big as they'd like resort to sueing Microsoft to help their situation

~LanMan874

LanMan874 said,
So, let me get this straight. Microsoft cannot include any of it's own applications as part of Windows (Internet Explorer, Messenger, Windows Media Player etc.) But yet Apple can include iTunes/Quicktime, iChat, Safari and a host of others?

Microsoft's whole aim is to make Windows user-friendly, for beginners. How would this be done if no internet browser or media player was included in this day and age? And, on to Opera...they must obviously not be doing something right. If Mozilla can get Windows users to move away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer (even thought it's included on all Windows systems), then surely so can Opera. So how can Microsoft be blocking competitors? I mean if it wasn't for Firefox, we probably woudn't even have Internet Explorer 7 now, as version 6 was gonna be the last.

Opera shouldn't need to resort to sueing MS.

It looks as if any computer software company that doesn't have user base as big as they'd like resort to sueing Microsoft to help their situation

~LanMan874


EXACTLY MY POINT OF VIEW!
Opera are sick pricks.
Why don't they sue Apple as well, for bundling Safari with their OS, eh?!
How sick and monkey-minded those companies could be. 8-)

This is beyond silly now, a complaint from a sorry-a** browser that nobody wants and that can't compete with MS on level playing field and therefore running to EC for help like a little girl, just plain pathetic!

Enough is enough.

Once your software is good, nice, someone will promote it, just like Mozilla Firefox, NOD32, Dreamwaver...etc. People will get what they want.

Personally I hate Opera, I don't understand why new links will be opened in new tab and switch to it immediately, I hate this design.

So Opera want them to remove IE ... so you then have to go and obtain another browser such as Opera in the most convoluted way imaginable (phone/order or wha?).

...Or you can just load up IE... download Opera and job done.


OMG Windows comes with a clock... can they remove it because other clock software is available?

I used to have a rather militant view of Microsoft in the past and would normally have supported something like this, but I've changed my stance since then and have come to the following conclusion:

So long as Microsoft does not deliberate cripple, sabotage or otherwise block alternative browsers from running in Windows, then there's no real case. I know they've got a technical monopoly but there's enough alternatives through OS X and Linux somewhat, that the EU/Opera really shouldn't be wasting time and money on lawsuits such as this.

Microsoft including their own browser with their operating system isn't an issue at all. What is an issue is ignoring W3C standards with such a majority share in the web browser market. It's bad for developers and end users when the most widely used browser requires hacks and tweaks just to get a site to be displayed correctly. Granted IE7 (and eventually IE8 ) are going some way towards tackling this, but Microsoft have always lagged behind their competitors in this area, which is only stifling innovation further and fragmenting the amount of browsers developers have to support.

I can't see why Opera have brought this up (though people are neglecting the fact they actually did bring up standards too), but suggesting they did this because they can't compete or innovate is ridiculous. Opera have innovated more in the browser market then both IE and Firefox, and their mobile device browser is a success. If this makes Microsoft pull their finger out and get IE standards compliant it will be a win for everyone.

I really hope that MS learn from all this EU bashing, they need to create a completely separate EU edition that has everything the EU wants removed, and charge the higher price in the EU for creating a custom edition for them, with all the EU fines and lawyers fees included, because I'm sick of paying for the EU's stupidness through my windows licenses.

Nothing prevents me from using a different browser, MS has the right to have IE inside windows for first users since it is their product, as long as theres nothing preventing me from using something else. .NET framework is an API for windows, therefore it certianly makes most sense having it included with Windows, they've finally done it with Vista.

What I want to know is, how did the EU blow the money from the first Microsoft cash-grab so fast?

Note to Opera: Don't blame your competition if your own product isn't very popular. Try innovating. It's how your competition stays ahead

A small userbase != lack of innovation. Firefox is a success thanks to all the free and paid publicity it got in its first three years of life.

Despite some of the great features offered in Opera (speed dial, Wand, instant back/forward, better download manager) I use Firefox regularly as for instance Opera stutters a fair bit while browsing on Neowin and occasionally I cannot type into the post boxes.

Please EU, never touch .net framework...its completely different!! its alike virtual VM as like Java...why the hell EU needs to see about .net (and also the OOXML & IE7)
Lot of people use Firefox & also IE7...Firefox is used by lots of people because they like, same does apply for .net..why the hell EU needs to get into this stuff.. :-(

I'm not entirely sure what provoked Opera to act now. Maybe this is a 7-year-late wave of revenge against what Microsoft did to them with MSN.

They probably should've gave this more thought and consulted other competitors like Mozilla before launching this investigation single-handed.

I find this rather humorous... According to Opera's own home page they don't even follow the full standards list. (ref http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/) I also am having a bit of trouble finding the full "interoperability information for a range of its products" on their page for some reason.

On the other side of the coin they are correct that IE is not fully compatible with the current standards and doesn't expose all of it's secrets to it's competitors.

As for competing against IE... seems Firefox has been able to grab over 27% of the market going off of the same information Opera has. (ref http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php)

Another blow to their argument is the press release I read just a couple weeks ago where the Samba group came to an agreement with Microsoft to see the code/documentation for the protocols API's.

Off hand, I don't see the issue. I'm not quite sure what they want Microsoft to do. They could release a version that has nothing but just the base OS that is crippled. However we've already seen what happens with that. Just seems to me that the EU will not be happy until they drive Microsoft into the ground and throw the precious consumers back into the days of nightmare compatibility where we had 8 different versions of DOS and none of them compatible with each other.

On one hand I enjoy competition, but I don't enjoy competition when one player is forced to wear binders and hobbles just because they got a head start in training. Goverment sanctioned competition is nothing more than that.

Oserus99 said,
Another blow to their argument is the press release I read just a couple weeks ago where the Samba group came to an agreement with Microsoft to see the code/documentation for the protocols API's.

Are you sure you read the same press release that I posted here (with the exception of the editor's bad taste of putting there a microsoft news logo)?
The "agreement" was forced by the EU, Microsoft didn't willingly handed ****.
Do you even know what happened prior to this agreement?

If Microsoft would be investigated for anticompetitive steps _just_ for what they've done in my country, they would be raped, full force. All the Office Open XML issue and the undermining of FOSS alternative projects and institutional bribing should mean something. But unfortunately, we'll be always be screwed by our corrupted leaders.

tiagosilva29 said,
The "agreement" was forced by the EU, Microsoft didn't willingly handed ****.
Do you even know what happened prior to this agreement?

From what I read, prior to this agreement they have had years of protracted negotiations, stalls, and arguments. Yes, the EU forced them. That was actually my point, that they have already been punished and forced to change their ways. It shows that if Opera doesn't have the documentation it thinks it deserves, then it's Opera's fault at this point. They need to come to an agreement with Microsoft if they wish to profit from Microsoft's work.

tiagosilva29 said,
If Microsoft would be investigated for anticompetitive steps _just_ for what they've done in my country, they would be raped, full force. All the Office Open XML issue and the undermining of FOSS alternative projects and institutional bribing should mean something. But unfortunately, we'll be always be screwed by our corrupted leaders.

First dumb question... what is your country? Just so we're on the same page with the allegations you are bringing. Secondly please support ANY of your arguments.

Oserus99 said,
First dumb question... what is your country? Just so we're on the same page with the allegations you are bringing. Secondly please support ANY of your arguments.

A) Portugal
B) OOXML comittee bull**** (more is actually occurring at this moment, as Microsoft is apparently going to represent Portugal in the ISO meeting); Lisa, the home of fully grown OS (Linius) and other projects for the justice system which were forgotten/almost discontinued(?) as soon as the government signed a partnership with Microsoft (that why we have Pentium machines with WinXP, Winzip, Office 2k and a VB applicative); my faculty hosted a FOSS forum and the media presence that we had confirmed never showed up, after getting a call from you know who; and other examples keep happening... the most recent happened in our parliament, I was there, and I don't want to discuss it, as it makes me crazy.

Microsoft had lost hundreds of millions

cry me a ****ing river

thats the price you pay when you play dirty
i hope they burn for it all

Here's an example of someone who needs to, as they say, "Get The Facts".

And the fact is, the EU is low on money and Opera isn't very popular. How else do you turn that around without suing Microsoft?

Microsoft has been proven in court to abuse it monopoly (not create it but illegal pratices to maintain it).
They need to be kept on there toes until it's apparant that there business culture has changed.

MS should punish the EU and not sell their products their. See how much they can live without them. Or better yet just sell the crippled versions of the software.

agreed

WarLuigi said,
MS should punish the EU and not sell their products their. See how much they can live without them. Or better yet just sell the crippled versions of the software.

The EU is at it again. A product comes out that is more popular or more used than a product made in the EU. So what happens? Instead of trying to compete, sue. Typical.

I stand corrected. I find it curious that Opera went to the EU instead of Norway for help. Are the anti-trust laws tougher in the EU than Norway?

what the heck could be anti-competative about the .NET framework? seriouly? its a Sub-API for the windows API to make using Win32 easier... what is java mad because java isn't being used as much? boo hoo... grow up companies! Hey while we are at it... look at MFC and see if its anti-competative.... I bet it is as its really the only Foundation class library out there! oh yeah and Win 32 also... I bet MS has a monopoly on the Windows API calls and Windows Messaging sub system...... :rollseyes:

Opera sucks anyway, and it's free...it's not like they are making money giving away a free browser...

I see firefox listening to it's users and making it better so more people will use it. That's the way to get the job done, not sicking the EU on Microsoft.

This is just BS, really it should read "I can't compete with Microsoft so I'll make an anti-trust complaint that will cost them millions of dollars and hopefully drive up Microsofts prices so the consumer loses out"

No, in the long run the lack of competition is where the consumer loses out. Competition drives innovation and efficiency in a market. Microsoft has had a long history of using unfair business practices to drive out competition in markets (hey, that's business you might say). It is the responsibility of leaders in a particular market to set laws and regulations that will be in the best interest of the entire market (businesses and consumers). If Microsoft doesn't want to abide by those laws and regulations, then they don't need to do business in that market. Very simple.

I, for one, applaud the efforts of trust busters on the other side of the pond to keep markets fair and healthy. I just wished our USDOJ would've had the same balls 8 or so years ago. Partially in thanks to pressure from the Dubya Administration (via millions of dollars of PAC money from Microsoft), the DOJ tucked in their tails and ran.

Well, it's either "put more browsers on there" which will cause bloat, causing an outrage from Windows users.

If they don't put a browser on there, they're being "anti-competitive" as well by providing no way for anyone to download other browsers, not to mention the production of a version of Windows that will have NO SALES because they don't want an OS with missing features. That said, the only thing this is going to do is cost MS money. What better way to hit your competition than to hit them where it hurts?

Meanwhile, Firefox seems to be doing just fine without any complaints. I would also run IE7 before Opera because, all I get from Opera is faster browsing. IE7 itself is very quick and responsive. I just don't find Opera too necessary here. Maybe it's just me, but two browsers on my computer is enough.

It's good to have these small groups though as they provide a competition amongst each other. Opera just hasn't struck gold if you ask me.

edit - I would also laugh my ass off if MS got with Mozilla and bundled Firefox with Windows, along with Maxthon. It may hurt Microsoft in losing some internet browser dominance, but would provide a nice blow to Opera. :P

Never used that POS (piece of ****) called opera, and this has ensured I never will use the crap, bet they won't stop until opera comes with all versions of windows or something

ok so why not make microsoft remove everything and you will complain about that
or why not make microsoft add everyones programs and make it to large that you
will have no hard drive space and to much cpu usage

just stop eu

Comply with what?

How do you suggest new PC users download their browser of choice if Microsoft is forced to unbundle IE from the operating system? There is nothing in Windows that prevents competing browsers being installed. The operating system MUST come with a browser, but Microsoft should not be forced to include competitor's products with their operating systems.