back to article IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?

Details could undermine Microsoft's proposal to let Windows users pick their browser, the company's effort to keep Internet Explorer on the right side of European Union regulatory law. Speaking with TechFlash, Opera Software CTO Hakon Wium Lie has questioned the use of the famous IE icon in a ballot screen Microsoft said it's …


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  1. vincent himpe

    that's bovine byproduct of the male type...

    thw indows loko are the four colored squares forming a waving flag.

    ie is internet explorer.

    I would replace the logo with a stuck up middle finger ...

    Even though i love the opera browser i am really starting to hate this attitude from the opera company.

  2. evilbob thebob

    It's a LOGO

    And the logo of EVERY OTHER WEB BROWSER is being displayed...seriously, what is the EU's problem with this. /rant

  3. lightman

    Regulation gone mad

    Dear God, what is the matter with the EU ?

    I have to say I don't use ANY M$ software at all - dedicated open source "geek" here - BUT - and I don't say this lightly,;


    If a user doesn't want to use IE, they will install something else anyway - some daft poll isn't going to help get any bigger market share for the competition, in fact, it will likely only serve to confuse end users.

    And why shouldn't Microsoft be able to include whatever the hell they want in their software bundle ?

    Perhaps the next idiotic lunacy will be to insist they include several alternative operating systems as well (wouldn't Apple just love that?)

    Bottom line - let the customer vote with their feet (wallet) and get government the hell out of interfering with free enterprise.

  4. Kev K
    Gates Halo

    PLEASE Microsoft

    Just don't include opera as one of the options of installable browsers

    A: It would amuse the hell out of me personally.

    B: I wont have to support that buggy pile of shit.

    C: It will stop every other half arsed "look at me" (I'm looking at you Real Player - you will be forever blocked at all my firewalls) POS software demanding to be included in the next release of Windows or else it wont "be fair"

    Apple must be crapping themselves - cos as their market share grows - they are going to be the next victims of this type of blackmail - cos if M$ cave to it then surely Apple will have too as well

  5. David Webb


    Will Opera never be happy unless IE is actually not even an option to install? They got what they wanted, a ballot, and *still* they complain? Sheesh.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Why don't we go ahead and just revert to plain-text browsing, while we're at it? Sheesh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wow, I think the EU is doing great...

    with fining firms for anti-competitive behavior, but this is just crazy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I will never use Opera

    This is so stupid. MS has gone above and beyond. It's not their fault Opera's browser sucks and no one wants to use it so they have to force a company to market their browser. What a joke. Why don't they just develop something that people want to use, instead of developing more crap.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Supported the EU, but saw this coming.

    "The blue 'e' has become so associated with the Internet in general, due to the bundling with Windows."

    This was always going to be the problem. People have been trained to think that the blue e is the secret gateway to the internet. That's how MS works. Get in early with illegal tactics then back off when the damage has already been done. That's why, oh ye wintards, we don't give them money if we can help it. They're convicted criminals that have to serve their time. As a society we try not to reward criminals. Yes? Oh but whiny whiny, linux is so hard to use. No. No it isn't.

    EU, can't you just fine MS billions and then levy a tax on all MS products until such time as the fine (plus interest) is paid off?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Guess which is first on the list?

    That was easy, eh?

  11. Chris iverson


    they spoke up, they got the EU to listen, now icons are an issue? I can see the point that they are trying to make but seriously. Does Lie just want them to remove the IE logo or all of them. Considering the situation this part should an all or nothing case.

    Seriously, shut the F**K up Opera. Make a better browser and market it appropriately.

    Opera = no better than M$ with far less market share

  12. psyq
    Thumb Down

    Wow, Opera w*nkers are really over the top...

    What's next - when Microsoft even changes IE icon, Opera will request that Internet Explorer gets renamed to "WhgrhGB0l Grhvrw1AL" - otherwise, the name would be too familiar and users would chose it due to familiarity reasons alone...

    Jesus, will those Opera tossers die already...

  13. northern monkey
    Thumb Down


    Do they get ordered randomly? Otherwise surely there's some sort of bias towards certain positions.

    Plus the description for firefox really sucks - who wrote that!! Posing it as a question almost leads you say 'no, probably not - screw installing that'.

  14. Chad H.

    Natural bias to IE?

    Lie has reportly said that the use of icons in the ballot screen could result in a natural bias towards IE. The sticking point could be that the IE logo has become synonymous with Windows.


    I think if anything, theres a natural bias towards google.... "What point is an interweb without google?"

  15. Petrea Mitchell

    Associated with online services?

    If that's the worry, I'd expect people to be more biased toward Chrome, seeing the Google logo and not realizing that they're selecting the Google browser instead of the Google that's their portal on the Web, and then getting annoyed later because they were expecting a browser like IE.

    In fact, there's a lot of room to worry about how most people aren't even clear on what a browser is to begin with. The only way to know how well this whole "browser ballot" will work would be to run some proper usability testing before the final remedy is decided on, but I don't suppose the court has any way to order that sort of thing?

    Now, there *will* for sure be a bias toward whatever the first option is, which gives IE a small but definite edge. Seems only fair, given that MS is going to get all the angry complaints from people who don't understand what they're doing, pick something other than IE, and get surprised that their internet doesn't work the way they're used to.

  16. Tom 15

    I agree...

    I agree with the original case but the ballot screen appears more than adequate. I'd like to be able to reaccess the ballot screen from Control Panel later on too...

  17. Anonymous Coward


    So, someone walks into a ford dealer after a new wheel-trim for their fiesta.

    Instead of being given the one that woud have come with their car, they now get presented with a choice from all the competition as well.

    And now their saying that the ford one shouldn't be identified by the ford logo or the fiesta insignia???

    FFS, just get over it opera. Mozilla and Google have shown that if you make a good enough product that people want, you can get a share of the market.

    The EU really should go after Apple though - they bundle everything. It's almost like a car manufacturer supplying the chassis, engine, seats, doors, windscreen, radio, headlights, bulbs, etc.

  18. Balefire

    I was with him until now

    I mean, really. This is beginning to be embarrassing. I don't like MS or their software but this is taking the piss. As long as the "Tell me more" link doesn't go on about how much your Windows experience will be retarded (if possible) by using another browser, this is close to acceptable.

    They can easily tie the Windows Update service into a separate program (like Synaptics, YUM, etc) so you don't have to have IE installed.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Someone shoot this twat

    Opera's recent behaviour has put them on a par with Microsoft in terms of cynical manipulation of the legal process. (String out the lawyers for long enough and perhaps the other side will lose more than you do.) I hope they are sent packing. Sadly, I doubt it. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be toothless and far to easy to deceive or divert.

    The irony is that all the legal flak Microsoft have taken in recent years has meant that IE is slowly turning into quite a nice compliant browser, so the main reason to go with Opera has largely disappeared. Could Opera be the next SCO? A company that had better technology but chose instead to destroy itself in legal wrangling?

  20. Matt Caldwell

    Well now...

    I can't say that I have a problem with the use of the "e" logo. I'm surprised at the animosity shown toward the Opera browser though. Like the company or not (they are currently looking a bit silly) but the browser is quite good, I've been using it for years. The new version 10 is really nice, very clean, and customizable / compatible with any site I want to use including the secure site my Uni uses as well as my banking.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    with possible exception of john dee

    actually some level headed comments made (at the time of writing, who knows what wonders will be published in the morn)

    @john dee: illegal tactics? make things easy for the consumer, by including the software they need to use to get up and running, and that's illegal? i dont think anyone complained about MS until they actually got successful and realised they weren't getting a look in, did they? (open to corrections on that, i'm only young, not like some o youse ole bastards!).

    even if people did complain, apparently no one cared anyway - if they did, MS wouldn't be where they are, would they?(unless they bribed and fucked their way through the courts, but the former they couldn't do until they had shitloads of cash, and the latter they couldn't do because...well, we're talking about microsoft here, i can't imagine that back in those days there were many, shall we say attractive, IT employees...)

  22. Ryan 7

    Oh FFS

    What's next? Making Renault offer Vauxhall windscreens at the showrooms?

    Let Microsoft offer whatever finished code they want! True competition will gain market share because people want it (ahem... Firefox... ahem), not because they are forced to invite the ugly kid to their party!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera need to learn when to STFU

    Opera are just bitter because noone will use their browser. And with PR like this, is anyone surprised? The software is fine, but the company need a lesson in when to shut the fuck up and stop whining because their product isn't as popular.

    You asked for the ballot screen, and you got it, and you still aren't happy.

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if MS decided they were only going to use the top 3 or 4 browsers instead and leave opera out after all this? I bet there are some people in MS thinking about it every time Opera comes up with one of these retarded complaints...

  24. ThomH

    Opera making fools of themselves (+ @Kev K)

    Seriously, what's their next complaint? "Internet Explorer" sounds too much like a gateway to the internet compared to "Opera", so they don't want Microsoft to be allowed to display either the icon or the name of their product? I guess part of their strategy in reporting Microsoft may have been to try to gain some traction amongst developers by standing up to a much disliked adversary — if so then they need to stop making a joke of themselves like this.

    @Kav K: to be fair, Apple would probably need to multiply their market share by at least 10 to have a majority of the market in Europe, so I suspect they're not too concerned about what might happen if they ever have a monopolistic position. Hopefully they'll be taken to book for Pre blocking, should the Pre ever launch in the EU...

  25. Anonymous Coward

    EU = European Unintelligentsia

    Is anyone surprised? A third rate software company that writes a third rate browser whines that it's unfair that it chose to enter a market already occupied by a big legitimate company. The third rate company whines about how unfair it is that the big company has more resources than it does. Only in the European Unintelligentsia would that result in a smack down of the big company. Notice, that despite the US having much stronger anti-trust laws than the EU, Opera has not tried to walk down the same path. Why? Because they know the US Courts will toss them out on their ear since their case has no merit.

  26. Bruce 2

    Re: Guess which is first on the list?

    I think MS have a right to have their browser first on the list it is their bloody operating system after all!

    Personally I think the opera boys are all a bunch of idiots, ie doesn't stop Firefox from getting market share or chrome yet it some how stops opera. Or could it just be Opera is a shit browser that no one wants to use because it sucks! Why don't opera stop blaming their inability to create a decent browser on someone else and start making amends to there current browser and doing some of that marketing malarkey!.

    Grrr stick the Opera boys on a space rocket with Adobe and send them far far away!

    (Right I need a beer now!)

  27. Insane Reindeer

    Opera and the E.U.

    On a personal note if I worked for the E.U. or was an M.E.P. dealing with this I would be limbering myself up for a big swing at OPERA! Over what, or, at what, I don't know but then if I worked for the E.U. I imagine I could cook something up that need whacking! :-)

    The E.U. and Microsoft seem to be working through their problems in a pretty good way in my opinion, but the people (or maybe it should just be "a person") at Opera seem to come along and stick their noses up at every little thing.

    I honestly can't remember the last time I found IE set as the default web browser on a PC. Yes I can see how it has become such a large problem, but the E.U. are muddling through well enough I think.

    Opera, either get with the programme or prepared to get whacked!

  28. Kevin 6

    Is it microsofts fault

    Operas logo is a pile of crap? Their logo took what 15 seconds to make in MS paint? not many people will be attracted to a White O in a red box. Shocked their not trying to get fines put on Apple, Mozilla, and Google also for having more attractive icons.

    and like others have said it doesn't help that their browser is a pile of crap.

  29. magix

    What next Opera.......!

    Maybe you should spend longer looking at ways to improve your own browser instead of stalking Microsoft...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo


    I love that the screenshot clearly shows the ballot page in IE. MS are evil genius!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 20:38

    "Clearly they weren't a monopoly when they were working out of"i dont think anyone complained about MS until they actually got successful and realised they weren't getting a look in, did they?"

    Well, no-one complained about them being abusing their monopoly position until they were a monopoly, that's certainly true. What's your point? I rather lost it in all that youthful lack of grammar.

    "even if people did complain, apparently no one cared anyway "

    People complained, people cared. Hence the use of "convicted".

    "if they did, MS wouldn't be where they are, would they?"

    Well they did and they are. That's what strong-arm tactics are for. You kick your way to the front of the queue, say sorry, and walk off with the spoils.

  32. Michael 28


    "Lynx" isn't represented at all !

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    only one of the above was convicted as an "abusive monopoly"

    come on keep up!!

    To all those saying that MS should be able to do what it want with "ITS" software.

    No - MS is a convicted monopolist in both the US and the EU. They abused their market position to maintain a monopoly. THAT is why they are being forced into this situation.

    If you don't understand that, and why they are in this situation, go and educate yourself before posting utter rubbish. If Bush hadn't beaten Kerry it's quite likely MS would have been split up like Standard Oil and Ma Bell.

  34. Steve Evans
    Thumb Down

    Oh FFS (2)

    Will they stop moaning... They're just sore cos the Opera logo is just an O, which is basically shite!

    Just admit it, you're jealous cos M$ managed to make an e into a planet and you never thought about that despite already having a letter the right shape!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Cease yer whining

    And I don't mean Lie, I mean the majority of you commentards.

    When one car-maker has ABUSED their MONOPOLY on the automobile market, *then* you can make car comparisons, until then: KEEP YER TRAPS SHUT!

    I suggest that the browser decision should be made at the OEM level, but with IE not being an option at all. If people want to use IE they should have to explicitly go out and download it. MS have had a decade of IE being effectively the only option for most people, so they should have a decade of it effectively *not* being an option.

  36. Annihilator

    Oh... my... GOD!

    FFS Opera!

    I'm starting to get the impression that MS could just throw their toys out the pram and say "fine, default browser is Opera" and they STILL wouldn't be happy.

  37. Mark Donnison


    I'm not pro MS, but come on. I thought the idea was to give the consumer the choice of browser, not hide that IE exists.

    So what if most people still choose to use IE? Who cares why they make that choice?

    I dont think Opera will be happy until its compulsory to use their browser.................. I once held them and their product in high esteem, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot barge pole now, they are no better than the company that they are attacking.

  38. Rob Beard

    Oh come on!

    I agree with the fact that there should be more choice, and to be honest I think what Microsoft are showing is fair enough (although did anyone else notice that this ballot is running in a browser? ;-)

    No doubt when the time comes they'll just do something like they have done with Windows Update in Vista & Windows 7, no browser is required, it's just part of Control Panel now. I presume they'll do the same sort of thing, maybe coming up when the user starts their new machine as part of the welcome screen.

    To be honest though removing the IE icon is just plain stupid if they're going to keep the rest of the icons. Why don't they keep the icons, text descriptions and just order it alphabetically, that way it'll be...

    Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera...

    Oh hang on, that means Opera will be last...

    Okay, do it by company name first...

    Google Chrome,

    Microsoft Internet Explorer

    Mozilla Firefox

    Opera Software um... Opera

    Ahh no that won't work either. Not unless Opera rename their browser to something like "Aaardvark's A1 Browser Program". Yeah, don't see that happening.

    Troll icon, because well, thats what Opera is starting to be now.



    While they're at it, could Opera actually update the Wii browser for better Flash support and tabbed browsing please?!??!?

  39. Rob Beard

    Forgot to add....

    I forgot to add...

    When are Nintendo going to offer Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer for the Wii, I mean it's just the same, the Wii seems to have a monopoly and Opera is the only browser available for it!


  40. Al Jones

    What other browsers do I need to start using so that Opera get;'s pushed off the list?

    I'm so pissed off with Opera's constant whining that I'm prepared to do some of my browsing in some other minority browser just so that Opera get's pushed into 6th place, and off the ballot.

    Any suggestions?

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft fans are quick on the jump these days

    The problem isn't really the inclusion of IE on Windows, but the strategy of Microsoft prevents an OEM including a competing product on their release.

    This is the f***ing isse. Microsoft have been found guilty more than once in multiple jurisdictions of abusing their power. I fail to see why you guys seem to think that allowing Microsoft to continue to abuse their power is a good thing

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The same old retards

    Yet again, someone just makes a comment, the EU have made no ruling and MS are just making suggestions and all these thickos come spewing out their nonsense.

    This is why the EU is needed, to force common sense and a raised standard of living onto angry nerds who would otherwise go through life cutting their nose off to spite their face.

    Yes, the bug blue 'e' means "The Internet". The Internet is the web, the web is email, email is MSN messenger. Most people online think this to be true and don't care whether it's right or not as they're pre-occupied with the rest of their lives.

    The only way to help these people is to forcably break their habits, just like you have to in order to stop a whole nation having racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic tendencies.

    If messageboards and blog comments were around when William Wilberforce started suggesting slavery wasn't such a good thing, I'm sure he'd also be subject to such bile and hatered. In fact, there was exactly that when the age of consent was standardised for all just a few years ago. The same kind of minds that shouted then are shouting now.

  43. James Le Cuirot

    @ Matt Caldwell

    I agree and I'm a professional web monkey. This certainly has gone too far, even for my tastes, and IE has been the bane of my life for years, but that's no reason to slate the Opera browser itself. It's my browser of choice and I'm proud to use it.

  44. Naadir Jeewa

    Ballot fail

    The ballot screen runs in IE.

    Infinite FAIL.

  45. John P
    Thumb Down

    Really Opera, shut up!

    I am a loyal Opera user, personally considering it to be the best and most stable browser out there. But Opera's continual moaning about everything M$ do is really getting on my nerves now.

    In terms of features, Opera has always been the innovator of the browsers. If they expended as much effort on marketing and actually letting people know they exist, as they do on slagging off Microsoft, I guarantee they would have a much bigger market share.

    It seems like, rather than go to the effort of increasing their market share through marketing, etc, they are just willing to settle for dropping M$'s market share, which won't happen through the ballot screen.

    Even if you remove the icons, users will always go for what is familiar. You need to give them a reason to switch, not just present all the options and expect their curiosity to get the best of them.

    Thumbs down Opera, change the record already!

  46. Andy france

    It doesn't matter anymore

    Does is actually matter to Microsoft which browser you use?

    Once upon a time it did matter because people though the browser was the killer internet app.

    They were wrong: it was search. Google got that one right.

    Microsoft can only dislodge Google by building a better search engine. A browser that defaults to their search engine is no longer enough. History shows it never was.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going too far.

    So they want consumers to have a choice of installing an alternative browser to IE.

    Guess what - I'm not using IE!

    So didn't I have that choice?

    This gets more and more bizarre and pointless with every passing day.

  48. Aaron Scully

    Too far, but funny non the less.

    I am an Opera user - I even used to pay for it when it cost money because it was that good and so ahead of the competition (still is). And I don't blame Opera as a company for this tactic of trying to get their browser included. However, as much as I think IE is a slow clunky pile of rubbish and that anyone who used Opera for a month wouldn't go back, I laugh at the thought of MS not being able to use IE's own logo on a ballot screen - that's taking things a little too far! Still, as a business you can't blame Opera for trying - after all, MS in the past has a long history of using every underhand tactic in the book to kill off rivals with inferior products, so they can hardly complain.

  49. Studley

    Am I the only one...

    ...who's oddly intrigued by Browser 6?

  50. Anonymous Coward

    This won't stop...

    ...until commentards understand what "abuse of monopoly" means.

    Repeat after me:

    Apple does not have a monopoly with their OS.

    Ford/Vauxhall/Honda/... do not have a monopoly with their vehicles.


    Even if Google required Chrome to access their Web searches, that would not be an abuse of a monopoly, because even the mighty Google do not have a monopoly in the Web search space.

    Think about it. Google doesn't have a monopoly in the web search space, yet Microsoft does have a monopoly in the OS space. That is how ingrained MS is in the average person's life. And that is where the EU's anti-trust actions stem from.

    As for an on-topic comment, I use Opera but wholeheartedly agree that they are pushing this too far. The problems will eventually go away once schools give computer-related classes the same importance as Maths and English - I dare anyone to suggest Computing should not be a core subject in today's world.

  51. Trevor Watt


    Opera blags some more free publicity, getting their name repeated all over the web/tech news.

    They must have the same company as Ryanair doing their publicity management.....

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Oh No!

    My numpty detector needle has just flown off the scale!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @evilbob thebob

    As far as I can see the EC (FFS people LEARN THE DIFFERENCE) haven't got a problem with IE's logo; Opera have. And they can fuck off too. The EC have done what they asked. The EC have also taken the brunt of the criticism. Opera should learn to market themselves and their product better. Mozilla, Apple and Google all have gained varying levels of the market from MSIE, some more significantly than others, but all have marketed better than Opera, are they next? Are Opera only going to be happy when they are the only 'choice' available? Read the article first though...

  54. Gordon 11

    But MS won't leave me alone - it interferes everywhere.


    That misses the point completely. Have you tried to buy a "standard" x86/x8_64 PC that runs an OS other than Microsoft Windows?

    The whole point is that they used an OS monopoly to create a browser monopoly. That is the bit which was deemed illegal (twice).

    Microsoft's stated aim was that *every* Web transaction should result in MS gaining some revenue. They have abused a monopoly position to work towards this. Regulators are now pushing back.

  55. John H Woods Silver badge

    A title is required

    it's amazing that some arguments are repeated ad nauseam on el reg. Surely all commenters have by now realised that MS are being forced to offer a browser choice as a result of previously abusing a monopoly postion. So many people saying 'why can't microsoft do what they want' ? The same reason you can't drive a car after you have been banned.

    Having said all that, and being one of the last people on earth to be an MS fan, I think what they have done is enough to satisfy the requirements placed on them. This is what the comments should be about ... have they done enough or not? Anyone who is still stuck on why they should do anything at all really needs to do some research.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    What you can't win from an Icon....

    Whats next.. Windows should change their name cause it looks too familiar. Maybe Doors would be better..

    Well Opera don't let this hit you on the way out (or was it down?).

  57. Glen 9


    It's already been said but most will select google and then ring up microsoft complaining when Chrome pops up. Let the chaos commence...

    I propose a boycott of Opera for being assholes. It will first be this and now everyone will be harrassing MS. And why is no one bitching at Apple for not doing this for OSX?! This selectiojn screen was almost too far anyway but now this?

  58. Anonymous Coward


    From the looks of it you have all been swayed by Microsoft's cunning marketing moves.

    I mean you are supporting a known offender that makes you fork out your hard earned cash by using anticompetitive practices along the way to force every other player out so that you pay a premium, doesn't seem to bother you too much, right?

    It's scary really how ads and marketing affect the very essence of us.

    I for one welcome our Microsoftian overlords.

  59. Roger Heathcote 1

    Missed opportunity...

    It's a pity, they could have done something good here like forcing them include the SVG plugin in IE8 by default so as to stop hindering the adoption of a well needed standard or insisting they support OGG in the video tag so as to force Apple to capitulate to common sense but no... we get a silly choose your browser screen. Fail :-/

  60. Martin 6 Silver badge

    Not the real problem

    Even if you pick another browser MS is still going to have it's update and genuine disadvantage sites require IE, it's home page will require Silverlight. So online banking , shopping and government sites will continue to be IE only.

    The EU could simply require commercial sites to be standards compliant so other browsers including those for the blind can work with them. That's what government bodies are for.

  61. orko McVelikovskyvez

    @Alan Bourke

    What a bunch of fucking ass kissers! Opera are the little guys standing up for themselves against the giant, and you all feel sorry for the giant? Microsoft only got where they are today through illegal, unethical, bullying and fradulent tactics and Opera gets flogged by you for trying to undo some of the damage done by over-indulgent American monopolies regulators. And repeatedly stating that Opera is a crap browser just makes you look like fools to the people who actually use Opera and know just how fine a piece of software it is. Firefox, IE8, Safari and Chrome owe a hell of a lot to the innovation of Opera.

    Opera is only pointing out the abuse MS have engaged in and continue to engage in to the detriment of their more law-abiding competitors.

    Seriously how can people DEFEND MS? how can people feel sorry for these egregious bastards?

    Hopefully this is a first step to the end of OEMs bundling Microsoft garbage with every new PC.

  62. Martin Edwards

    @Andy france

    Now THAT is a really interesting and worthwhile point!

  63. Steve Evans

    Just out of curiosity...

    I installed Opera 9.6 (I'm usually a Firefox user). I did try Opera several years ago, but uninstalled it in disgust when I found that pressing enter at the end of the URL didn't make it load that page - I had to get the mouse and click a button to start it.

    I see this at least works in 9.6... However, upon starting I presented with a startup page from

    Which doesn't appear correctly! I can see there are 3 boxes on the left labelled 1, 2 and 3, but they are actually only 50% the height they need to be to show the 1,2 and 3, so the numbers have their bottoms chopped off... If there is anything else in those boxes I don't know! I think there is supposed to be as the page is otherwise meaningless. (No I can't be bothered to check the HTML source!).

    I have tried the page in Chrome, FF3 and IE, and it's broken in all of them. Curiously only Opera and Chrome try to show numbers, FF3 and IE show white arrows in blue circles instead.

    So it's not actually a c*ck up in Opera's rendering, but it is a c*ck up in their ability to write HTML! Doesn't fill me with confidence!

    Having said all that, their mobile browser is actually very good. I've been using it on my N95 for years.

  64. vincent himpe

    @ ac abuse of monopoly

    repeat afte rme : Microsoft does not have a monopoly since there are plenty of other os's out there that run on the same hardware. There are a million flavors of linux, theres' iRMX , there is VxWorks , there is pSos there is Solaris86 heck there is even SCO and IBM stuff out there that runs on the same hardware. And there are another bajillion companies that make software for windows and those other operating systems. Microsoft doesn;t even make the computer.

    You buy a PC and you desicde what to install. And don;t get started about the 'microsoft tax'. Go and whine with the PC manufacturers. It's them that elect to preinstall windows and all the stuff that microsoft gives with it. (Ok there may be incentives attached to it , but that is the was business works. Try putting a lexmark ink cartridge in a Hp printer .. doesn't work either.... )

    If the Pc manufacturers had a spine they would make machines avaialble with Os of choice. But.. then they will have ot support all the ned users of the machines with all these various OS's... mayor undertaking.

    Even though i don't like Apple ( i have my reasons, see later ) they play it smart. Closed hardware , closed driver set, minimalistic range of options. Means they can focus their support and don't have to deal with cry babies that come with a 10 year old rickety scanner that they now want to hook up under windows 7 to a printerport and expect a driver for. You want to do what now ? sorry it's no longer supported : here is the new hardware , time to upgrade buddy. And at the same time they don;t have to run all the interop testing either.

    It's for the same reason i don't like apple : as a hardware tinkerer there is very little you can do with these machines. everything is so locked down, and you need to go to them for almost anything. Even the harddisks on certain machines are locked down. No chance to pop out the default drive and bolt a bigger one in. But then again : that is not the public Apple caters for. so i can;t really blame them.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    To all the Macboys and Steve Jobs lovers dismissing people's claim that similar actions need to be brought to Apple because they are not 'monopoly'. They have monopoly control over the digital audio player market with its various iPod models and has abused the position to promote iTunes and its music store. iPods can not be made to sync with other media players out of the box. iTunes can also not be used to sync with out devices without resorting to using third party plug-ins. Apple has also actively issued updates to prevent other devices from being used with iTunes (e.g. Palm Pre), in violation of USB code.

  66. Steve Browne

    Stop whining

    Opera won in court, their complaint was upheld and a remedy is now in place. Now users haver a choice of what to install and IE is part of that choice. I fail to see quite what they are whining about now. They got what they asked for, perhaps they should try to be more careful about what they wish for, they seem to have got it and are still unhappy.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @orko McVelikovskyvez

    Personally although i've no love for MS i'm on their 'side' here because although i think Opera had a valid point to begin with they're going to far now. They got IE unbundled, they got a choice of browsers included in the Windows installation, moaning that people will automatically choose IE because the recognise the logo is just petty - plus if that's peoples only criteria when choosing a browser then IE8 is probably the best choice for them.

  68. Tone


    Opera are moaners, they got what they wanted and they are still moaning.. I dont think any one is feeling sorry for MS they are just sick of Opera actng like a baby.

  69. wibbilus maximus

    Changing the tone

    Forget all of the opera bashing and MS bashing and EU bashing. Forget even who is right and look a little deeper at this.

    Microsft have said they have removed IE from windows for the Europeon release and that now the user will be offered a choice of browser. If the screenshot is indeed what the user will be presented with, there is a glaring fault there.

    Notice the title bar says windows internet explorer with an internet explorer icon. There is also an internet explorer icon on the tab of the page. This would suggest that in actual fact all Microsoft have done is cripple IE. (well, cripple it even more then it usually is :D)

    The problem as far as i'm concerned isn't that IE is bundled with windows, it's the fact that it cannot be removed from windows. I don't use Internet Explorer and i haven't for a few years, but I know that there's quite a few people who begrudge having a piece of software on their computer that they don't want.

    The selection page should not be in a webpage format, as to display it will require an Internet Browser and that's what Microsoft say the EU version of windows hasn't got. Anyone else spot the flaw in the logic?

  70. Glen 9

    @orko McVelikovskyvez

    Imagine your an adult (microsoft) and there's an annoying little 12 year old that keeps whining and yapping and doesn't shut up no matter what you do to try and keep it happy (Opera). It's safe to say that you would get pissed off at it.

    I've never used Opera (except on the Wii and my phone if those count) but I really don't care whether the browser itself is good or not. The fact is that it's the companies attitude that's getting me angry.

    I thought it was more then enough that they got this Ballot screen and that should have done it. It's only Microsoft that people shout at for bundling software with more software. It's not as if they blocked competitors websites or made them unable to install on Windows.

    The fact is that anyone that cares which browser they use just uses IE once to download another one and never looks at it again. Everyone else just sticks with I.E. because they don't care and don't want to try anything else. Firefox has got decent market share from people using I.E. to download it so why should Opera be complaining just because it's less popular? They will be having a go at Firefox next for some obscure reason.

    And why do you care anyway? Your big anti-MS rant clearly shows you're a linux user.

    @AC: It's not microsoft that are our new overloads. It's Google! At least Microsoft is a software company but Google is an advertising company! When Chrome OS comes out they shall inherit the earth.

    Will Opera complain about Google's monopoly because Chrome will be bundled with Chrome OS on netbooks and Apple's monopoly on Apple Macs because Safari is bundled with OSX? In fact... If Opera want more more market share... BUILD AN OS! O wait. Sorry. That's what they are trying to ban.

    Terminator because people love waging jihad on MS.

  71. Levente Szileszky
    Thumb Down

    OPERA = typical WHINING PoC company needs to head back to rethink their business model

    Seriously, I am no fan of this giant, slow-moving, utterly incompetent, disgusting fat whale called Microsoft but OPERA NEEDS TO STFU AND GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD instead of always running to the referee that someone else cheats/plays better/etc (interestingly Firefox managed to BEAT OPERA, despite coming out of nothing.

    Your latest "host from your own desktop" feature is the most nonsensical, awkward utter BS I've seen in long time - in 2009 (plenty of free hosting, big and small, including all the cloud-based Live, Google etc accounts) it makes even LESS sense than ever before.

    Stop freakin' whining and make something desirable - your mojo is OLD, Opera.

    If you don't have enough devs/balls then just quit the desktop market and focus on the mobile one - over there at least you are better than almost anyone else (though with its current feat set like built-in Flash support etc and their dev speed Skyfire will hand over your @ss in a year if you keep whining instead of innovating.)

  72. Rab Sssss


    Just don't have opera on the ballot screen...that will teach the whining pricks

  73. The other Ross

    @ Studley

    Nah, I've used browser 6 before and it's shite. I'm excited by browser 7, that you can just see the edge of on the page. Now that looks like it will finally be the holy grail of browsers!

  74. Gavin Bloeman

    Unfair to MS

    I've never been a Microsoft Explorer user, ever. I went from Amiga to Mac in 1993 and so no browser to Netscape .... but I think this is unfair on MS.

    Held up for having a recognisable brand by a company with a less recognisable brand? I can't imagine this happening in any other industry.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    One post per person pleeeease i.e. Anonymous Coward - shut up...

    Funny how this seems to make M$ more like the good guys again (I'm very old - I remember when they were the good guys a long time ago). It is a bit crazy how hard EU are pushing them on this one. It seems the EU guys are not without bias.

  76. nilooo

    Source of interview please

    I tried searching Google for the original interview, but could not find it. Could anyone please tell where Lie actually made those comments. Techflash claims Lie made those comments on Friday, but I got an interview on Computerworld with Lie actually being happy with Microsoft. Has The Reg got carried away ?

  77. Michael 28

    @ Cease yer whining

    Trabant vs Wartburg?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im torn

    I agree microsoft get away with too much but i also cant stand the interfering wankstains at the EU either.

    on a side note, i want browser 6!

  79. mmiied

    the balot

    is in IE how can it not install IE when your selection is in IE...

    sorry that is a fail

  80. Neil Milner-Harris

    @wibbilus maximus

    Quite clearly that is a mock up to convey intent and would not actually be presented in that fashion in the finished product.

    Move along please, nothing to see here.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've said it before and I'll say it again - almost no normal person cares, all they want is to be able to go to facebook, google, and youtube, and they don't like a bunch of lifeless tossers making their lives a bit more of a nuisance as far as they're concerned "opera, firefox, safari, and internet explorer" mean nothing, although they'll recognise the little internet sign and download it. Failing that they'll go for Google or Microsoft.

    This is all just a huge waste of money to add a bit more irritation for normal people, give losers a boner, and iritate Microsoft. It'd be nicer if the money lost on this was going towards something nice - like a park, with trees, and animals, and a lake. That would be worth money.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera sux

    Yeah who cares about Opera, nobody would pick it anyway.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Dee

    Skillz wit da quotin, lolz

  84. Anonymous Coward


    all the comments on MS being a convicted monopoly just remember that it's because so many people buy their stuff that they are a monopoly - all the linux freaks in the world won't have a fraction of MS market and neither will apple Unix AS400 et al . so why is it their fault they are popular and is that the real reason so many people bitch at them cause they ain't?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IE has the word "internet" in it

    So Microsoft should just not offer it at all.

    Honestly, Opera makes me annoyed to be European.

  86. Anonymous Coward

    @ all people talking about microsoft being monopolists

    the stance you need to take is feet together with your arms straight down by your sides and keep shouting that again and again till mummy decides to get you a lolly.

  87. Christopher Rogers

    Windows 7 App Store?

    Wouldn't this be all tidied up by MS developing an APP store for Windows 7? It wouldn't replace the status quo but it would allow for smalltime developers to get into a better position to compete for business. I'm sure MS could develop windows update and the windows installer to create such a function - maybe even have get a buyin on this. That way, whiney bitches like Opera et al could have a very level playing field too gurn about.

  88. Winkypop Silver badge

    That's it...

    I am no longer going to test for or support Opera for my various web sites. Opera users represent diddley-squat visitor numbers anyway.

    If everyone did the same, the annoying twats/browser might just go away.

    Or is that anti-competitive?


  89. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Honestly, that seems to be it:

    And for those that don't like following links:


    Q: In your opinion, should Apple also be expected to offer a ballot box for its computers? Should Ubuntu?

    The Microsoft case is based on antitrust law, something that only applies to monopolies. Apple and Ubuntu are not monopolies as per the legal definition of a monopoly. Still, it may be a good idea to offer it; the browser is the most important tool for most of us, and having access to better browsers is a good thing.


    Tabloid, anyone?

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I were Apple I'd be thinking how I could work the Apple logo into the Safari one at this point. Shame to let all that brand recognition go to waste with an icon that could have come from anyone...

  91. Anonymous Coward

    Why should Opera shut up?

    They among others have had a lot of market share unavailable to compete for

    - due to the fact that most users have no clue what a browser even is and thus wouldn't go out and chose an alternative,

    - combined with the fact that MS was using their power with OEMs to stop them for a long time from including/defaulting to other browsers (particularly visible back in the Netscape Navigator 3/4 days)

    - and last not least as a result of direct abuse by MS (such as sniffing out the Opera browser and then sending it intentionally broken pages on Microsoft's own website).

    To this day they are enforcing the presence and use of IE for their update site.

    Personally I can understand that Opera would want to maximise the advantage they can get out of this. MS had it a long time coming.

  92. Anonymous Coward

    @Martin 6

    I guess you haven't used Windows for a while...

    Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not depend on IE for Windows Update. WU is now an integrated Control Panel applet.

    Additionally, Genuine Advantage works fine with non-IE browsers. Even if a plug-in is not available, you can download a small .exe that will generate a verification code for you.

  93. Fuzz

    Random choice?

    Random seems the only fair way to do it. A list of 6 links labelled browser 1-6 that appear in a random order and the which browser is assigned each number is randomly chosen every time the ballot is generated.

    That way everyone (including browser 6) gets an equal chance of a share of the windows browser market. People who don't care about their browser will stick with the one they are given. Those who want to choose a browser will go and find it manually. Opera will still have a smaller share of the market than anyone else.

  94. James Henstridge

    Re: Guess which is first on the list?

    I think that is just a coincidence. After all, "Internet Explorer" sorts first ahead of "Mozilla Firefox", "Safari", "Opera" and "Webkit based Google Chrome".

  95. magnetik

    @vincent himpe

    "Microsoft does not have a monopoly since there are plenty of other os's out there that run on the same hardware."

    Wow, that demonstrates such a level of idiocy it's hard to know how to sufficiently dumb-down a reply to get through to you. Perhaps you should start here:

    You may also want to look up the words "abuse" and "convicted".

  96. Doug Glass

    Simple Fix?

    Remove all the logos, have only their text names and have them alphabetized left to right. That's about a three minute re-programming fix.

    Of course, idiots love to argue over insignificant things so this will likely take months to fix.

  97. Daniel Bennett

    Oh come flipping on

    They put what is needed

    Now should MS change their icon so no one knows it?! idiots.

    The list is ordered by popular browsers, IE is popular without a doubt.

  98. MarkOne

    Aren't they supposed to be in order of popularity?

    In which case it would be:






  99. Andy 99
    Paris Hilton

    Free Porn!

    I'm going to create a browser called "Free Porn" and have the logo as a nice big pair of breasts. Guessing I should be able to cut a huge swathe of browser market share with the next windows release! Anyone else want in?

  100. Greg 10

    @Vincent Himpe

    " repeat afte rme : Microsoft does not have a monopoly since there are plenty of other os's out there that run on the same hardware."

    Repeat after me: I will not venture an affirmation when I know nothing about a subject, lest I make a fool of myself. If it's too hard, I will at least not be condescendant to others who are actually knowledgeable while making a fool of myself. I'll still look a fool, but at least I'll be a nice fool.

    And on the subject of your foolishness...

    Repeat after me: A definition of a monopoly is: In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos , alone or single + polein , to sell) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.

    (Note: that's wikipedia, but basically, it's the law's definition)

    SUFFICIENT CONTROL. A monopoly is NOT defined by the fact it is alone (at least not for competition law, for advanced economics, for politics and evertyhing that deals with real life).

    Sorry, you're patronizing people based on your own foolish definition of a term.

    One example of monopoly power: being able to tell manufacturers "you install only us, or you don't install us at all" and be certain the manufacturers simply cannot avoid giving in (they'd like to install 10% other things, and maybe more as time passes, but they certainly CANNOT install competition on 100% of PCs and expect to avoid bankruptcy in a few months). Doesn't that ring a bell?

  101. Tom 106

    Sod off Opera

    MS should devise an Active X that will bug the hell out of Opera when used on the Windows OS. At least then the Opera knobheads will have something of substance to whinge about.

  102. blackworx

    What's the point?

    Remove the logos, replace it with a text list and the following will happen:

    1) Opera will whine if IE is further up the list than them. The only way to solve that would be to randomize the list for every ballot impression.

    2) People are still going to go: "ooh, Internet Explorer; I know that one" >clickety<

    3) Opera will find something else to whine about six months down the line.

  103. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Gates Horns

    Look deepley into my logo, you are feeling drowsey

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha….

    Beware the evil empires FUD.

    I haven't read all the comments because this is commentard nirvana and all the ACs have having micro-gasams, but so many are missing the point.

    Read the text under the icons, and then decipher the subliminal message that is being presented for each browser.

    IE8 - Making your Web even Better… Faster… Safer, Easier - Well based on previous experience I'd use the trade descriptions act on them for that alone, but note the use of 'positive' words

    Firefox - Starts with a question, and they "Try" firefox. The message is that Firefox is doubtful and you are only trying to see if it works

    Safari - "Introducing" Safari and then "See the web in whole new way". Introducing implies that Safari is also a new and untested product, see the web in a new way, what that that mean, that the rendering in Safari is wrong?

    Chrome - "A new web browser". Again the new and untested message.

    Opera - Again the new and untested message.

    How about truthful advertising

    IE8 - From the people that brought you the ActiveX, Iframe and cross-scripting vulnerabilities and requires that you run every thing with admin permission so your PC can easily be taken over by BotNets

    Firefox - leaks memory like fuck, install an extra 16GB of ram to run this turkey. Existing versions of installed plugins will not work with any upgrades

    Safari - (sorry know nothing about Safari)

    Chrome - From Google, who like to know everything about you so that can sell targeted advertising.

    Opera - The fifth least popular browser, I wonder why. Bloated and Clunky, thinks it’s a web server and a BitTorrent client.

    One other point, install IE8????? I thought the whole point was that so much is Internet Exploder is already installed in the bowels of windoze, I note the choice screen offers a link to "turn off" IE, so…. You still can't uninstall it, its there ready to popup all the time.

    In some ways you've got admire M$, their propaganda machine would put any fascist dictatorship to shame.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 07:46

    "Skillz wit da quotin, lolz"

    Yeah, I made an editing error. We all do it. Now what the fuck is your excuse?

  105. Defiant


    OMG Opera really are desperate to get new users. I'm glad I ripped their software off my computers and mobile phone

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Andy 99

    "I'm going to create a browser called 'Free Porn' and have the logo as a nice big pair of breasts. Guessing I should be able to cut a huge swathe of browser market share with the next windows release! Anyone else want in?"

    Only if Debian rebrands it with a massive cock.

    Paris, because I'd like to see a thick male fluff icon.

  107. SuperSooty
    Gates Horns

    Buy Out

    Microsoft should buy out Opera, just like they did to Homer.

  108. magnetik
    Thumb Down

    @Tom 106

    "MS should devise an Active X that will bug the hell out of Opera when used on the Windows OS. At least then the Opera knobheads will have something of substance to whinge about."

    Well, that's exactly what MS did in the past - break MS websites for Opera by serving different content when the Opera user agent was detected. You could try learning about the history of Opera's complaints before you make another retarded comment !

  109. EddieD

    Heh, they should do an apple..

    And have IE appear as "software that needs to be updated"...

    Sauce for the goose etc

    I'm not a fan of IE, I use Firefox as standard, but I think that Opera need to have market forces explained to them. I have to wonder when Opera are going to have a go at Firefox saying that it's unfair that they get funding from Google - though with any luck they'll try and go after google saying that they are exploiting an unfair monopoly. As other folk have said the Google logo is becoming more synonymous with the internet than the big blue E - folk will click on that logo thinking it will take them to the site.

    Of course, MS could be very sneaky and slipstream a quiet install from the site, so that there's none of this download an executable, then run it with all those pesky dialogs...

  110. David Barrett


    I want a wopper in my happy meal... I know that technically I can put whatever I like in the box myself but I want mc donalds to be forced to offer it as an option, in the spirit of competition... They are the Market leader after all...

  111. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face


    At least if I don't like MS I can vote with my wallet and buy something different.

    If I don't like IE I can vote with my mouse and install something different.

    If I don't like the laws churned out by the unelected European Commission I'm stuffed.

    So much for democracy.

  112. Chris Harries

    Give Oprah a pat on the only joking STAB IN THE BACK

    That's like attacking Fedora for the fact that open office comes with it as a standerd install...surely that's anti-competitive...and you think of every OS that you just run a normal install for to get going as quickly as possible. Ubuntu comes with Firefox doesn't it? Well better sort Ubuntu out so it doesn't come with Firefox anymore. This is getting ridiculous, I want a fucking browser with my OS. So now i'm going to get more phone calls with non-computer literate friends not knowing what something is. Why do most people use IE, because it's their and they couldn't give a shit. Do Oprah really think the majority of people care? It's an OS, it's supposed to come with basic tools to get you going, text bad, calculator, browser, ie client, ftp client at al

  113. Matthew Brown


    ...has gotten out of hand. They want to change the icon? Seriously?

  114. CD001


    The ballot screen; here's a big fucking clue-stick - how many punters do you think will actually see that screen? Really? How many people do YOU know (apart from techies) who have actually done a Windows install from scratch? Every normal person gets their OS installed by the OEM - it's the OEMs that will see that screen; they'll decide which browser is installed by default - assuming MS doesn't pressure them to ensure that it'll be IE (hmmmm).

    So MS will continue to abuse their monopoly position to ensure that the OEMs all install IE by default; the OEMs will claim it's because of customer demand and everyone will come out smelling of roses looking like they've bowed to the legal pressure from the EU... and nothing will have changed.

    ---- @ winkypop ----

    I am no longer going to test for or support Opera for my various web sites. Opera users represent diddley-squat visitor numbers anyway.

    If everyone did the same, the annoying twats/browser might just go away.


    Except that because Opera actually works and follows standards you don't actually need to support it per-se - if you support the standards you support Opera or vice versa *shrugs*

    What you're saying is "write shit code that only works on IE!" - yay, go you.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Have you tried to buy a "standard" x86/x8_64 PC that runs an OS other than Microsoft Windows?"

    YES! It's called an Apple iMac and it runs OSX as standard and any x86 compat O/S, be it Windows, Linux, etc.

    Thanks for asking!

    All getting a bit silly over in Windows land, I am just waiting for the EU to get bored picking on MS and start laying in the Church of Jobs-entology. Let's see how motivated the fanbois can get if you poke 'em hard enough with a big enough stick! LOL!

    ( Yes I do own several Apple Macs thanks! )

  116. Daniel Voyce
    Jobs Horns

    Am I the only person...

    Who thinks its ironic that the ballot is displayed in IE?

    Also - surely there is a bit of a chicken and egg thing going to happen - if its going to be presented in that way surely a browser will have to be bundled to display it?

  117. Andy Cadley

    @wibbilus maximus

    Microsoft originally proposed entirely removing IE, the EU and customers weren't really happy with that. Not being able to do upgrade installs and crippling the deployment for large businesses in the EU didn't really fly. Neither did it solve the somewhat niggling problem of how the average Joe was supposed to install any of these alternate browsers when they had no way of going to a website to download one.

    The "browser selection" option instead restores IE as a component of Windows that ships in box and then offers users a choice of alternate browser when they first use their computer. This is done through a webpage (so that it can be periodically updated) and naturally that page gets displayed in IE, since IE is the only browser available at that point.

    As to the continued Opera whining, it really takes the cake now. I genuinely don't think they'd accept any solution which doesn't guarantee their marketshare is artifically bumped up.

  118. MarkOne

    To all the idiots that think Opera is last/nowhere

    More than Chrome, More than Safari.

    I assume you also exclude all Apple users too? of course not, as you are one the Apple cretins yourself...

  119. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Gates Horns

    @Andy Cadley

    "Microsoft originally proposed entirely removing IE, the EU and customers weren't really happy with that"

    s'funny, I don't remember anyone asking me, was there an online survey, or did it only work in IE. Maybe they just asked the OEMs

    Hi Mr OEM, would you like to continue with the existing licensing agreement or would you prefer one that will cost you more money?

  120. tiggertaebo

    Opera - really who cares?

    For the major site I look after for work it makes up a titanic 0.33% of traffic, and that's down on 0.37% at this time last year. That makes it a distant fifth behind the fourth placed Chrome with 2.18%

    Rather unsuprisingly Opera isn't something I care about much - while I would probably agree they had a sound basis for bringing their case originally this line is a whine too far for me, by all means people who abuse a monopoly should be punished (that's why they got fined) and by all means you should ensure that they only use legitimate tactics to compete in the future - you shouldn't however cripple them... its.. erm... Anti-Competitive

    The blue "e" has great brand recognition and associations for the customer, so if they want to compete with that Opera should use good old fashioned marketing - that's what FireFox has done (with reasonable success) and that's what Google are doing right now, anyone seen their flash adds showing some basic generic icons and then the Chrome logo for "Internet"?

    Also you know what would go great with any marketing? A good product. Opera should spend less time in the courtroom and more time developing - they used to have the best mobile browser, now Apple do, they used to be a byword for innovation in desktop browsing - now its the same stagnant re-heated rubbish. Right now the only version of Opera that doesn't make me wish I was using a different browser is the Wii one - and tbh I browse on that maybe twice a year.

  121. TNTofTN
    Jobs Horns

    Lie's complaint

    It is so sad to see such smart people act so stupidly.

    Clearly the icon for IE is the E icon and is a trademark of Microsoft similarly to Opera's O.

    If Lie really had a complaint it would be his company's lack of having a viable operating system. His only venue is on the back of Microsoft. If you're getting a FREE RIDE, don't complain about the shocks.

    Anybody at anytime can set their default Explorer in their Control Panel. I use Opera, Firefox, Google Chrome and well as Internet Explorer. Each has their own strengths and weakness'.

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thanks for the link.

    Breaking it down by version ( we see that Opera's market share is only about a sixth of MS leading browser.

    I for one continue to welcome our European Overlords as better than anything HM Gov or Uncle Sam has to offer.

  123. DD1238
    Thumb Down


    It would never happen, but I'd love to see Microsoft respond by pulling Windows from the European market. First you are going to tell a company that they have to offer a competitors product from within their own software, and you are going to follow that up by telling them they can't even use their own logo?

  124. JoeMomma

    Who gets billed

    I think that for every support phone call that MS gets, that ends up being a competitors browser at fault, MS should bill that company.

    So after about the 10,000th call complaining that their intranet weblication doesn't work in the browser they were forced to blindly pick, those bills should add up enough to put the competing browsers in real trouble. :)

  125. Neil Alexander

    Blah blah blah...

    Oh dear. Microsoft appear to have created a recognisable icon that helps people to identify their product quickly and easily, just like every other successful brand in the world has done.

    We must sue them at once.

  126. magnetik


    How about M$ is forced to compensate every developer who has had to waste countless hours on nasty website hacks just to make it play nice in IE?

  127. vincent himpe

    @greg and magnetik

    There is something incorrect.

    from wikipedia : 1 ) ' If there is a single seller in a certain industry and there are no close substitutes for the good being produced by him, then the market structure is that of a Pure monopoly. 2) Sometimes, there are many sellers in an industry and/or there exist many close substitutes for the good being produced, but nevertheless firms retain some market power. This is called Monopolistic competition by economists'

    Linux is a close substitue ( So it is claimed to be by the fanbois. Everytime they claim it can do anything windows can, do it better, be more secure and do it with more features and options, and you get the source so you can tweak it. The summit of flexibility.)

    So microsoft is not a pure monopoly. ( or else the linux adepts are lying ... )

    So you can only claim 2. And there are plenty of other companies that have 'market power'. Want to run OsX ? its mac hardware only. Want to run on sun hardware? Its solaris only ... Want to drive a toyota ? sorry , honda doesn't make those and toyota won't let them.

    The excuse that manufacturers are being bullied into installing windows is also debatable.

    They get a volume discount on licences, the more they buy to more discount. Extrapolate this rule and max discount is attained when you buy only microsoft. How the stuff is split , if its lineair or not is irrelevant. Standard business practice anywhere. Want to have a french passport ? you ned to be a french citizen. Talk about a monopoly ! ( it's almost discrimination. You're not french ? sorry no passport ... )

    All the pc hardware manufacturers are interested in is making money (like any other business). Yhe more kit they sell the higher their profits. The lower the cost of the raw material the more profit. PC manufacturers shoot for the grand audience. They do market research and manufacture what people want.

    There have been manufacturers that went the linux only route. They had nice , cheap machines that were flogged via various outlets. Correct me if i'm wrong but they have all gone the way of the wind. Joe Schmoe isn't interest in those.

    Today, all the big boys ( ibm / hp / dell ) sell business machines with red hat / sues and the likes preinstalled. There is a market large enough that it is ecnonomically sound to have such machines avaialble for shipping. But unfortunately for the 'linux advocates' those are not desktop machines. They are the big iron machines that sit in a closet somewhere humming happily away. Business is demand driven. There is no demand for linux from joe schmoe. Has this grown historically : yes. The PC was created by IBM and ran DOS from microsoft. Linux et al came only late into the game. Microsoft was already an established platform by then. You entered the market too late. That's all.

  128. DaveyBoy

    Now Make Apple do the same!

    I guess that now Apple should do the same in their next version of the OS. Also, they should open the app store for the iPhone and iTouch and stop getting in the way of developers...

    Come on - enough Microsoft bashing - lets get the other manufacturers!

  129. Tom 106

    @ magnetik

    Perhaps my retard comment reflects that fact that I lick windows for a hobby, which is way better and more fulfilling than ever wanting to use a poo stained browser like Opera.

  130. orko McVelikovskyvez
    Gates Horns

    The greatest trick the devil ever played....

    ...was convincing the world that he doesn't exist.

    Microsoft can't be allowed to do whatever they want because they can't be trusted.

    Regardless, Lie did NOT make any demands that Microsoft's logo be removed. He just noted that psychologically it has a lot of weight with users.

    @ Tom 106 What, are you fucking 12? by the way google this: opera ms bork

    @ DD1238 Best idea in this whole thread! Hmmm, I wonder how we could speed that up....

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Please, think about what you are typing.

    @DD1238 - If you had taken the time to read, assuming that your literacy level is high enough to comprehend the article, you'd understand that *Opera* had made the comment and the EC has basically ignored it. Also, Microsoft would not pull out of the European market. It is quite a bit larger than the US market and far more lucrative. Withdrawing would leave a gaping hole for Apple/Linux to get a serious foothold/market share, which would almost definitely bite Microsoft on the arse. You can say what you like about Microsoft, one thing is definitely true, they are astute in business. Alienating 250 million customers, possibly more with enterprise taken into account, would be financial and business suicide.

    @vincent himpe - Quick economics lesson. There is no such thing as a 'pure monopoly', you mean a 'natural monopoly'. You are correct when you attest that Microsoft aren't a monopoly, and neither have they been 'convicted' of being a monopoly - they have been convicted of abuse of dominant position. They are without argument the 'Dominant Firm' in the OS market place (the terms are from the Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993 [] - not Wiki-shitting-pedia). The business in question must have more than 40% market share to be considered a dominant firm. As most of you Microsofties like to constantly point out, Microsoft have anywhere between 80% and 90% market domination, depending on which stats site you decide to believe. The following is from the OECD;

    'A dominant firm is one which accounts for a significant share of a given market and has a significantly larger market share than its next largest rival. Dominant firms are typically considered to have market shares of 40 per cent or more.'

    That description pretty much defines the position Microsoft find themselves in. The EC have found that Microsoft have been in abuse of dominant position. Again, from the OECD;

    'The term abuse of dominant position refers to anticompetitive business practices in which a dominant firm may engage in order to maintain or increase its position in the market.'

    Hence the action taken against Microsoft (the ' order to maintain or increase its position in the market.' bit) and not the competitive fringes that are Apple/Linux/Sun. For the avoidance of doubt, from the same document;

    'Anticompetitive practices refer to a wide range of business practices in which a firm or group of firms may engage in order to restrict inter-firm competition to maintain or increase their relative market position and profits without necessarily providing goods and services at a lower cost or of higher quality.'


    The rest of your post falls into irrelevancy (citizenship as an example? Really?!) and poor spelling (easily resolved if you used a browser that had a spell-checker, Opera perhaps...). Just something to note. Dell sell consumer PC's pre-installed with Ubuntu and HP sell the same pre-installed with SUSE and Red Hat/Fedora, System 76 seem to be doing quite well out of Ubuntu-only solutions too. Yes, some is server iron, but with the exception of IBM who do not sell *any* desktop/notebook hardware, sell consumer PC pre-installed with Linux. Your point?

    @DaveyBoy - Apple may be controlling when it comes to the App Store, but monopolist they ain't. Again, the Nokia/Microsoft chaps like to remind us that Apple don't have a particularly high market share (3% of the *smartphone* market globally?). So tell me, taking into account the above information about "Dominant Firms', why should the EC investigate Apple, other than to give poor 'ickle Microsoft a break?

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