back to article Opera chief warns on equal access to Windows services

Microsoft might be closer to a compromise with browser rival regarding Internet Explorer on Windows, but access to key online services for PCs could be the next hurdle. Opera Software chief executive told The Reg he welcomed Microsoft’s offer last month to give European PC users a choice of browsers on Windows, but he warned …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
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    Looking for a fight

    Wow, so these Opera guys are just looking for any reason possible to pick a fight with Microsoft and make them look bad.

    Last time I checked Firefox did not need to be included in the windows update service. Nor did Apple include other browsers for their updates.

    The windows update service should only be used for critical updates, MS has already polluted the update pool with enough crap already and now Opera wants 3rd party non driver crap in there? Imagine what happens if a bad update gets pushed out using the service, millions of computers automatically get hit.

  2. deegee


    What a load of horse apples. von Tetzchner is a smeg-head.

    Not only does he want all browsers on Windows, but now access to all of MS's web services?

    Does he even realize that you don't use your browser to get to Windows Update in Vista or 7?

    "Microsoft is a big bully and I want all of their technology... waaahh!"...

    Enough is enough, someone needs to tell him to sod-off.

  3. NavySealLTBlue

    Irrelevent to the future of Microsoft's products?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but starting in Vista, all updates are run through a program within the operating system just for updates. When you access the old update sites from Vista, if memory serves me right, it specifies that the only way to update is via that embedded program.

    So wouldn't that mean that this only applies to XP and earlier? (Which Microsoft won't be supporting by the time that they are required to remove Internet Explorer from their Operating Systems?

  4. Solomon Grundy

    Opera - Oprah

    They're almost identical! They are both useless, whiny, and bloated drama queens.

    God the fools at Opera never shut up with their boo-hooing. I don't care how great their product is, I'll never use it because the people who manage the company are a bunch of twats. Jesus I wish they'd just shut up and concentrate on making their business successful.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I hope Microsoft will join the battle of being the first to implement a particular feature"

    "I hope Microsoft will join the battle of being the first to implement a particular feature," Opera's chief said.

    So that we can sue their arses off for introducing proprietary extensions to the standard!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Stick it to 'em

    Go Opera! Go E.U.! After you plunge the knife, give it a twist.

    MS needs to be taught a lesson, after the slap on the wrist they got from the Justice Dept..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel sorry for Microsoft

    What is it about these Opera people? Are they trying to get so far up Microsoft's nose that they (Microsoft) buy the company just to shut them up? I predict that no matter what concessions Microsoft make, it will not be enough to shut this company (Opera) up. They will not be happy until Microsoft are forced to install Opera as the default browser in windows. Maybe the people at Opera should remember that if it wasn't for Windows, there would not have been a platform for them to develop their browser for...

    I wouldn't care if their browser was so great it beat all others. As a Mac user I have no idea how good, or not, I.E. is. But on my machine I have 3 browsers. Safari, Camino and, yes, Opera. Very rarely do I use anything other than Camino.

    Surely, If Opera was so great it would be downloaded by every user on the planet regardless of what was built into the operating system. Or are they saying that Windows users are so stupid as not to be able to do so for themselves? But the trouble is, it's just NOT that great. Like Safari, too damned cluttered and too many ways of doing the same thing. But at least Apple didn't say it was re-inventing the 'net...

    Firefox (another browser I have never used) also isn't installed by windows, but it is far more popular than Opera. Doesn't that tell these people something?

    Finally, who, or what will Opera blame if Microsoft implements this ballot thiing and no one picks Opera?

    So, Opera, how about shutting the f**k up and start developing your browser into a "must have" . Your browser just isn't good enough to keep people using it even when they have downloaded it.

    Cheers... Ishy

  8. Anonymous Coward

    And the next complaint...

    So when Opera finally get their way, no browser will be installed by default and you have to select fom a list which browser you want... then they will complain because MS sorted the list alphabetically and IE appears higher in the list than Opera.

    So Opera had better name their next browser "A1AARDVARK" and save us the pain of listening to them whinging again.

  9. Rab Sssss


    Pushout your own updates fuckwits...

  10. Florence


    It's a trollfest in here as soon as Opera gets a mention.

    Anonymous Coward #2: good one, you were in such a hurry to have a go at Opera that you forgot to even think before posting. It's about being able to run Windows Update from Opera, not getting Opera updates from Microsoft.

    deegee and NavySealLTBlue: admittedly I haven't used Windows Update in Vista and 7, but doesn't that embedded programme rely on IE? Would it still run if it were possible to fully uninstall IE?

    OK Opera have been whinging quite a bit lately and von Tezchner is an idiot, but any attempt to remove IE's tight integration into the OS should be supported!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Get rid of the muppet...

    So let me get this right "....but it does not implement the emerging HTML 5 standard."

    Sop MS is moaned at for NOT being compliant, but then moand at for NOT using an NON STANDARD language.

    So if MS say did adopt this and it was later revised, then would MS be moaned at for using non compliant standard?.

    Isn't best to wait for a standard then work towards that instead of prempting it and having to fudge a workaround later?

  12. N2

    I can see their point but

    They are hardly like to be on Steve Ballmers Christmas card list after their last round of whinging about Internet Explorer!

    Although anyone who makes a stand against Microsoft & its tactics needs to be congratulated.

  13. MarkOne

    Whats with all the Microsoft shills

    that come out the wood work whenever a Opera article is posted? It's clearly causing problems in Redmond, one they they hope they can save by Microsoft's usual blend of astroturfing and viral marketing.

    Clearly these are shills, as anyone with any ounce of common sense would know that Opera is the fastest, least resource hogging and most secure browser out there, it's also the most standards compliant too.

  14. Mark Rendle

    STFU Opera

    Everybody has had enough of your whining now. You lost. It happened because your product offered nothing compelling, especially after Firefox appeared. It's time to strip the assets, burn down the offices, defraud the insurance company and move on with your lives.

    @Florence: Running Windows Update in a browser? What a quaint idea. I vaguely remember that from all those years ago, when Windows XP was the current version.

  15. Test Man

    Windows Update

    Opera must be idiots or behind the times. Windows Update since Vista (from 2007 basically) has not used IE so what the hell are they on about? This exposes Opera for the stupid idiots they are.

  16. The BigYin

    Opera are annoying...

    ...but that doesn't change the fact that MS services should be standards compliant and usable on *any* browser that supports those standards.

    An option open to MS is to drop their silly update system and move to a more robust system such as "Repositories" on Linux. But that would mean admitting to the world that Linux does (at least) one thing better - I doubt they will do that out of spite.

    Then, of course, they will have their arse sued by the likes of InstallShield for destroying the installer market or something.

    Note: this isn't about supporting Opera or MS having to supply Opera or something; this is about supporting standards. Interoperability. Guaranteed behaviour. Being able to select best of breed and not being locked in. Innovation. The free market. Standards help ensure all that happens, they are the best thing for the customer.

  17. Nigel 11
    Thumb Down

    Windows/Microsoft update

    Microsoft Update uses Active X

    For everyday browsing I'd much prefer to use a web-browser that does not implement this incredibly dangerous protocol (basically, someone sends you code, and your PC executes it!).

    Windows Update is basically an item on the start menu that you click, which downloads and installs your updates. It uses IE as part of its engine, but I really don't see this as a kind of user-initiated web-browsing. Any computer I use, it's just about the only thing IE ever gets used for. It's hard to see how it creates any sort of monopolistic lock-in. You use Windows, you use a Windows tool to access a remote Windows service to download updates that are no use for anything except Windows. When I use Linux, I get my updates with a different tool (yum or apt-get) and the fact that FF won't play with Microsoft Update on a Linux platform is a total irrelevance.

    What's the real point of contention? That Microsoft is trying to use this as an excuse for shipping every system with Internet Explorer, so it remains the default browser for newbies? Provided Microsoft's new browser-choice screen strips IE from the start menu and desktop and file associations if the user says he doesn't want IE, I can't object to the binary remaining on the system as a component of other tools such as Windows Update. The issue then becomes whether any such tool represents unfair leveraging of a monopoly.

    Methinks the Opera folks are being a bit, er, operatic.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Low and behold - The MS disciples arrive

    Funny how whenever there's any kind of article about Opera, be it one involving the EU or not, a flood of pro-MS disciples arrive and post a load of negative comments within minutes. very suspicious. This never happened before the EU business.

    And it still makes me laugh that people keep bashing a little company like Opera for the trouble a megacorp like MS are in. It's the EU who are screwing MS, not Opera. Do you really think Opera have the power to close down MS or tear them up like this?

    And not only that, the EU haven't actually done or said anything! MS have done everything voluntarily so far. Why would anyone keep coming up with so many plans and changes when there have been literally zero findings by the EU? The only reasonable excuse is that MS *know* they've been very bad and don't have a leg to stand on, all of which will lead to them getting clobbered. So they're plea bargaining, desperately trying to please the terrifying EU in order to minimise the punishment they know they deserve.

    This is damage limitation, not co-operation.

  19. Psymon


    Actually, windows update has nothing to do with IE, and to educate the rest of you, it has nothing to do with IE in windows XP either.

    IE just brings up the web based interface for users who don't use the automatic update component within windows, and is actually a legacy feature.

    The windows update service does not require IE (wuauclt.exe has its' own interface). It has been a legacy feature since 2K, because MS grew up and realised that sysadmins can't spend all day running round every single machine individually updating them.

    Instead we use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS for short). A central program that you install on a single server. From there, you approve or decline the relevant updates, which it downloads from Microsoft, and then distributes to your client machines within your network using BITS, using scheduling and bandwidth throttling to prevent flooding your network, and generating full reports on the update status for all your machines.

    The WSUS software doesn't even have to be installed on a server, it will happily sit on any windows machine you deem fit.

    This isn't just a time saving feature; it's an absolute necessity on a modern network. Even a simple user can appreciate the need to know if the computers are patched and up to date, and none of the other web browsers support this feature, let alone the ability to centrally configure options such as proxy settings and allowable plugins.

    Centralised management of the software is easy peasy if you correctly use the windows registry (it’s well documented) and a LAN update program is not difficult to write.

    Without these two vital elements, the other browsers are toys, not tools, and this is clearly reflected in the almost complete lack of take-up within the corporate market.

    The more you understand about modern networking, the more you realise just how immature and under developed these other products are.


    Sorry, but FAIL. Opera has the most atrocious graphics redraw routines out of them all, which makes it a total CPU hog. As for security, that's only through obscurity, and W3C compliance? I'm still seeing a fair number of pages that it’s failing to render correctly.

  20. Adam Salisbury

    STFU Opera

    As I once posted on another, probably Opera related article, I'm still at a loss as what the fuss is all about. Who's actually making money from developing browsers?? Firefox are in Google's pocket but MS refer IE searches to Bing which means any ad revenue they'd make is wooden dollars.

    You'd think there was a multli-billion pund industry riding on this but it's just a bitter tinpot outfit whining about not being able to successful peddle their half baked browser. Firefox have, in the last few years started clawing considerable market share back from MS without the need for all ths petulant crap. Everyone bundles a few apps into their OS', from Linux to OSX to Windows, I'm not an MS fan in the slightest but the behaviour of some of their competition is making me warm up to them...

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. OffBeatMammal

    I tried Opera...

    .... and it was a horrible experience.

    Slow and confusing UI. Sites that work in IE and Firefox didn't work

    If their product was good enough they wouldn't need the EU to fight their battles ... people would install and use their free browser and tell their friends how good it is.

    Don't see that happening much (apart from the Opera-shills who hit any story on the web to abuse MS and anyone with a clear head of being a shill for Redmond)

    So now they want to force MS to re-write bits of their core OS so insteal of using IE (or MSHTML) to display something like the Help system the user will have the choice of using Opera? I just don't get that. Why should core OS functions be hamstrung like that? it's akin to demanding that iTunes supports PlayReady or OSX allows macros written in VBScript. I don't even get how this would help Opera promote their product

  23. Adrian Midgley 1
    Thumb Down

    @Markone: useful at home, that?

    "central server, ... network ...easy peasy if you correctly use the windows registry ... and a LAN update program is not difficult to write. "


  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Equal access

    "But von Tetzchner noted that integration would be meaningless unless rival browsers also got equal access to online sites such as Windows Update and Microsoft Update for patches and fixes - or Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft's re-launched security service."

    Surely rival browser do have equal access to these sites, the only limiting factor, i thought, was that these sites used activex controls, simply implement an activex engine into your browser and voila! You've got just as much access as IE does.

  25. deegee

    MS disciples?

    I think not. This is just common sense. Even non-MS-pundits will agree that Opera is being stupid and trying to see how far they can push their anti-MS sentiment for personal gain in the shadow of the EU rulings.

    Just look at the other statements made by Opera and you can see that they are self-serving whiners.

    For those who don't understand the inner working of Windows, I wrote software that uses the core comm libraries in Windows to perform http requests etc. This did NOT require that I use or launch IE, or any browser. MS does the same with their core access code. Is MS supposed to let another company change or replace core OS code? That is just stupid and dangerous.

    I mostly do corporate IT for a living, and whenever I present my clients with choices for upgrades: MSO vs OO vs WPO and IE vs FF vs GC vs O, guess who they choose?

    It is usually because MS releases a more stable, more interface compliant, more integrated application. And they don't do it by "cheating".

    Just look at the MS Money vs Simply/QuickBooks race: MS lost. The other products were more popular and better. There are cases of other MS apps meeting the same fate.

    If Opera wants a larger share of the browser race, they should make a better browser.

    On my surfing system (Atom) I have GC, IE, FF and Opera installed. I use IE with FF as #2.

    Opera is basically useless because it takes 4x longer (20s!) to launch than either IE or FF, and its interface is terrible. I use IE and FF because they are better browsers - period.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    So, everyone feels pity for the poor Microsoft.

    Grow up and learn about its 20 years of monopoly and anti competitive practices.

    Read this report from ECIS

    Microsoft needs someone with enough power to make them obey the law and stop from hindering the entire software market.

  27. deegee
    Thumb Down

    @Anon "Anti-competitivism"

    Sorry, but _you_ need to grow up and learn. You might want to read up on corporations and practices and check out what other corporations in other sectors do and get away with.

    MS is a corporation, they are not a person, hence they do not have to play by what we would call human moral and empathetic guidelines. Corporations are designed to do [mostly] one thing - make profit. ALL corporations are like this, all corporations do this.

    I have some news for you, if it were not for Microsoft, we would not be where we are right now in computer technology. At the dawn of the PC age, IBM sure wasn't thinking of the average joe-desktop with their computer prices and technology and marketing strategies. MS is large enough to provide technologies, api's, libraries, development tools, so that we have computers at the level that they are. If MS had never existed and we were stuck with Linux and OpenGL, we would be years behind where we are now.

    Do you not think for a second that Intel vs AMD do the same things against each other? Or ATI vs NVidia? Or other non-computer-sector corporations? Corporate espionage, buy-outs, market competition, etc., have all long been here before MS was even started, and are just as prevalent in every other corporate sector. There are mega-corporations in other sectors but I don't hear you bashing their practices.

    MS is just taking the same advantages that every other corporation does. Why should they have their hands tied behind their backs while other corporations do not?

    What about Autodesk? They have bought out much of their competition and own all of the popular 3D applications and the largest market share and set market prices absurdly high, why aren't you screaming at them?

    Or Apple and their tactics with their iPod/iPhone/iTunes/AppStore?

    Or maybe you just hopped onto the "let's all hate MS" bandwagon.

    There is nothing at all stopping you from creating a competing OS or applications and beating MS. Other companies have done it before. If you don't believe me, look at MS Money vs Simply/QuickBooks as only one example.

    Welcome to corporate commercialism.

    In this specific case, Opera is simply trying to get the government to shoe-horn them into another corporation's insides, which is wrong on many levels. If Opera can't take the competition, they should get out of the market.

    This entire idea that its ok to be of the mind that "[MS] Goliath is big, let's throw rocks at him" while [Opera] David is actually being an arsehole himself, is wrong and dangerous.

    If they can't even make a good browser, do you want their technology used in important areas of your OS? Not me.

  28. zenkaon

    Twats Vs Bastards

    Opera are a bunch of cry-baby twats with a shitty piece of propriety code that no-one wants.

    MS are a bunch of monopolist bastards who force Windows upon the masses.

    Lots of el reg readers are fanbois.

    These articles amuse me.

    I'm enjoying the corporate bitch-fight and commentary.

    In a perfect world they would both loose (lawyers win regardless).

  29. Brian

    Sites that help keep users' PCs secure and updated

    Opera folks should actually try running windows 7. 'Windows Update' doesn't use a browser anymore, so I'm not sure what they are talking about when they say they want access to "sites that help keep users' PCs secure and updated".

  30. Bug

    Google helps forcing SVG on IE

    See the short clip on , and the schedule on

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