back to article Microsoft acted on Opera's modified browser proposal?

Windows PC users in Europe could get to pick their browser without going through Internet Explorer. Microsoft is reported to have agreed to changes proposed by Opera Software to a ballot screen Redmond had offered for users to pick the browser they wanted on their Windows computer. The ballot screen was offered by Microsoft …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    "something the screen shot of the proposed screen released by Microsoft appeared to already include"

    Random? It may not be alphabetical, but that ordering doesn't look so random to me; IE, FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera: isn't that "Our product first then the rest in descending order of market share"? (Which happens to be the same thing as "all browsers in descending order of market share, but I'm guessing that even if IE didn't have the largest overall share it still would have been first one on the left in any initial proposal MS would 'open the bargaining' with.)

  2. Unlimited


    ...seems to have done alright without this ballot screen...

  3. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    Well thats fine Microsoft....

    I also refuse to comment...........................oh..wait....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Cue the flood of Opera-bashing MS shrills

    I thought this matter was settled?

  5. James O'Brien


    "Also, Opera objected to the continued use of the "e" IE icon, saying this would provide a natural bias towards Microsoft's browser because it's synonymous with Windows."

    Excuse me but isnt that its trademark symbol? Wouldnt them not displaying it mean that they shouldnt display Operas logo? What about FF? Safari's compass? God i love reading these articles because Opera gets more and more whiny every damn time they open their mouths.

  6. Jamie Edwards

    Opera is a sore loser

    I see nothing wrong with listing browsers by their popularity. Opera has sour grapes.

  7. Stephen Channell


    and where are they going to find a true random number generator that does not favour list[0] without a cryptographic co-processor.. or will they slip on that one.

    Time to send the new EU "High Representative" to Washington to smack them into shape (_!_)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Enough will never be enough

    "Also, Opera objected to the continued use of the "e" IE icon, saying this would provide a natural bias towards Microsoft's browser because it's synonymous with Windows."

    WTF!? This is all ridiculous.

  9. edde

    Not random

    It seems the browser order is more based on market share than randomly as the author seems to think.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Dear Opera

    "Whhaaaaa...." quit your crying!! I mean, how nit-picky you get? Can't use the "e" icon because it's too synonymous with Windows itself? Are you kidding me? Let's tell Mozilla they can't use the Firefox icon either, since it's too closely related to their product. As a matter of fact, why don't we have a link to JUST the Opera browser on the first page and then you'd have to follow a link to a second page to get the listing for the other browsers. Would that make you happy rather than the order they are in, or some silly notion to have them listed randomly? I mean people are free to pick and choose what browser they want, who cares what order they are in or what icon is associated with it? IE is MS's offering and I think they have every right on how to display their offering, just as Apple is free to bundle their Safari browser with their OS. What's next, Adobe complaining about Paint being bundled, or OpenOffice complaining about WordPad? I know, let's have a selection box for every app pre-bundled in every OS for competing products! Then we'd all be happy spending the time needed to download the basic apps to make our computers useful....

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Yes, exactly.

      The IE icon is too closely associated with Windows.

      Different products.

      Firefox icon associated with Firefox.

      Same product.

      That's kinda the point.

      IE != Windows, although it's an easy mistake for the uneducated to make.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    browsers shouldn't be listed alphabetically

    To quote a friend of ours:

    Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

  12. Steven Knox

    Probably not random.

    "Instead, Opera wanted browsers to be listed randomly - something the screen shot of the proposed screen released by Microsoft appeared to already include. The ballot screen as unveiled by Microsoft would have listed IE first on the left-hand side of screen, followed by Firefox, Safari, Google's Chrome and then Opera."

    That's probably not a random order -- it's most likely based on usage statistics.

  13. David Barrett

    How Much?

    How much time and money is being wasted deciding how users should be presented with links to free software?

    I may have missed something, I havent looked into it but how do opera make money?

    What will they gain from larger market share? Is it really worth it?

  14. Mike OReilly


    It's pretty amazing EU is letting Opera get away these ridiculous arguments. Just wow. Personally? I think there should be an investigation of EU commission members for possible financial interest with Opera. Things just don't seem right here. Besides, Opera browser is a crap. They should at least make it a decent alternative like FF before making everyone else's life difficult.

  15. ZenCoder


    Maybe Opera asked for the removal of the "e" as a negotiation tactic. Its not a bad idea to always include include an unreasonable demand so that even if you get all you really wanted it will have the appearance of a compromise.

  16. SilverWave

    Good One EU :)

    Nice to see bad behavior being punished.

    I think market share(excluding MS) would have been OK but random works for me as well.

    Ironically I don't think this will help Opera much, rather the big winner will be Google because of brand awareness.

    oh and for the ms apologists - Its supposed to hurt ms - it a punishment. D'oh!

    1. stefan 5

      SilverWave duhhhhhhh.

      Exactly why should MS be punished for including Internet explorer with windows?.

      Did opera build or contribute to the development of windows operating systems? NO. ?

      Are opera a whining bunch of muppets who spend there time looking for a free ride to get there pile of garbage browser out there. YES

      MS should of just stood its ground and told everybody F U with there middle fingers raised skyward.

      1. SilverWave

        Tying of Internet Explorer with Windows.

        ..."tying of Internet Explorer with Windows,[...] distorts competition on the merits between competing web browsers insofar as it provides Internet Explorer with an artificial distribution advantage which other web browsers are unable to match."

        Remember they were recently heavily fined by the EU so now tow the line.

      2. Rasczak

        stefan 5, I smell shill

        Why should MS be punished for tying IE so closely into Windows that it cannot simply be removed without affecting other core parts of the OS, then using their effective monopoly on the desktop to lock in users and force its broken implementation of web browsing ?

        Because those are the very reasons the EU convicted MS in the Anti-trust case and punishment usually follows conviction.

        Mind you, you chose your icon well, as it describes you perfectly.

      3. Pandy06269

        RE: (untitled)

        "Exactly why should MS be punished for including Internet explorer with windows?"

        The only thing I feel they should be punished for is not allowing IE to be uninstalled - because it was so tied in with Windows Explorer that attempting to uninstall it manually would break the entire system. I'm not sure if this is still the case with Windows 7 - they were going to ship Windows 7E in Europe which would have come without IE so I doubt it.

        Like Apple and Mac OSX - you get Safari bundled with the OS but if you don't like it you can just install Firefox (or heaven help us, Opera) and delete Safari.

        I completely agree with everyone who says Opera are whiny - Firefox have done great without having this ballot screen in windows. If I didn't work in the IT industry I'd have never heard of Opera, but I would have done Firefox, so Opera need to spend a bit more on marketing in my opinion.

        On a plus for Opera, I do actually like the browser - it's quick at rendering, and has a decent look and feel that was well ahead of even IE in the XP days. However I don't use it because the Javascript implementation is decidedly dodgy and using the DOM to build up HTML content results in god-awful code (things like EVERY space is converted to  )

  17. CC

    Oh Opera, go to your room

    I'd listen to Operas gripes IF they made a browser that worked, they don't so go to you room and shut the h--- up.

    1. Rasczak

      Working Browser, another possible shill.

      Try using Opera and IE at the Acid test sites and see which one works. I'll listen to you IF you can show IE works. It doesn't so "go to you (sic) room and shut the h--- up."

      Another one using the right icon for themselves.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    I for one will *never* download and use opera again. The whinging fcktards.

  19. Phil Koenig

    Opera perspective

    Well let's see here. How shall we characterize the competition:

    IE: internal browser on the desktop OS that has 95% marketshare worldwide. Key part of how they drive users and webmasters to the rest of their products. Vendor headquarters: USA. Check.

    Firefox: open-source but *surprise* - Mozilla has as much revenue as Opera does. ($70 Million last year) God forbid they actually draw attention to that. Their evangelism takes a different form. Vendor headquarters: USA. Check.

    Safari: internal browser on the 2nd most popular desktop OS, by the company which sells 1/10 of all personal computer hardware in the world. Piggybacked on the software utility that runs the most popular music players in the world. No one's going to replace Safari any time soon. Vendor headquarters: USA. Check.

    Chrome: another free browser by the new behemoth on the block, who has money coming out of their ears. They certainly don't need Chrome revenue, but it helps them take over the world anyway. Vendor headquarters: USA. Check.

    Opera: the only browser offered by a company whose sole business is web-browsers, which actually relies on the revenue for same to stay afloat. Vendor headquarters: Norway. (Otherwise known as Europe) Check.

    Now is it any surprise why Opera is the only obvious player here that would be A) inclined and B) have any credibility when it comes to making a case in a European court against Microsoft's Windows browser monopoly? They are literally the only company of all of them that really does rely on browser revenue to stay afloat. They are also the only European company represented here. (They are in the EEA, though not the EU)

    So I say: DUH. Heckle Opera all you want, there are a lot of fairly obvious (to me) reasons why they *should* be the key petitioner in a European antitrust decision concerning Internet Explorer.

    1. Adam Salisbury

      And I'd say....

      Surely it's time they re-thought their business model? Whenever one of these stories come out I ask the question, "How do you make money from a free web browser?" I'm yet to find an answer and judging from your post, no-one does.

      So why are Opera still trying to make a living out of a) a highly saturated market in which they're not a key player and b) ad revenue I guess?

  20. TeeCee Gold badge

    Opera and logos.

    Dear Opera. I appreciate your suggestion and think that it's really sensible. However I think we can extend this a bit.

    I propose that rather than just "E", we extend a ban on listing to anything using a single vowel in order to ensure that the playing field is perfectly level here.

    How does that sound?

    1. styx-tdo
      Thumb Up

      @TeeCee - hmmmm

      remove all vowels from Opera sounds fun ^^

  21. Richard 12 Silver badge


    Because Microsoft are a convicted monopolist who have systematically abused their Operating System monopoly to get their Application software onto almost every desktop in the world.

    Furthermore, they abused it *even further* by integrating something that by all technical argument should be separate, even totally sandboxed, directly into the guts of the operating system.

    Why should your browser, the single application that gets most directly attacked by unknown and untrusted third parties be part of the core operating system? There's no possible reason for it, unless it is specifically to abuse the existing OS monopoly in an attempt to prevent other browsers from gaining market share.

    Hence the EU case and judgement. (There's much more detail to the legal argument, but that's basically it.)

  22. Anonymous Coward


    That picture is the old mock up boys and girls.

    Note, it's running in i.e. but hey, lets not look to hard.....

    as for

    "Also, Opera objected to the continued use of the "e" IE icon, "

    Yes getting rid of the "e" will make all the difference, as everyone will install Google, becuase as newbies know, to use the internet you need Google. Personal I can't stand opera, all that wailing, oh hold on, finally found the link!

    Of course getting rid of i.e. would be a great benefit to one company Google, as they have TWO browsers on there, FF & Chrome (hey when nearly all the money for a product is supplied by a single company, it's theirs by default, if not by name).

  23. Neal 5

    I have the solution

    The ballot box should only contaim those browsers suggested by El Reg readers, and only the icons for the browsers can be used to display the choice.

    In full screen mode, IE's e takes up 60% of the screen, Mozilla's foxy compass takes up39.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the screen, and Opera's O gets a pixel.

    Hows that, perfectly democratic, wouldn't you agree?

  24. lukewarmdog


    Nobody MADE users by Windows, it was USERS who made them the dominant platform. Why should they promote their browser via their operating system? Because it's what most users want maybe? Because they coded it all themselves? Nobody is stopping you installing Firefox et al once Windows is installed. They are the MOST OPEN company in France.

    Now let's look at Apple. No wait.. let's not.

    What about Google? Unfair advertising and distribution of any of their products on the Internet. For an advertising and distributing company this clearly is not good enough.

    How are Opera even clinging on to life?

  25. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    Internet Innovation

    "Opera is Internet innovation. Our features, speed and security will give you the best browser experience available."

    Unless you want to use Google Mail. It doesn't matter hos good Opera is as long as it can't open the same web pages other browsers can. In fact even masking as other browsers won't do it. Fail.

    1. Rasczak

      Browser not working ?

      Now to be fair I don't really use Google mail, and when I do I generally use an email client, well seeing as it is email, right tool for the job and all that, but I haven't had any problems sending or reading Google mail using Opera.

      Of course if the page is W3C compliant then there should be no reason that Opera can't display it. Of course thanks to MS and the whole reason for this issue, webmasters needed to sniff and recode their site for the broken implementation of IE, that in turn caused most sites not to follow standards and so the working browsers don't always work on the broken pages. If a page doesn't work in a standards compliant browser, that is usually the fault of the webmaster not the browser.

  26. EvilGav 1

    @ Neal 5

    You honestly believe that El Reg readers would vote 60% for IE as the browser of choice ??

    What are you smoking ??

  27. Andrew Norton

    lot of ignorant comments here

    The whole 'can't use google mail' - eh? Didn't realize we were still in 2007.

    I run Firefox, Opera and Chrome all at the same time.

    Guess which one needs constant updating? Firefox (lots of exploits)

    Guess which one uses lots of resources in relation to the number of tabs? Firefox

    Guess which browser has been the only one to have crashed on my in the last 6 months? Firefox

    Which client is the biggest download, but still requires 3rd party downloads to gain basic functionality? Oh yeah, Firefox.

    The only reason Firefox is popular, is because of a slick and VERY expensive advertising campaign. People are stupid, they take 'everyone knows' arguments over facts. (i do support for bittorrent clients, i see it all the time, mostly from the claimed 'techies')

    REmind me again, what firefox has contributed to the whole Browser thing, except buggyness, and bloat.

    1. Deadlock Victim

      Firefox's contribution

      "REmind me again, what firefox has contributed to the whole Browser thing, except buggyness, and bloat."

      They've gotten a lot of users to realize that IE is not the only choice for browsing the Web. That's a pretty significant contribution.

  28. SilverBolt
    Paris Hilton

    Opera complaints

    As a heavy user of Opera I very rarely find a website that Opera has problems displaying, I think a lot of you guys have your opinions of Operas past releases of maybe around 3-4years ago?

    Have you used it recently? The only time I really need to switch to another browser is when the site designers force me to with an unsupported browser message.

    As an Opera fan I am actually with you guys that think they are whining a lot, I think so too.. I think their browser is pretty awesome but has a bad reputation, much like that of Vista. They should just be bloody happy they even got their ballot box and leave it at that.

    Paris as Opera like to QQ a lot too.

  29. Lewis Mettler 1

    fair and open markets

    Apparently there are a number of completely clueless people out there.

    Being forced to buy IE before you consider a substitutable technology will absolutely never result in anything close to a fair and open marketplace.

    IE can not substituted. It remains a forced sale upon consumers.

    Only idiots and fools would even think that is fair or open.

    IE must be completely removed from the OS. Otherwise it remains illegal.

    The US appellate court determined that commingling the code between the OS and IE was illegal. And the illegal practice continues to this day.

    Some stupid ballot screen after you purchase IE precludes any chance of a fair and open marketplace. No matter what it looks like.

    Do you decide what food you buy and eat? Do you decide what cloths you buy?

    Apparently not. Because no one seems to understand that forcing the sale of IE continues unabated.

  30. Ceiling Cat

    Opera will find . . .

    That even if their browser comes up #1 in the list, most people don't WANT to pay for a browser.

    IE = Free

    Firefox = Free

    Chrome = Free

    Lynx = Free

    Opera = Payware




    1. Rasczak

      Payware ?

      I think you have got prices mixed up, and in fact most people do pay to have a browser that they may not want and cannot remove. Let me fix it for you.

      IE = from £149.99 RRP (though you may be able to get it discounted), includes operating system which needs to be installed as well and may not be compatible with your existing operating system.

      Firefox = Free and available for multiple operating systems

      Chrome = Free and available for multiple operating systems

      Lynx = Free and available for multiple operating systems

      Opera = Free and available for multiple operating systems

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    so what?

    I'm all for Opera kicking, scratching, and clawing to survive, because I love their browser.

    MS gained top share in the browser market through criminal behavior. Now that behavior is rewarded every time by first mention in a the list of browsers because they have top market share. Every time Opera challenges bias it's fighting for Foxfire too, most of you just don't realize it.

  32. jeanX

    ms acted upon opera

    I have never come across a site that could not be brought up by opera.

    What are the sites?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Ceiling Cat

    The reason you're on the ceiling is clearly because you're on drugs.

    Either that or you're having flashbacks to the 1990s when you was on drugs.

    How is people not wanting to pay for a browser going to affect Opera?

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