back to article Opera's Jon Von Tetzchner on browser choice, the iphone and Google

In a wide-ranging interview today Opera chairman Jon von Tetzchner talked about the Browser Choice ruling, Opera's iPhone app, Google as a competitor, and how P2P will be the next generation of the web. Rather than pad it out with waffle, here are the highlights with signposts. On the EC's Browser Choice screen The Commission …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Alex Walsh

    "We're always been ahead of the curve"

    Really? remind me who used to charge for their browser (ad free version)?

    1. John 62

      charging for a browser?

      I paid! For version 7. The free version came out just long enough afterwards that I didn't feel entirely cheated. For me it was worth it. Compared to the competition Opera was the best (and still is, just. Chrome is very close.)

  2. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge

    They showed an engineer on vacation for a week in Mexico

    No they didn't, they showed the location of the engineers phone.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Alex Walsh

    "remind me who used to charge for their browser"

    Netscape. $35, I seem to recall. But like Opera, they stopped charging. Unlike Opera, they found no reliable alternative revenue stream and folded though.

    Not that charging has anything to do with the curve of technical development. But you knew that already.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    "Today a photo you take on your phone [waves E71] stays on your phone"

    So your nokia can't connect to Twitter, Flickr, Photobox, facebook then? Hell even MMS can senda f**king photo.

    So your model is to have 20 people connect to your phone to see a photo, not you send a photo and people look online for it, because that is a terribly difficult thing to do...Sheezs

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 16:11

      "So your model is to have 20 people connect to your phone to see a photo, not you send a photo and people look online for it"

      Umm... Yes? That's the whole idea. You just take a photo, save it in your phone's 'public' folder and and it's already viewable by those who know you, or those who are subscribed to your phone's feed. You don't need to send it anywhere.

      You also miss the point that it's about *you* being in control of *your own* data, not Twitter or Facebook. If you want it removed, just delete it and it's gone. Yes, people may save a local copy but that's the same for any media from newspapers containing libel to eBooks containing typos.

      Alternatively, you can tie it all in to sites like Twitter. Imagine if your Twitter or Flickr account could *subscribe* to something like an RSS feed coming from your phone that informs people of every new available photo, video or other file you create on your phone. All you do is take your photos, not worry about uploading it or 'doing' anything with it. Then, Twitter/Flickr automatically notices your new photo and downloads it to the website.

      So, you're either left in control of your own data or the process of giving it over to to Facebook/Twitter/Flickr for all eternity is made completely transparent. Even a geriatric grandmother could put photos online with that.

      And yes, people may make mistakes and allow 'private' photos to be seen online, but they already do that on Facebook and in MMS/text messages sent to the wrong contact. You can't save all the idiots from themselves. But you can make using Twitter and Facebook a thoughtless process that requires absolutely no brain power at all...

      1. Dave Murray
        Thumb Down


        And how much do you think the networks will charge you when 20 people download that photo from your phone? Or when Twatter scrapes the rss feed on your phone every hour? A hell of a lot more than the cost of 1 MMS that's for sure.

        That may be progress if you are a shareholder of Vodafone but to me it's just more pointless services the networks can charge for.

        1. Doc Savage

          Re: cost

          Not to mention that your battery will be finished once it's hosting a web server and being poked, pinged and probed by every script kiddie on the net. Assuming of course your operator doesn't NAT your device and allows inbound connections.

          I could understand the phone uploading to the user's desktop Opera, but on device hosting is a stupid idea for all the reasons above.

          1. oddie

            I take it...

            ..that you haven't actually tried Opera Unite yet, then?

  5. Lewis Mettler 1

    IE sold for $35 too

    IE sold for $35 too before Microsoft began its illegal business practices.

    Today Microsoft still forces all consumers to purchase IE but the price is secret.

    It is not zero even by Microsoft's own statements. The price is just secret.

    When you buy a happy meal that toy you play with was not free. Just not itemized.

    Buying IE first and then permitting a customer to download something else is hardly an accomplishment. It still illegally precludes a fair and open market for browsers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite

      I wouldn't say users actually buy IE, but it's development funded through the OS. It's a fine distinction, but a distinction even so.

      Microsoft now got royally screwed by Microsoft then. Remember when Gates dismissed the internet? If back then MS had embraced the internet as the way forward I suspect the position would be different now. Gates really thought MSN could compete with and defeat the internet (yes, children they were two seperate things) and that he could charge you to use MSN. Of course MSN was just another online service like AOL and Compuserve, if MS had pitched the internet and IE against the likes of AOL and Compuserve they would have been seen as heroes at the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Whatever did happen to Compuserve?

  6. Steven Knox
    Thumb Up

    Like a referee in a football match...

    That's a great analogy. Nobody challenges their right to be there, but everyone complains if they rule against them

    1. Deadlock Victim

      Like a referee...

      ...and you can whine to them for attention.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    In other news...

    ...Opera still haven't managed to sort the font rendering of the menu bar in the latest 10.5 beta. Oh and at least four of my regularly visited websites don't work properly. Opera was a great 2000.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @Joe 21

    Deal with it.

    It's a beta version. It's supposed to have bugs. If it didn't have bugs it wouldn't be a beta version.

    Start bitching on a public forum when the final comes out and still has that bug. Or use a non-beta browser of your choice that does work on your four most regularly visited websites.

    Just shout "ready" when you're ready to be wiped.

  9. Haydies

    A level playing field

    So, when will OSX have to ask you if you want Mozila rather then safari? Or will ChromOS?

    Oh, and lets see.... any browser choice for the iPhone? No? damn. It's a level playing field out there.

    Every one is so bussy bashing MS for what was done 10 years ago that no one seems to notice every one else doing the exact same things. Steve Jobs is going around telling people not to use flash.... no one seems to mind.

    Level playing field seems to mean slapping Microsoft with more restrictions to let every one else take over, and yes I know windows is the dominant OS, but there are others and they are never forced to abide by the same rules.

    I even have a windows phone, and yes it came with IE installed but shockingly Opera was the default.

    One day people will realise that Microsoft are no longer the most evil. How could they be with every one picking wholes in every thing they do? Microsoft has NEVER stopped you from installing any application of your choice and dispite what the popular press would have every one believe it wasn't MS that killed netscape, they did it to them selfs.

    Netscape comunicator was total garbage, and Netscape did have another revenue stream. Netscape Server. What happened to that? well, Apache happend to it. The browser was never their main earner, it was the server but it to was broken, so A pach was created to fix it, and it was call A Patchy Server.....

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      You don't understand competition law

      Microsoft have a monopoly in the OS space. Per the judgment of the EU, they used that monopoly to create a separate monopoly in the browser space. The illegal act isn't having a monopoly in any one space, it's using one to artificially create another. And the people that suffer are the customers in the second market — so in this case, it's internet users and publishers that suffered. In practice, I guess they mean that customers suffered through the lack of innovation or progress after Microsoft shut down active development on IE after version 6 and publishers suffered from IE's buggy rendering and, ummm, flexible approach to adhering to standards.

      Does the absence of a browser ballot on OS X create a distortion of the market? No. Does the absence of a browser ballot on the iPhone create a distortion of the market? No.

      You've obviously got a chip on your shoulder and are desperate to distort any news story that comes along to that end.

      1. Haydies

        The Past is the past

        Ok, so if you think MS abused the position of their OS nearly 10 years ago then fine, but that was a long time ago and much has changed. Yet people still witter on about IE6.

        Of course thats not the only stick MS where beaten with, they also got slapped for 'bundeling' media player. Yet, iTunes is budled with god know what, mac's, iphones, even with the windows version of the browser.

        Now, I could be missing the point but iTunes and the iPod seem to be a manopoly, sure there are others but they don't seel half as much. Infact I often hear people comment in one breath how evil MS is for bundeling, and in another breath how great apple is for bundeling.

        All big companies are the same and if you ask me we should treat them all the same. What is wrong for one, should there for be wrong for them all. But its not, MS gets kicked in the balls and who's really getting the advantage? Not me, I can download a different browser and infact have all 4 of the big boys installed.... but it gives a nice helping hand to google and apple, who now have their browsers offered to every one with windows. So maybe it would be fair that if I was to by some strange freak even buy an ipod, it should be my choice as to what media player I use. But no, if I buy an iPod I have to use iTunes, and that my friend is using dominance in one market to push another, it if wasn't for the iPod iTunes wouldn't be half as popular and maybe there would be more alternatives to buy mp3s and they would get cheaper.... guess competion only matters if you where once the wipping boy for a polition wanting some air time.

    2. Lou Gosselin

      @A level playing field

      Microsoft does what every other big business does, uses it's sheer size to strong arm consumers and competitors to take control of markets. There's no denying that google and apple do it too. I don't want to be a "fan boy" for any of these big businesses, they're all corrupt and stop at nothing to make a buck even when it means off shoring jobs, letting quality slip, or bribing politicians for massive tax subsidies at our expense.

      They're all very good at playing up public outrage towards each other as if just one company is responsible for all the problems, but really they all should be held accountable. A level playing field would offer much more choice since anyone could join the game regardless of political connections and financial affluence.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      RE: A level playing field

      "Microsoft has NEVER stopped you from installing any application of your choice ..."

      Umm, yes they have! Didn't they change their operating system so that some of their competitors products would no longer run properly? (Long time ago now)

      1. Haydies


        Actually MS spent a lot of time and money to get the wow to work with Word Perfect, and other third party apps. They did have published and unpublished API calls but they got busted and it didn't take legal action to change the situation.

        Sure they did bad things, but really, that was a long long time ago in a gallaxy far far away.... :-)

    4. Andy ORourke

      iPhone Broser choice

      I personally use "Bolt" as my browser on the iPhone, it's smaller, faster and more, ahem, "discreet" (doesn't retain any history) than Safari. Plus the wife doesn't know what Bolt is so when she wants to check my browsing habits and opens Safari she sees my innocent online life :-)

      1. oddie

        Titles are meaningless...

        If your wife insists on checking where you have been browsing, or secretly checks your phone whenever you leave the room, that is called abuse Andy... Its like if you demanded to know where she had been every time she came home. Or started tracking her movements, or started telling her who she could or could not see.

        You've obviously found ways around it (or maybe you were just kidding), but it always starts small; it always escalates in small increments, and even when you start hiding things from her to stop her getting mad you probably still don't feel like you're being abused.

        Lying to yourself, or playing things down is a lot easier than you think, if you need some perspective, try imagening what it would be like if a couple that you're friends with behaved in the same way.

        Check out the link below, you might not ever need it, but it's useful to know it's there:

  10. Paul Wilzbach
    Gates Horns


    Microsoft had it's U.S. Court supervision period extended twice because of their anti-trust non-compliance. It's currently scheduled to end May 2011.

    As an aside, three countries (U.S., Germany, and France) have warned it's citizens against using Internet Explorer for security reasons.

  11. Steve Coffman
    Thumb Down

    IP addresses for mobile phones?

    Oh goody, more stuff for hackers to target! No thank you! That's all I want, the ability for someone to connect to my phone directly over the Internet. The looming spectre of more malware and viruses targeting mobile devices is scary enough... with actual IP addresses, I can just imagine the future of botnets...

  12. John Stirling


    You misunderstand the point of anti trust actions.

    You are also clearly pointing at Apple in terms of illegal actions.

    Microsoft are a convicted monopolist. Many of the practices they carried on would put an individual in prison if conducted on an individual basis. This is not MS bashing, or an opinion, it is a matter of historical fact, and formal legal finding.

    Apple are in some ways equally evil - but have never been convicted of blackmail (or whatever the corporate version is). Apple own the whole stack, hardware and software, therefore they have more legal clout in how they influence your use of your machine. They also only own around 10% of the market - if people dislike their practices there are realistic, widely available, cheap alternatives.

    When MS were really naughty there weren't any realistic alternatives, and they owned over 90% of the personal computing market.

    There are differences.

    In relation to the whole 'it's all a long time ago' argument - if something is a crime it needs to be pursued, if a company (or individual) can get away with it y fighting it until it becomes 'no longer relevant' then the incentive not to commit crime evaporates for those able to afford expensive lawyers who can run the clock indefinitely. That is not a world I would like to live in, it's bad enough as is.

    sorry, hopelessly offtopic, but time does not make these things irrelevant - other than purely technologically.

    Oh, I own no apple devices (never have, hate job's lockdown, although they are mostly gorgeous and well designed), and am writing this on windows XP. Hypocrite, moi?

    1. Paul Wilzbach

      Having a monopoly is not illegal

      It's not illegal in the U.S. to have a monopoly or a near monopoly. It is illegal to abuse that position in anti-competitive ways as spelled out by the body of U.S. anti-trust laws. Judge Penfield Jackson found Microsoft to be both a monopolist and criminal, but I think the latter was negotiated away in a Consent Agreement with the U.S. Court of Appeals.

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. Anonymous Coward

    "We're always been ahead of the curve."

    Erm, no, you haven't.

    If you were ahead of the curve, Opera would be the current most popular browser, it isn't.

    Technology is just a part of it - getting your technology to the people is the other part.

    If your technology is good, but doesn't make it to the market, it'll get copied by someone who can get it to market - that someone is then ahead of the curve, not you.

    It's called marketing, you should try it sometime...

    1. DJV Silver badge


      And when they finally get around to implementing more of CSS 3 and HTML 5 than Webkit (Safari and Chrome) and Gecko (Firefox) currently have then they might be ahead of the curve. But, right now, they are way behind.

  15. Tom Chiverton 1

    ! on iPhone

    "I think it will be accepted. Why shouldn't it be?"

    Because the Apple SDK (the only way to package apps for iPhone) has a clause that bans interpreting code. Like, you know, *JavaScript*.


    What was he on about really ?

  16. JeffyPooh

    Opera widgets, silent, uninstall flagged as virus

    I installed Opera on my PC. I downloaded a few widgets, but sound was absent on all of them. Couldn't make the sound work. So I tried to uninstall the widgets, and then AVG refused to allow the uninstall code to run.


  17. Anonymous Coward

    @Tom Chiverton 1

    It doesn't interpret Javascript.

    Or HTML or CSS.

    You've spectacularly missed the entire point of implementing Opera Mini for the iPhone (or misunderstood what the app is) to get around Apple's anti-competitive T&Cs.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I suggest an INTELLIGENT anti-virus then, one that scans content, rather than making dumb assumptions that anything that's a VBScript is malicious...

    I can't believe ANYONE posting on El-Reg is stupid enough to trust AVG with it's abysmal detection rates and system killing resource gobbling. Get something half decent like Kaspersky for christs sake.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Matt 89, @DJV

    You of course realise that Opera 10.50 has a FAR more complete HTML5 and CSS3 implementation that all the other major browsers? Don't make yourself look idiots by claiming otherwise...

    As for marketshare, since when has it been an indication of quality? Answer, it hasn't. There are loads of examples where lower selling products are vastly superior.

    Opera > Firefox

    HTC Hero > iPhone

    PS3 > Xbox

    And so on....

  20. Relgoshan

    The Beard

    It Has Spoken

    Will Mozilla Foundation pass the IRS Charity Test?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021