Tiny Opera Goes After Microsoft

Tiny Norwegian browser company Opera has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission charging Microsoft with abusing its dominant position by tying its Internet Explorer browser to the Windows operating system and hindering interoperability by not following accepted web standards.

Opera wants the EC to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and support open standards in the IE browser. Specifically, Opera is asking that Microsoft unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop.

Opera also wants Microsoft to follow open web standards accepted by the web-authoring communities.

Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner did not mince his words on Thursday:

We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them. In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation. We cannot rest until we’ve brought fair and equitable options to consumers worldwide.

Opera has less than 1% share of the browser market while Microsoft’s share is over 80%.

With Firefox also gaining momentum, we don’t see Opera making significant headway in the browser market in our lifetime.

Until September 2005, customers had to pay for an Opera browser or get it free with an ad banner running on it. Now, Opera’s completely free but has few takers.

Besides PCs, Opera offers browsers for mobile phones, PDAs and Internet devices.

Opera has an office in Chandigarh in North India where employees are engaged in developing widgets and quality assurance testing.

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