John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Opera Asks EU to Make IE Stink Less

aieeeeeeeeeee.jpgLooks like Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have a shot at a second dinner date with EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

Less than three months after agreeing to comply with key elements of the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust order against it, the company is facing new accusations of monopoly abuse. Norway’s Opera Software ASA said today it has filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the European Union, accusing it of stifling competition by tying its Internet Explorer Web browser to Windows and hindering interoperability by not implementing widely accepted Web standards.

“We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them,” Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a rather here-I-come-to-save-the-day statement. “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.”

And reminded the world that Opera is not just a drama set to music, but an unpopular Web browser, as well.

Opera asks that the EC’s competition division force Microsoft to unbundle IE from Windows and require the company to follow fundamental and open Web standards, which is an interesting twist on the old antitrust classic. And one that may have some legs, given IE’s inability to pass the Web Standards Project Acid2 test. “Microsoft often participates and even promises to support these standards, but we find it often isn’t the case,” Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie told ZDNet. “We find bugs and programmers have to code around (Microsoft).”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald