13 December 2007

Microsoft, Browsers and Bundling

It's déjà vu all over again:

Opera Software 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.

The complaint, which was filed by the Norwegian firm with the European Commission yesterday, says Microsoft is abusing its dominant position in the desktop PC market by offering only Internet Explorer as a standard part of Windows, and hindering interoperability by not following accepted standards with IE.

Opera is asking the Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, to force Microsoft to unbundle IE from Windows, or include other browsers as a standard part of its operating system. It also wants it to require Microsoft to adhere to industry standards with its Web browser.

It didn't do any good last time, but this is the EU rather than the US, so it will be interesting compare and contrast the outcomes. Still, I have to say that the real solution is not to file this kind of anti-trust suit, but to deploy Firefox. Obviously, that's not an option for Opera, which may explain why they've taken this route.

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