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Opera applauds scepticism on MS browser pledge

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Browser maker Opera has applauded EU officials for rejecting Microsoft's promises not to include Internet Explorer in European copies of Windows 7.

The European Commission indicated this morning the pledge would not satisfy its anti-trust investigators.

Opera, which is frequently critical of Microsoft's dominance, reacted to the EU's statement this afternoon. It wrote: "The current [Microsoft] announcement is too little, too late. Such moves in 1997 may have been appropriate, but further action is needed to undo a decade of abuse.

"No measures are announced to address ongoing abuses or the installed base of IE on over 90 per cent of personal computers which Microsoft has built up over the last decade through its illegal tying practices."

Opera argued an earlier EU ruling requiring Microsoft to stop bundling its media player in Windows had little effect on the market. Redmond must not be allowed to circumvent browser rules by pushing Internet Explorer via other channels afforded by its dominance, such as by tying it to Silverlight.

Opera repeated its backing for the European Commission's suggested solution. It said: "Buyers of new PCs should be provided with the preloaded ballot screen or an alternative browser other than IE as selected by the OEMs.

"For the installed base of IE users, Windows updates and IE updates should come preloaded with other browsers and a ballot screen. The ballot screen with a choice of at least five browsers should also be provided to customers who buy Windows through the retail channel to upgrade their PCs." ®

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