Microsoft and EU close on browser settlement?
Opera whistlin' positive
Changes to a Microsoft proposal to let PC users in Europe chose the browser they want with Windows may have won over European regulators.
The European Commission and Microsoft are reported to be close to approving a change in Windows that would give people a choice in browsers, offering them non-Microsoft options.
Reuters has reported that on Tuesday, the Commission will approve Microsoft's revised plan to let people pick the browser they want.
The changes are designed to ensure Microsoft complies with competitive laws in the European Union and - having been found to have flouted them - avoid further, hefty fines. Microsoft has so-far been fined $2.5bn (1.68 billion euros) for breaking European antitrust law.
To remain compliant, Microsoft this summer unveiled a ballot screen featuring five of the internet's most popular browsers and proposed that users be given the ability to download the browser they want to run. The list of browsers would, naturally, include Internet Explorer.
However, browser rival Opera Software complained the ballot screen should not, as proposed, run inside IE and also said browsers should not be listed alphabetically.
Opera has also objected to the continued use of the "e" IE icon, saying this would provide a natural bias towards Microsoft's browser because it's synonymous with Windows.
The company's chief technology officer Hakon Wium Lie told Reuters the changes would be "significant and would be helpful to users" if they had, in fact, gone through. ®
"Something that is free"?
For those recently come to the internet - there used to be a market for web browsers. Many people were living by creating and selling them. Microsoft came to dominate this market by first crushing it, making its own browser free, thus eliminating most of the competition.
It's called "dumping" in most civilized countries. Because, as free as Internet Explorer is for the end user, I'm reasonably sure it's not free to develop it (or a lot of MS programmers would be starving in the streets).
Calling that a "good job" is interesting, to say the least.
Opera is fully Web - Standards compliant
The reason some (a very few these days) web pages do not open in Opera is because they have been written to work with some of the "enhanced" features of IE. IE is not fully web-standards compliant and gets away with this as it is the main browser for most people.
So ask yourself why IE is not fully compatible, and how having proprietary code in IE to display these non-standard pages helps IE win people like you over.
IE is not free
It is bundled with software that you are required to pay for with a new computer. The ballot screen is not a solution. Selecting a standards compliant browser does not get you a proportion of your money back.