Opera says IE removal "not enough"

Written by Tim Smalley

June 13, 2009 | 11:18

Tags: #antitrust #browser #commission #european #explorer #ie #ie8 #internet #wars #windows-7

Companies: #eu #microsoft #opera

Not surprisingly, Opera has said that Microsoft’s offer to completely remove Internet Explorer from Windows 7 was not enough to restore competition.

I don’t think what Microsoft announced is going to restore competition,” said Hakon Wium Lie, Opera’s Chief Technology Officer. “I don’t think it’s going to be enough, I don’t think it will get them off the hook.

Microsoft’s announcement came shortly before the European Commission is due to make a decision on antitrust charges brought against the software giant in January. The complaint claimed that Microsoft abuses its dominant position by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, therefore shielding it from head-to-head competition with rivals such as Firefox and Opera.

The software giant has claimed in the past that Internet Explorer was a fundamental part of the operating system and with Windows 7 it’s clearly not given Microsoft’s proposal to remove IE from European editions of the new OS. However, since Microsoft said it has no plans to invest time and money into creating browser-less versions of Windows Vista and Windows XP because they’re soon to disappear from the market, it could be that code changes made in Windows 7 (in light of the EU’s charges) mean that it’s no longer required.

If Microsoft’s proposal does go through, it will break Windows 7 because, according to Microsoft, you will no longer be able to upgrade from a previous version of Windows and keep all of your settings – including your browser of choice even if it isn’t Internet Explorer. We’re sure something will be worked out before Windows 7’s release date and, hopefully, it’s not the proposal put forwards by Microsoft.

The software giant has had a jaded past when it comes to supporting third-party web browsers after pushing Netscape out of the market using underhand tactics. Microsoft deserves to be taken to the task for that, but that doesn’t make this particular Soap Opera any less ridiculous in our eyes since it was filed long after Netscape’s demise.

Maybe what Microsoft needs to do is to create Windows 7 Everything Uninstalled Edition, just to appease EU regulators. Share your thoughts in the forums.
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