Opera: Acid or no, its Microsoft antitrust complaint goes forward

Now that Microsoft has passed the Acid2 Browser test, is Opera Software satisfied? If dropping its antitrust complaint filed last week with the European Commission is the measure, the answer is no.

Now that Microsoft has passed the Acid2 Browser test, is Opera Software satisfied? If dropping its antitrust complaint filed last week with the European Commission is the measure, the answer is no.

I asked Opera whether Microsoft's announcement on December 19 that an internal Internet Explorer 8 build has passed the Acid2 test meant a change in its complaint. Opera asked the European courts to require Microsoft to change its practice of bundling IE with Windows, as well as to compel Microsoft to make IE comply with accepted Web standards.

An Opera spokesman delivered the company's response:

"We congratulate Microsoft on the screenshots showing IE8 passing the ACID2 test. We appreciate the effort of Microsoft's developers in this achievement.

"We hope that IE8 passes the ACID2 test out of the box when it ships and we look forward to testing IE8 on all the main Web standards.

"Our filing last week stirred many discussions on the value of Web standards. We hope IE8's passing of the ACID2 test signals a change in Microsoft's heart and mind regarding their support of the standards."

Microsoft, for its part, is saying that its decision to go public this week with plans to make IE 8 Acid2-compliant had nothing to do with the timing of Opera's filing. (I don't buy that for a second, but that's what IE Development chief Dean Hachamovitch told me.)

In a response to a blog post I did questioning the wisdom of Opera's decision to seek court intervention to enforce IE standards-compliance, Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie said:

"To help Microsoft and other browser makers support standards correctly, the Acid2 test was developed and published by the Web Standards Group. When published, it exposed bugs in all browsers. The programmers of Safari, Firefox and Opera got to work quickly and the latest versions of these browsers now pass the difficult test. Microsoft took a very different attitude and has not, seemingly, made any efforts to pass the test. This tells me we must do more than just ask them nicely."

So it looks like Opera's antitrust complaint stays as is. What's your take? Should Opera just focus on IE bundling and drop the standards piece of its complaint? Drop its complaint in its entirety? Or do you think Opera is right in staying the course?

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