An acquaintance of mine who works for Opera forwarded me a link to an Opera press release today. In this press release we find that yesterday, Wednesday the 12th, 2007, Opera filed an anti-trust claim with the European Union against Microsoft. In this claim Opera describes:
“[…] how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer.”
“Opera requests the Commission to implement two remedies to Microsoft’s abusive actions. First, it requests the Commission to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop. Second, it asks the European Commission to require Microsoft to follow fundamental and open Web standards accepted by the Web-authoring communities. The complaint calls on Microsoft to adhere to its own public pronouncements to support these standards, instead of stifling them with its notorious “Embrace, Extend and Extinguish” strategy. Microsoft’s unilateral control over standards in some markets creates a de facto standard that is more costly to support, harder to maintain, and technologically inferior and that can even expose users to security risks.”
The funny thing is that Apple bundles Safari with Mac OS X and no one complains about that. I think that’s mainly because the Apple guys are working hard to ensure it supports the standards well. So from the two points above in the Opera press release I find the requirement for Microsoft to follow the standards the most important.