Opera wants Microsoft to offer browser 'ballot screen' worldwide

27. Juli 2009
Opera Software, the Norwegian browser maker that sparked an antitrust investigation into Microsoft's European business practices, said it is "very happy" with Microsoft's offer to provide users a choice of browsers, but said the deal should be extended worldwide.

"We're very happy with MicrosoftMicrosoft's proposal," said Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technology officer, in an interview Sunday. "A browser ballot screen was one of the key issues, and Microsoft's move is unprecedented." Alles zu Microsoft auf CIO.de

At the same time, however, Lie cautioned that Opera needs to review Microsoft's specific proposals -- which the company published Friday ( ) -- before sending its comments to European antitrust regulators. "We're studying them now, and we think they can be improved further, but it's too early to give out that list," said Lie.

One area under Opera's microscope is the limitation of the proposal to the European Union market. "There are some things we want clarification on, and this is one," Lie said. "We would like to see this happen outside of Europe as well. We think everyone should be offered a choice of browsers."

Lie, however, didn't hold out much hope for that, since Microsoft's proposal was its response to antitrust allegations by the European Commission, whose power is limited to the EU.

"We'll certainly react to this proposal," said Lie, who added that Opera can provide its opinion without waiting for a request from regulators. "I think all parties involved would like to see a quick remedy to this, rather than it drag out for years."

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