Fri

26

OCT

2001

Opera Responds to Microsoft’s Latest

I received the following press release this morning in response to Microsoft’s latest shenanigans. Needless to say, I couldn’t post it here fast enough! Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand what standards compliant means, to say the least.

Opera Comments against Microsoft:
Opera acknowledges Microsoft’s decision to allow access for standard-compliant browsers

OSLO, Norway - Oct. 26, 2001 - Opera Software ASA today welcomed Microsoft’s quick about face on denying millions of Opera users access to their main Web portal, MSN. Microsoft’s abrupt change of mind came after hostile reactions were reported in the media from many Opera users who had tried to access the site.

Microsoft claimed that Opera users were denied entry because the Opera browser "doesn’t support the latest XHTML standard," according to Bob Visse, MSN’s director of marketing.

"Opera’s XHTML standard is of the highest quality," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA. "In fact, Opera is internationally acclaimed and renowned for its strict compliance with all international Internet standards. Maybe Microsoft should take a look at its lack of respect for the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) international Internet standards before bad-mouthing others."

The W3C is the international body created to ensure interoperability between technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential.

The irony of Microsoft’s claim to standards support is complete when you check the MSN.com site for compliance with the XHTML standard. Anyone can go to the W3C’s standards validation service at http://validator.w3.org/ and type in www.msn.com. The returned document demonstrates clearly that not a single document on their site adheres to W3C specifications, and many of their documents do not use XHTML at all, e.g. http://careers.msn.com/.

This is not the first time Microsoft has tried to deny Opera users entry. Before, Microsoft has tried to keep Opera users out from its IIS-servers by excluding Opera from the browsercap.ini set-up files. That would exclude Opera users from any Web sites running on Microsoft’s server solutions.

Opera Software sees Microsoft’s latest behavior as a sign of their acknowledgement of Opera as a valid threat to its dominance. In the last year, over 6 million copies of the Opera browser for Windows has been successfully downloaded and installed from Opera’s Web site by users all over the world looking for a better Internet experience.

On non-PC devices, the industry leaders in the market are joining forces with Opera, and the Opera family of browsers is currently the leading browser choice for embedded devices.

"I would like to use this opportunity to applaud all the vigilant Opera users around the world who immediately reacted to this abominable act from Microsoft. Opera fervently believes that the Internet only will thrive if it remains a structure where human innovation can prosper to the benefit of everyone," continues Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA. "All users will benefit from a dynamic marketplace where users can choose from several browser alternatives."

About Opera Software
Opera Software ASA is an industry leader in the development of Web browsers for the desktop and device markets, partnering with companies such as IBM, AMD, Symbian, Canal+ Technologies, Ericsson and Lineo. The Opera browser has received international recognition from end-users and the industry press for being faster, smaller and more standards-compliant than other browsers. Opera Software ASA is a privately held company headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com.

Note: To demonstrate that Opera does not lag behind Microsoft’s IE in anyway, this press release will also be available on www.opera.com as XHTML in a few moments. Now everyone can judge for themselves which browser best supports standards.

Contacts:
Katherine Barrios
PR Manager Americas & Asia/Pacific
Telephone: +47 48 19 72 73
<uspress@opera.com>

[See also the follow-up post with a screenshot that I took Friday afternoon of msn.com and Dan Gillmor’s interview with Tim Berners-Lee.]

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Categories: Browsers, Internet, Press Releases, Software, Standards

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