Opera Software ASA announced this week that its pressure campaign against Microsoft Corp. to give users of its browser access to the MSN.com Web portal paid off when Microsoft relented and opened the site to Opera users.
Opera officials said the dispute stemmed from Microsofts claim that its browser did not comply with the latest XHTML standards. Opera officials countered that the Norway-based companys browser was in compliance, but MSN.com itself is not.
"Opera is internationally acclaimed and renowned for its strict compliance with all international Internet standards," said Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner in a statement. "Maybe Microsoft should take a look at its lack of respect for the World Wide Web Consortiums international Internet standards before bad-mouthing others."
Bob Visse, MSNs director of marketing, said in a statement that MSN supports the latest W3C standards for XHTML and recommends that users use a browser that also supports the standards, without actually naming Opera as a browser that didnt support the standard.
However MSN.com fails the W3Cs HTML Validation Service evaluation, which checks HTML and XHTML documents for conformance to W3C standards. While the automated service (at http://validator.w3.org/) recognizes the site as an XHTML 1.0 Strict document, it finds four coding errors that do not adhere to its XHTML 1.0 Strict standard and does not validate the site.
Officials at Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., could not be reached for comment on MSN.coms failure to receive W3C validation. Operas own corporate site is validated by the W3C as HTML 4.0 Transitional.
Opera officials said Microsoft once tried to deny Opera users access to any Web site running on Microsoft IIS servers by excluding Opera from the browsercap.ini setup files.
Officials claim Opera has 6 million users worldwide and is the top browser used on embedded devices.