The European Commission’s antitrust case against Microsoft on the browser front has spurred strong reactions both for and against the software giant, including a recent call to outright boycott Opera Software, which issued the complaint that led to the EU case in the first place.
David Taraso, managing editor at the Windows enthusiast Website JCXP.net, in a June 12 blog post called for a boycott of Opera and its software. Taraso maintained that Microsoft should be able to include whatever it wants in its own operating system and that the EU claim against the company is unreasonable.
“That’s right, they’re being sued for including their own browser in their own operating system,” said Taraso of Microsoft in the EU case.
Meanwhile, Taraso also pooh-poohed the EU’s proposed solution that Microsoft include a ballot screen on Windows to enable consumers to choose a browser from a list of options.
Said Taraso: “This is absolutely nothing more than a company who can’t legitimately gain market share trying to squeeze their unpopular browser onto Windows systems. Opera is simply upset because their browser is dead last in market share, and has already been surpassed by the recently released Google Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari browser for Windows.”
Yet, depending where you look for data, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has anywhere between 48 percent and 60 percent of the European browser market, while Opera has about 5 percent of the European browser market-although Microsoft’s U.S. share is higher and Opera’s is lower than their respective European numbers.
In addition to launching its boycott campaign, Taraso also went so far as to recommend alternatives for both PC and mobile browser users. Said Taraso:
“Please consider these great alternatives to Opera Web Browser:??Ã Internet Explorer??Ã Mozilla Firefox??Ã Google Chrome??Ã Apple SafariUse Opera on your mobile device? Here are some fantastic alternatives:??Ã Skyfire??Ã Iris??Ã Bolt“
Ironically, in a follow-up post, Taraso acknowledged that he has been a regular Opera user:
“I would like to make one thing clear though. I don’t hate Opera and I don’t hate their browser (Opera 9 was my main browser for most of 2008). Opera has introduced many fantastic innovations to the browser market over the years, and I applaud them for that. But I don’t agree with what they are trying to do here. I definitely agree that Opera should have a larger market share, but not by forcing Microsoft to advertise their product in Windows. I think Opera would be able to make a fairly large splash in the market if they simply invested in some proper advertising. Put some commercials up on TV, start a viral ad campaign, advertise on some web sites. Spread the word that you’re out there, the world should know, but not by taking down your competitors – that’s just silly.“
Moreover, Taraso said he believes IE’s dominance has been good for the market because it has helped drive competitors to be more innovative.