MSN caves to Opera users' demands

Gary Pupurs
Sat, 27 Oct 2001 00:22:34 -0400

According to a press release at Opera and a story on AP,  MSN's caved=20
already.  Bad press during major product launches sure gets them to reverse=
their position pretty fast...

AP reported "Microsoft later backed off and said Friday it would support=20
the other browsers after all", although their headline for the story is=20
"Microsoft Web Portal Denies Millions".  Heh.

Opera gets in a few digs in their release, it's the more interesting of the=
two to read.
(or if IE's insufferable=20
support (harumph) of XHTML ails you...)

Microsoft does an about-face:
Opera applauds Microsoft's decision to allow access for standard-compliant=
Oslo, Norway -- October 26, 2001

Opera Software ASA today welcomed Microsoft's quick backtracking on denying=
millions of Opera users access to their main Web portal, MSN. Microsoft's=20
abrupt change of mind came after hostile reactions were reported in the=20
media from many Opera users who had tried to access the site.
Microsoft claimed that Opera users were denied entry because the Opera=20
browser doesn't support the latest XHTML standard according to Bob Visse,=20
MSN's director of marketing.

Opera's XHTML standard is of the highest quality, says Jon S. von=20
Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA. In fact, Opera is internationally=20
acclaimed and renowned for its strict compliance with all international=20
Internet standards. Maybe Microsoft should take a look at its lack of=20
respect for the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) international Internet=20
standards before bad-mouthing others.

The W3C is the international body created to ensure interoperability=20
between technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to=20
lead the Web to its full potential.

The irony of Microsoft's claim to standards-support is complete when you=20
check the site for compliance with the XHTML standard. Anyone can=20
go to the W3C's standards validation service at
and type in The document returned demonstrates clearly that=20
not a single document on their site adheres to W3C specifications, and many=
of their documents do not use XHTML at all, e.g.

This is not the first time Microsoft has tried to deny Opera users entry.=20
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=20
Opera users from any Web sites running on Microsoft's server solutions.

Opera Software sees Microsoft's latest behavior as a sign of their=20
acknowledgement of Opera as a valid threat to its dominance. In the last=20
year, over 6 million copies of the Opera browsers have been successfully=20
downloaded and installed from Opera's Web site by Windows users all over=20
the world looking for a better Internet experience.

On non-PC devices, the industry leaders in the market are joining forces=20
with Opera, and the Opera family of browsers is currently the leading=20
browser choice for embedded devices.

I would like to use this opportunity to applaud all the vigilant Opera=20
users around the world who immediately reacted to this abominable act from=
Microsoft. Opera fervently believes that the Internet only will thrive if=20
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=20
users will benefit from a dynamic marketplace where users can choose from=20
several browser alternatives.

See this press release in XHTML
(Compare in Internet Explorer and Opera 5.12)

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=20
has received international recognition from end-users and the industry=20
press for being faster, smaller and more standards-compliant than other=20
browsers. Opera Software ASA is a privately held company headquartered in=20
Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at

P=E5l A. Hvistendahl
Opera Software ASA, Communications Manager
Tel: +47 997 24 331

Katherine Barrios
Opera Software ASA, PR Manager Americas & Asia/Pacific
Tel: +47 24 16 44 03