MSN caves to Opera users' demands

Gary Pupurs garyp@speakeasy.net
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=
=20
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.
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011026/tc/microsoft_browser_wars_2.html

Opera gets in a few digs in their release, it's the more interesting of the=
=20
two to read.
http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/xhtml/20011026.xml
(or http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/20011026.html 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=
=20
browsers
Oslo, Norway -- October 26, 2001

Opera Software ASA today welcomed Microsoft's quick backtracking on denying=
=20
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 MSN.com site for compliance with the XHTML standard. Anyone can=20
go to the W3C's standards validation service at http://validator.w3.org/=20
and type in www.msn.com. The document returned demonstrates clearly that=20
not a single document on their site adheres to W3C specifications, and many=
=20
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.=20
Before, Microsoft has tried to keep Opera users out from its IIS-servers by=
=20
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=
=20
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=
=20
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
<http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/xhtml/20011026.xml>
(Compare in Internet Explorer and Opera 5.12)

About Opera Software
Opera Software ASA is an industry leader in the development of Web browsers=
=20
for the desktop and device markets, partnering with companies such as IBM,=
=20
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 www.opera.com.

Contacts:
P=E5l A. Hvistendahl
Opera Software ASA, Communications Manager
Tel: +47 997 24 331
E-mail: pal@opera.com

Katherine Barrios
Opera Software ASA, PR Manager Americas & Asia/Pacific
Tel: +47 24 16 44 03
E-mail: uspress@opera.com