Web browser standards: Opera Software vs Microsoft

Don’t you just hate it when a web page won’t show correctly in Firefox or any non-Internet Explorer browser?

I have always wondered why any web developer would block all Linux & Mac OS users out of their sites and frustrate a good portion of Windows users, those who prefer Firefox. On top of that, some sites don’t even look the same in IE6 & IE7 due to incompatibilities of their own, which recently forced Microsoft to decide to make IE7 available to illegal Windows owners as well!

Over time, it is a well-known fact that Microsoft won’t respect standards very much. Java has been a good example and HTML compliance is no different. So, what’s new about any of that? This extract from the Friday, December 14, 2007 8:00 AM PST Paul Meller and James Niccolai’s PC World article “Opera Seeks Tougher Remedy in Microsoft Case“, describing the “… antitrust suit filed with the Commission this week …” by browser maker Opera Software, which I find especially interesting and long overdue:

“… In addition to the bundling charge, Opera also complains that Microsoft does not follow Web standards, putting rival browsers at a disadvantage. The issue is significant because if all Web browsers do not use the same standards, Web site developers are likely to design their Web sites to work with the most widely used browser, which is Internet Explorer. That gives people a disincentive to use other browsers.

Microsoft often takes part in debates over Web standards, and says it will implement them, but ultimately does not, Opera’s Lie said. He pointed to CSS, XHTML and DOM as areas where Microsoft does not comply with or is inconsistent. …”

I will follow up on this with great interest. I would prefer users and the industry to force Microsoft (and web developers) to comply by (prefferably open) standards (the cornerstone of the Internet), but a court might as well do it…

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