Opera still mistrusts Microsoft on MSN browser lockout

Internet browser company Opera Software ASA is still not satisfied with Microsoft Corp.'s promises to grant Opera users full access to the MSN.com Web portal.

The software giant claimed it was repairing a technical glitch that prevented users of Opera, Mozilla, and other browsers from accessing MSN.com.

But Opera Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jon von Tetzchner said there was no technical glitch, but rather a deliberate Microsoft strategy to handicap his company.

Microsoft could not be immediately reached for comment.

MSN.com deliberately blocked access to users whose browsers identified themselves with the string of characters "Opera," Von Tetzchner said in a telephone interview. By simply changing one letter, sending the string "Opra," for example, they could gain access. That suggests that Microsoft had put Opera on a "black list," he said.

While he acknowledged that Microsoft has since corrected the situation, he pointed out that as recently as Thursday some parts of MSN.com -- such as the Carpoint.com automotive site -- were still inaccessible to Opera users.

He further rejected Microsoft's assertion that Opera and Mozilla do not adequately support the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language). Once Opera users are granted access to MSN.com, XHTML pages render "just fine," said Von Tetzchner.

He accused Microsoft of trying to use strong-arm tactics to disadvantage his company, suggesting Redmond has designs on one of Opera's chief markets.

"We have been making significant deals in the Internet device market, and (Microsoft chief) Bill Gates has been on record saying the Internet device market will dwarf the PC market in a few years. Microsoft wants that market, so in essence they're trying to use their power in the PC market to gain dominance there," he said.

Opera recently signed a deal to provide browser software for set-top boxes, a major breakthrough for the Norwegian company, which offers free desktop browsers but hopes to make its main profit from smaller Internet devices.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Perera

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Secure and Save before time runs out with Bitdefender Exclusive Clearance Offer! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?