Opera unleashes Swedish Chef on MSN

Niche browser maker Opera Software ASA is taking a swing at software Goliath Microsoft, releasing a new version of its Opera 7 for Windows browser that operates normally on every Web page but one, that of Microsoft's MSN.

The new browser, dubbed the Opera 7 "Bork" edition, translates the language on the MSN page to that of the famous Swedish Chef Bork from The Muppet Show.

Why the Swedish Chef? According to Opera's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Hakon Lie, "The Swedish Chef is probably the most famous Scandinavian in this generation and he's also very hard to understand and therefore has some similarity with the pages MSN sends to Opera users."

The cheeky move, announced Friday, comes in retaliation to the discovery two weeks ago that the MSN portal was targeting Opera users by providing them with a purposely broken page, Opera said.

The Oslo, Norway, software maker has been at odds with Microsoft for quite some time, claiming that the leading Internet browser maker has been engaging in not-so-friendly competition. Opera said that its users were completely blocked from the MSN site in October of 2001, and although Microsoft has changed its policy since then in response to user complaints, the software giant continues to single Opera out by sending its users what appear to be intentionally broken pages.

Lie said that the MSN pages are now available to users of Opera 7, but users of older versions of the browser still receive distorted MSN pages, that are oddly laid out and have missing content.

No one from Microsoft was immediately available to comment on the accusations Friday.

Although Microsoft clearly has a dominance in the desktop browser market with its Internet Explorer product, Lie said that he believes Opera is being singled out because of its growing strength in the mobile devices market, where it represents tougher competition. Opera recently inked deals with mobile phone makers Nokia Corp. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB.

While Lie admits that Opera is taking a "tongue in cheek" approach to the rivalry with the release of the Bork edition browser, he said that the move highlights a serious matter.

"We want to make people laugh but we also want to generate a serious response," he said. "It's better to try to solve it this way than through a lawsuit."

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.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

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?