Browser developer Opera today announced that it has filed a formal complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission. Along with unnamed industry supporters, Opera has alleged that the Windows developer continues to abuse its monopoly in operating systems by tying Internet Explorer to Windows as well as consciously ignoring calls for the browser to use certain widespread web standards. The complaint would have Microsoft unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and force the Redmond, Washington-based firm to render sites according to common web practices, ensuring that pages have a consistent look regardless of the browser.
Both of Microsoft's current policies not only reduce the perceived level of choice for customers but 'stifle' standards by forcing developers to spend extra time and money to support Internet Explorer, even when it means reducing features to support legacy code and exposing users to security risks, Opera says.
"Absent Microsoft's abuse, Microsoft would have been forced to compete on a level playing field with Opera and other browsers," the company explains. "Instead of innovating, Microsoft has locked consumers to its own browser and only recently begun to offer some of the innovative features that other browsers have offered for years."
The browser maker used the recent Windows Media Player decision against Microsoft to justify its case, noting that Internet Explorer has "even more profound effects" on the choice of end users but has yet to be challenged by European officials.
Neither the European Commission nor Microsoft has yet commented on the accusation.