I never really understood the business model behind Opera, a company that is selling a browser when everybody else in the World is giving it for free, both because it's included in the OS (IE and Safari) or because it's an OpenSource project (Firefox, Mozilla).

Now Opera, probably because is seeing that his business model was wrong, has filed a formal complaint to the European Union. Then his CTO wrote an open letter to the web community. And in doing this, in my opinion, they showed they real intents:

  • in the formal complaint, the one that the European Commission will have to evaluate, they asked "to obligate Microsoft to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows and/or carry alternative browsers pre-installed on the desktop" and then asked to obligate IE to comply to the web standards
  • in the open letter they cite the formal complaint saying that they asked the EU "to force Microsoft to support open Web standards in its Web browser, Internet Explorer" (and second "that Microsoft frees Internet Explorer from the Windows platform")

Why is the official document about the anti-trust complaint while the open letter is about the Web Standards? This is being manipulative.

Also other important person in the web community are sharing my thoughts: Eric Meyer said,

It’s the wrong move at the wrong time, sending precisely the wrong signal to Microsoft about the importance of participating in development and support of open standards, and I can only hope that it comes to a quiet and unheralded end.

Molly E Holzschlag, now part of the IE team, is worried that now Microsoft could end the very good feedback process they started with the web community:

What does anyone do when they’re threatened? Usually shut down all communication. Which is exactly what we as developers and designers of the Web are largely advocating MUST END.

And another "important" person in the Web community, Andy Clark, part of the W3C's CSS working group, is also worried about what could happen to the CSS standardization process at W3C:

What I am concerned about is how Opera's action will further destabilize the W3C's CSS Working Group of which both Opera and Microsoft post representatives. I am concerned that this action will irrevocably damage the promise and progress of CSS3. Not for the first time, Opera's action also calls into question whether we, as web designers and developers, can trust the W3C and their corporate participants with the development of our future tools.

And also reminds us that:

But let's not forget that Opera is a software development company that earns its living from making software that is deployed across a variety of devices. Their implementation of CSS and other standardized web technologies may come in part from their passion for standards, but it also comes from their need to make a product that they can sell to the likes of Nokia and Nintendo. Let's not kid ourselves, Opera is as much a commercially driven organization as Microsoft.

Let's see what is going to happen, but to me, now, Opera lost all my respect.

UPDATE: Asa Dotzler from Mozilla corp collected quite a few articles, mostly with bad comments against this action by Opera: opera calls for ec investigation of microsoft.

Note: Emphasis is mine

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