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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

October 20, 2006 at 4:47 PM

Firefox 2 due out Tuesday; Opera fans sing

Mozilla just told us the update to its browser, Firefox 2, will be available for download on Tuesday.

We covered Firefox 2 and the new version of Internet Explorer 7, which came out Tuesday, five years after IE6, earlier this week.

A few people wrote in after that story to ask, what about Opera? another small innovator and challenger to IE hegemony.

Opera Software was among them. “With the release of IE7, Opera Software welcomes back Microsoft to the ongoing competition in the browser wars, where healthy competition is fueling remarkable advances in Web technologies,” the company’s marketing communications manager, Michelle Valdivia Lien, said in an e-mail.

Opera has garnered only a sliver of the browser market — 0.69 percent in October, according to OneStat — but those who use it were offended that we didn’t give it the same credit as Firefox for invigorating competition and innovation. Users of Apple’s Safari, which has 1.61 percent of the market, wrote with similar complaints.

Particularly irksome to these folks is that Opera conforms best to open Web standards, something that IE is just getting around to. Valdivia Lien gives Microsoft credit for a “move in the right direction” with IE7. “And maybe even someday, standards tests such as the ACID2 [a test page that evaluates browser compatibility with standards] will smile back at IE. Until then, vive la diffĂ©rence!”

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