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Opera, Firefox squabble over best-browser claim

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A Mozilla Foundation employee has lashed out at Opera Software for claiming it won a best-browser award, saying the award was actually won by open-source browser Firefox.

Opera sent out a press release last week claiming it had been named the best Web browser by technology magazine PC World. "A winning streak: Opera once again wins PC World's World Class Award for best Web browser," according to the release.

A few days later, Asa Dotzler, an employee at the Mozilla Foundation, claimed that PC World had named Firefox as the best browser.

"Firefox not only won the coveted Product of the Year award, sweeping all 99 other products in the list, but it beat out two other browsers, Maxthon at number 12 and Opera way down at number 88," Dotzler said in his blog on Tuesday.

An Opera employee, Haavard Moen, said on Wednesday that the company was no longer sure whether it had won this award and had updated its Web site to make this clear.

"At closer inspection, it appears that Opera might not have won the best browser of 2005 award from PC World after all. Opera is listed as the only browser in the 'Web' category, which I guess got us confused," Moen said in his blog. "We've removed the 'best browser' stuff from until PC World gets back to us to clarify things. We're posting a statement in the near future as well."

Despite the vehemence of Dotzler's initial blog posting, he said in a later posting that he does not hold any hard feelings against Opera and would celebrate if it took significant market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

"There have been a lot of people accusing me of hating Opera. They're simply wrong. I don't hate the Opera browser at all. I think it's moving in the right direction and for my use (and I suspect for many power users) it's the second or third best browser available--depending on whether or not you have access to a Mac," Dotzler said. "If Opera can start taking significant market share away from IE, I will be cheering right along with the Opera users."

More information on PC World's best products of 2005 award is available here.

Ingrid Marson.

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