Microsoft vs. Cultural Diversity

Opera for Mac to Support Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Korean.

Oslo, Norway – June 20, 2002

Opera Software today announced that future versions of its Web browser, including Opera for Mac, will support Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Korean. Unlike its competitor Microsoft who is once again showing its disdain for making the Web open and accessible to all by not supporting these languages in the Internet Explorer for Mac OS X browser.

Microsoft’s decision not to support these languages was first reported by The Register in its article “Microsoft’s Mac Hebrew snub prompts Israeli AntiTrust complaint”, which describes how Microsoft’s decision not to provide Hebrew support in its Macintosh Internet Explorer browser or Office suite has prompted a complaint to Israel’s antitrust department.

“By not providing localization, Mac users are being forced to convert to Windows,” said Hakon Lie, CTO, Opera Software ASA. “Unfortunately, these acts from Microsoft show how minority groups are easily discriminated against when a company wields its monopoly power.”

The latest releases for Opera for Windows and Linux include support for non-Western characters, and Opera is working on versions for Hebrew, Arabic and Russian. Due to the unique architecture of Opera, the changes that have been performed on the Opera core for the Windows and Linux versions, can be utilized in future versions of Opera for Mac. Opera for Mac will support Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Koreans in the future.

“Opera seeks to provide the best Internet experience to everyone, regardless of device, operating system or language,” says Lie, “and we have a long history of supporting cultural diversity through delivering Opera in a variety of minority languages that are often ignored by big business.”

Opera emphasizes maintaining the Web as a place that preserves cultural diversity. To read about this, as well as Opera’s other values, please visit Opera’a Press Manifesto.

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About Opera Software

Opera Software ASA is an industry leader in the development of Web browsers for the desktop and embedded markets, partnering with companies such as IBM, AMD, Symbian, Canal+ Technologies, Ericsson, Sharp and Lineo. The Opera browser has received international recognition from end users and the industry press for being faster, smaller and more standards-compliant than other browsers. Opera is available on Windows, Mac, Linux/Solaris, Symbian OS and QNX. Opera Software ASA is a privately held company headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at