Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Jan 2008 22:57 UTC, submitted by irbis
Opera Software "Tabs. Mouse gestures. User-agent switcher. Dedicated transfer window. Pop-up blocking and javascript abuse filtering. Integrated search box. Page zoom. Session saver. Chew on those features. We'll be coming back to them."
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Some comments on the article...
by umccullough on Thu 31st Jan 2008 01:09 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

Is it because Opera is closed source? No, I really don’t believe the average user understands the distinction, or cares about it.


Yes... at least for me that's a large part of it.

I'm either going to use an open source browser (currently Firefox - maybe something webkit-derived in the future) or I'm going to use IE for those corner-case compatibility issues (Yes, I'm primarily a windows user...)

Let's also keep in mind that web developers are HUGE advocates for browsers - and without web developers behind a browser, it's not going to be taken seriously. I don't remember running across many websites "built for Opera" during the years.

Is it because of the extensions? It is definitely a great sales pitch, but again I don’t believe that’s the reason. “Power users” adore them, but does grandma really care? I sort of doubt it.


I also hate all the built-in functionality of Opera and would rather have the extensions-based functionality of Firefox. This gives me the option of getting all those unwanted features out of the way up front, and only adding what I need. It's a minimalist thing I guess - I just don't want them in front of me unless I ask for them. At this point, the only extension I really *need* with Firefox is AdBlock (go crazy without it).

What I didn't see explicitly mentioned in the article (except in the comments) is that Opera started out as commercial non-free (as in beer) software. It eventually became adware (horrible for someone who only had 31.2kbps dialup while everyone else was on 56kbps or moving to DSL), and by the time they made it completely free, other good free alternatives had risen to overcome it. This was probably their biggest mistake. If they'd given the damn thing away, they would have gained a lot more market share. Granted, that's not exactly a sustainable business prospect in itself...

I gave Opera a serious shot once or twice before Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox hit the market - and just couldn't justify the cost, or the ads eating up my screen, bandwidth, and senses. Couple with that the tons of configuration to get stuff off the screen that I didn't want... It was just a needless hassle. At that time, it didn't even render as well as Firefox did when it hit the scene.

Ultimately, Firefox was one of the major nails in the Opera coffin...

I probably have a lot of other thoughts on this, but don't have the time to think of them ;)

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