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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twelve years ago
by yahya on Thu 31st Jan 2008 23:50 UTC
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Yes, 1996 was the time I also discovered Opera, through a small newspaper article, hailing its speed and low resource consumption. I downloaded, I even registered, paid the equivalent of then 35 USD and used it for maybe three to four years as my default browser. It was just incredibly fast. And it fitted on a single 1.44'' diskette. That was just great, as it made "download once, install many" easy. Yes and it had just all you needed at that time. No kitchen sink, no mail, no news, no bittorrent. It was just a browser, pure and simple. A fast browser. With tabs (MDI, to be precise), long before mozilla reinvented them. With mouse gestures, also years before moz. Running like a breeze on a box with 4 MBytes of RAM and Windows 3.1.1

It was never particularly sexy, but it was incredibly functional and the only real option on the low-end boxes that I had access to. It demonstrated that a browser does not need to hammer the system!

However, later when I switched to Linux (around 1999/2000) I gradually moved away from Opera (which was available in alpha for Linux) to slowly maturing Mozilla.

For me, Opera lost most of its attractiveness, when they started sacrificing speed, small size and footprint to the demand for a kitchen sink solution. Integrated mail clients (heck, I cannot imagine anyone seriously uses it!), integrated mail, bittorrent, desktop widgets and lost of other gimmicks with very limited use.

In fact, the defining feature of Opera had been that it had been just a browser, at a time when everyone else forced their all-in-one solutions upon you. Some years later, everyone else was re-discovering the "just a browser" paradigm (pioneered by Galeon, who remembers?) while Opera was heading in the opposite direction.

To me the final momentum which removed opera from the list of options that I consider seriously, was that fact that less and less of those omnipresent web 2.0 sites play well with Opera. Sorry, but it seems the author is true in that sense: The time has passed, the moment has been missed (if it ever existed)

Edited 2008-01-31 23:53 UTC

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