Linked by Kroc Camen on Fri 18th Sep 2009 18:51 UTC
Opera Software You all know that I don't particularly like Opera. I find the product to be lacking polish, over-complicated and without the marketing pizazz that has made Firefox a household name. That's just my personal opinion, and that opinion has garnered many complaints of unjustness. To that end, to present a fairer discussion I would like to put a simple question to the community: "What should Opera do?".
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"Why do I want to help a proprietary company with a mediocre product gain market share?!

Mediocre? That's just laughable.

"Mediocre" was used for effect. Opera is a good product, but not "great". The point is that Opera isn't something that will change the way we work on the web. When Firefox came out, it was the new product that brought much needed innovation to the masses of users (something Opera possibly could have done at the time if it had been completely free). So no, Opera isn't mediocre, but it is not something that is currently so revolutionary that I would want to say, "you've got to try this!"

"I'll be glad to help push an open source product that has neat features, but why a proprietary company?

Ah, now I understand. You are irrational, and hate anything proprietary. So even when proprietary is better than FOSS, you will claim that it's "mediocre" to justify to yourself why you use a FOSS product that's crappier.

I am far from irrational, you don't even know me! I use proprietary products quite regularly, in fact, I voluntarily purchased and use Windows Vista Business Edition on my laptop that came with no operating system. I even did this when Ubuntu installed perfectly fine and worked without any tweaking. I am in business and I use and buy what I need. However, my argument about Opera is that when I have proprietary and open source applications that work well, what advantage does Opera provide that makes me want to use and push it as another proprietary product. If they were cutting-edge, providing things I needed and nobody else did, I would push them, proprietary or not (I know there may be some "cutting edge" features in Opera, but not many that I cannot find a Firefox extension for). But yes, I will push open source options that are not as good at times, because I would like to see some of the products I voluntarily use have a larger market share, and not die. But, not all open source products are worthy of that push for me, it just depends on the app and need.

"I can't get any sense of why I would want to push them into any prominence when it would only help their bottom-line.

In Opera's case, they have been spending huge amounts of money on promoting and open web and open standards.

I appreciate that from them! I believe it was them that has pushed the EU to consider action against MS on their bundling of the browser, and again, I appreciate that. However, if they want to gain market share, then they probably need to work on: compatibility with unofficial standards, make their browser extensible, re-brand their browser as something that makes people want to move to their product over other good options, and create a community that loves them and will build the groundswell effect they need. I don't know how they should do all this, but the net effect is, people don't know who they are and it is going to be more and more difficult to compete against the other products on the market.

Edited 2009-09-22 09:59 UTC

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