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 ;)

Reply Score: 5

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

I also hate all the built-in functionality of Opera and would rather have the extensions-based functionality of Firefox.

Why? There's gotta be some reason for that...
Isn't having built-in functionality more convenient?


I just don't want them in front of me

Which functionalities are in front of you? Most functionalities are hidden (ex: mail client, RSS reader, chat client, Usenet client, mouse gestures, etc...). The default interface is not particularly bloated to me: http://i27.tinypic.com/en77n.png

At this point, the only extension I really *need* with Firefox is AdBlock (go crazy without it).

Have you tried Opera's built-in ad blocker?

It eventually became adware (horrible for someone who only had 31.2kbps dialup while everyone else was on 56kbps or moving to DSL)

I'm puzzled. How much bandwidth will a 10KB banner ad take off your bandwidth when downloaded every 5 minutes? There were even text-based banners. It's really not a bandwidth issue, it's rather an annoyment issue. No one wants to see ads, me neither.

by the time they made it completely free, other good free alternatives had risen to overcome it.

By the time it was free, it was too late, people already hated Opera and got their revenge with Firefox which was free of charge and with no ads. Freeing Opera: Too little, too late.

If they'd given the damn thing away, they would have gained a lot more market share.

Absolutely.

Granted, that's not exactly a sustainable business prospect in itself...

When you have a partnership with Google and have hundreds of millions of users, you do make money (see the Mozilla Corporation). Opera was maybe too greedy and didn't expect Firefox would arise and eat them alive. Opera should have been free from the beginning, it would have eaten IE6.

Reply Parent Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I also hate all the built-in functionality of Opera and would rather have the extensions-based functionality of Firefox.

Why? There's gotta be some reason for that...
Isn't having built-in functionality more convenient?


um ... no. Clearly you come from the "more is better" camp. I'm sorry, but that's just not true, at least not for me.

I just don't want them in front of me

Which functionalities are in front of you? Most functionalities are hidden (ex: mail client, RSS reader, chat client, Usenet client, mouse gestures, etc...). The default interface is not particularly bloated to me: http://i27.tinypic.com/en77n.png


Heh... thats certainly not the default interface that opera started with last time I tried it (prior to Firefox). Opera had its chance to sway me, it failed. I'm no longer interested.

At this point, the only extension I really *need* with Firefox is AdBlock (go crazy without it).

Have you tried Opera's built-in ad blocker?


No, because Opera is no longer on my radar. Adblock works exactly how I expect it to - why would I want to try another ad blocker on a browser I don't use?

It eventually became adware (horrible for someone who only had 31.2kbps dialup while everyone else was on 56kbps or moving to DSL)

I'm puzzled. How much bandwidth will a 10KB banner ad take off your bandwidth when downloaded every 5 minutes? There were even text-based banners. It's really not a bandwidth issue, it's rather an annoyment issue. No one wants to see ads, me neither.


It was more often than every 5 minutes... and it wasn't a 10kb ad either. At a time when ad-supported software was an absolute disaster for me, this was a huge turn-off. In retrospect, ad-supported software simply got a bad name - and Opera was lumped into that category. Being an annoyance was certainly part of that.

by the time they made it completely free, other good free alternatives had risen to overcome it.

By the time it was free, it was too late, people already hated Opera and got their revenge with Firefox which was free of charge and with no ads. Freeing Opera: Too little, too late.

If they'd given the damn thing away, they would have gained a lot more market share.

Absolutely.


At least you agree with me on that one.

Granted, that's not exactly a sustainable business prospect in itself...

When you have a partnership with Google and have hundreds of millions of users, you do make money (see the Mozilla Corporation). Opera was maybe too greedy and didn't expect Firefox would arise and eat them alive. Opera should have been free from the beginning, it would have eaten IE6.


I loved Firefox when it was still Phoenix - and I'm guessing the Google partnership didn't yet exist then. It was a simple browser with a clear goal. It was open-source, cross-platform. It hit my target as both a user and a developer.

Opera didn't.

Reply Parent Score: 2

KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

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

So Opera's dead then... I suppose its burial plot is right next to *BSD's, right?

:-P

Reply Parent Score: 1