Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Sep 2005 11:59 UTC, submitted by jasnils
Opera Software "Opera Software today permanently removed the ad banner and licensing fee from its award-winning Web browser. The ad-free, full-featured Opera browser is now available for download, completely free of charge, here." This news got submitted a staggering 14 times, and as far as I know, that's a record.
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money?
by MikeGA on Tue 20th Sep 2005 13:03 UTC
MikeGA
Member since:
2005-07-22

So, um, how are Opera planning to make enough money as a company to survive now? There's nothing in the press release about it (unsurprisingly) and I'm intrigued as to how they plan to do so.

Also, I thought it was quite amusing that all the Opera screenshots on their site are of the OS X version.

Reply Score: 1

RE: money?
by abdavidson on Tue 20th Sep 2005 13:12 in reply to "money?"
abdavidson Member since:
2005-07-06

"So, um, how are Opera planning to make enough money as a company to survive now?"

Something like a third to a quarter of their income comes currently from the desktop licences.

There are two avenues they see as replacement for this (ignoring that they are ever increasing their mobile licence and engine licencing revenues and starting to build up their Slipstream service and I guess income):

1. Significantly more people get it, a percentage get the premium support. These probably will close to balance out.

2. Google searches through the browser bring in some income. More people using the browser, means more income.

Can't remember who, but saw one Opera employee say they actually expect to increase their revenue with this release.

Reply Parent Score: 1

"Premium support"
by on Tue 20th Sep 2005 22:35 in reply to "RE: money?"
Member since:

"1. Significantly more people get it, a percentage get the premium support. These probably will close to balance out. "

But does this mean that Opera has an incentive to write buggier code to make people want the premium support? Or degrade the quality of free support?

When a company changes tactics and starts giving away its flagship product for literally free with no strings attached, it's a possible symptom that something isn't going right inside the company. It's a possible sign of desperation.

For example, Netscape used to give its beta-versions of its browsers for free, and now Netscape is gone. Then AOL decided to open up the source code, and the result is that Mozilla has never reached version a 2.0. Then the source fragmened into Firefox which is still at version 1.0, leaving a fragmented and confused user base. Is Mozilla 1.7.x still supported? Are security patches being updated? Is the Netscape browser still alive? In any event, Microsoft IE still hovers at around 90% (and IE isn't Microsoft's flagship product).

Sun gives away Java for completely free -- the compiler, the specification, sometimes even the source code. The way Java has been marketed by Sun over the past decade, you would have thought it's one of Sun's flagship products. The result? Currently Sun Microsystems has an overall investor rating of F (the lowest value); see http://reports.finance.yahoo.com/w0?r=34905203:1 for more details.

Opera's share of the browser market is very very very tiny after so many years. Thinking that this will increase their revenue seems to be wishful thinking.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: money?
by raver31 on Tue 20th Sep 2005 14:17 in reply to "money?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

they are supplying mobile phone operators all around the world with opera embedded. They will make their cash there

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: money?
by mendicant on Tue 20th Sep 2005 15:37 in reply to "money?"
mendicant Member since:
2005-07-12

Not only does opera sell their browser to phone manufacturers to embed in their product as previously mentioned (and the number of phones it's embedded on has growing dramatically over the last few years) but it also has a few other revenue streams.

Most of them seem to come from systems like the embedded phone market. For example, they also sell the browser to cable companies so they can use the engine to render program schedules, etc. There has also been released (or soon to be released) a portable media player with the opera browser embedded inside of it. They've been working on a lot of multimedia integration for their browser as well.

For those of you worried that the desktop browser will suffer because of this, just remember, even though they don't charge for the desktop browser anymore, the core browser engine is still almost 100% of their business, whether on the desktop, mobile, cable box or other. And when you've got a browser that's as noticably efficient on cycles and memory as Opera's it seems to be the logical choice when you've got a low resource embedded system, and it doesn't look like that's going to be threatened in the immediate future. So don't worry too much about it, we're all going to have a killer browser for a long time to come (if you use it of course...) ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: money?
by mendicant on Tue 20th Sep 2005 15:37 in reply to "money?"
mendicant Member since:
2005-07-12

Not only does opera sell their browser to phone manufacturers to embed in their product as previously mentioned (and the number of phones it's embedded on has growing dramatically over the last few years) but it also has a few other revenue streams.

Most of them seem to come from systems like the embedded phone market. For example, they also sell the browser to cable companies so they can use the engine to render program schedules, etc. There has also been released (or soon to be released) a portable media player with the opera browser embedded inside of it. They've been working on a lot of multimedia integration for their browser as well.

For those of you worried that the desktop browser will suffer because of this, just remember, even though they don't charge for the desktop browser anymore, the core browser engine is still almost 100% of their business, whether on the desktop, mobile, cable box or other. And when you've got a browser that's as noticably efficient on cycles and memory as Opera's it seems to be the logical choice when you've got a low resource embedded system, and it doesn't look like that's going to be threatened in the immediate future. So don't worry too much about it, we're all going to have a killer browser for a long time to come (if you use it of course...) ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1