“Opera Software chief Jon S. von Tetzchner’s Web browser, popular with many hardcore computer users, hasn’t taken over the industry. The Norwegian company’s browser has been around for 12 years but has just 1.5% of the market. Compared to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, or even Mozilla’s Firefox, it barely qualifies as an also-ran. But unlike its competitors Microsoft and Mozilla, Opera is focusing a lot of attention on noncomputer devices: mobile phones, videogame consoles or just about anything else you can stick a screen on.”
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2006-11-12 9:19 pmKroc
Opera’s ability to act swiftly is their success. Mozilla simply could not turn around a browser to operate on limited hardware and limited memory, quickly as Opera can.
Also, Opera is capable, the Wii Opera browser is going to make Sony’s custom PS3 browser look like Netscape 4.
I use it on my desktop, as well as the old Psion (5MX, seen better days). It’s too bad that so many visciously adhere to their Internet Explorer’s. IE is barely better than Mosaic, in my opinion.
2006-11-12 9:43 pmKroc
Your opinion is shared by many :3
I can’t understand why Opera is less popular than Firefox. In my opinion Opera is greatest browser ever made. It’s much faster than ff, looks better, is easier to use, is more handy, and it’s for free. Who needs more? Most of my friends (even females ) use Opera. How is possible that it has only 1.5% of market?
2006-11-13 12:34 ameMagius
How is possible that it has only 1.5% of market?
The Mozilla Foundation has tremendous marketing muscle and plenty of vitriol. Even when the Mozilla Suite was pre-1.0, they hyped it up like it was the second coming and all the net was abuzz. Opera ASA did little, thinking that quality products could somehow sell themselves.
Moreover, the tone of advertisements was different: Mozilla focused more on negative campaigning (Microsoft is Evil, IE is horrible; use Mozilla/Firefox!) whereas Opera ASA tried to highlight the features of its browser (pages/tabs, pop-up blocking, gestures), all of which were entirely abstract to most computer users. We all know what works better.
In short, it’s no surprise that Opera has middling marketshare. A strong product cannot compenstate for poor marketing.
2006-11-13 4:28 amtaos
Because when Opera finally became free, Firefox had grabbed significant _mind_ share, and market share.
It was a little late.
Having used both Firefox 1.5/2.0 and Opera for some time now, I prefer Opera for the moment.
The “big new” features of Firefox 2.0 already exist in Opera. Opera feels a little faster overall.
The prob with Opera is there are too many worthless buttons and clutter on the windows.
Clean it up and make it recognize dhtml better.
2006-11-12 10:34 pmJoe User
The prob with Opera is there are too many worthless buttons and clutter on the windows. Clean it up and make it recognize dhtml better.
Ok, what else do you want to remove? The tabs?!
Seriously, I have no explanation for Opera not having more than 1%…I have tried Firefox 2-3 times and I always go back to Opera. Also I have no explanation why Firefox has has so much momentum. It uses so much memory and it is so slow. Isn’t it more convenient to have a feature-rich browser than a weak browser that needs to be patched manually with extensions?
Edited 2006-11-12 22:37
2006-11-13 1:41 pmnstuart
Thanks for saving me the trouble of posting a screenshot!
Like your’s, all I have are the tabs and my navigation stuff (plus one bookmark toolbar for quick access). Me thinkgs someone tried Opera out a couple of years ago and can’t be bothered to try it again before trolling away.
Or, they have just never tried it all…
2006-11-13 12:19 amJoe User
I will be curious to see new benchmark as soon as Firefox has Adobe’s JS engine. Maybe it won’t be as fast as Opera’s.
In any case, I don’t see it a compelling reason to switch. One has to consider the browser as a whole. Opera is faster, more feature-rich, lighter, more stable, has a GUI that makes more sense. This is what is important.
… but no features what the user wants. For example, many users wants Autocomplete ***like*** in IE and Firefox for years(!!).
And what did Opera? We got previews on tabs… holy sh*t
2006-11-13 12:22 amusr0
Hey! The previews on tabs are very important for… ehm … ehm … ehm. They are very important because they were implemented!
a couple people pondered . . .
Well I cannot answer for everybody so I’ll tell you why I don’t use it.
1. I hate the layout. I hate the clutter. I cannot reconfigure/adjust the layout to one that doesn’t provide some sort of personal annoyance. The older version were much cleaner looking and easier to customize and use.
2. Years ago when a sent them an email and asked if it were possible to improve BeOS support (which they were dumping shortly after bragging about alt OS support) I received a reply with very rude tones telling me I should pay them for an updated version on a different platform and I could transfer my newly acquired key.
after that I hadn’t used Opera in years. I tried the OS X version after the free release but see #1.
I do usually recommend people try it though as my personal hangups against it are far from universal. After the buggy firefox 2.0 (Linux and Mac) I’m sure Opera will gain at least a few users and I sincerely wish them the best.
2006-11-13 1:49 amWorknMan
[quote]I hate the layout. I hate the clutter. I cannot reconfigure/adjust the layout to one that doesn’t provide some sort of personal annoyance.[/quote]
Agree with you 100%. The only reason I’m using Opera is because the built-in text-to-speech (Windows only) is the best I’ve heard anywhere. If it wasn’t for that, I’d much rather use Firefox. (And yeah, I know there’s Foxyvoice, but it just ain’t the same.)
A lot of people will say they don’t like Opera because “it can’t do this or that”, but if you screw around with the settings long enough, you’ll probably figure out that it can do what you want, you just have to jump through hoops in order to get there.
IMHO, Firefox’s extension system is a royal pain in the ass, but it’s better than the hacking of .ini files I had to do in order to get Opera working the way I wanted. And even still, when I click a hyperlink in an email message, I got TWO Opera browser windows … one with the link I clicked on, and the other with an error message. I know there’s a fix for this .. in fact, I remember reading a post on the Opera message forums about it .. I just have to go back and find it. Still though, it’s just little annoying f**king things like this that make me wish Firefox had Opera’s text-to-speech capabilities.
2006-11-13 3:52 amDecius
Regarding clutter and layout issues I have to agree with Joe User and say that I’m a little bit confused by these claims. Everything in Opera is customizable by drag and drop, downloadable customizations (see http://operawiki.info/Opera for one source), as well as opera:config. I really love the fact that with items that are already in place on your toolbars you have to hold Shift in order to move things…that way there is less opportunity for accidental removal/modification. Another feature that I find really useful is the ability to bring back accidentally closed tabs using Ctrl-Z.
Other than marketing I can’t think of a single reason that Opera doesn’t have more market. Literally every person I have shown it to now uses it as their default.
Edited 2006-11-13 03:53
2006-11-13 4:17 amtaos
“Another feature that I find really useful is the ability to bring back accidentally closed tabs using Ctrl-Z.”
A big +1.
Now, on “Everything in Opera is customizable”, I’d like to right click on a bookmark and modify the name or URL of that bookmark — can’t do it. Or is there a better way?
BTW, I use all three browsers: Opera, IE, Firefox, after 3 months, I found myself use Opera the most.
2006-11-13 4:44 amnzMM
taos: Right click on a bookmark -> properties; edit away.
My tip of the day: Add a nickname to your bookmark, then all you have to do is type the nickname in the address bar and voila. I reckon its great, especially when you start to accumulate many bookmarks, and finding the right one can be timely.
The only thing Firefox 2 has over Opera is the spellchecker, which is more advanced than Opera’s because it does that handy red underline thing.
Opera will be killer when they start to add persistence features such as; being able to sync browser settings/feeds/emails/widgets/notes/contacts etcetera on your PC with your phone or PDA and vice versa.
Even for dual booters this would be a total blessing!!!
Edited 2006-11-13 04:45
2006-11-13 8:57 amDecius
taos: Right click on a bookmark -> properties; edit away.
Just wanted to clarify that nzMM is correct, but this simple method only works from the bookmarks panel, not the menu.
Edited 2006-11-13 08:58
2006-11-13 1:49 pmnstuart
Actually it works in the menu too…only difference is that the ‘Properties’ selection is at the bottom of the menu…same thing though.
2006-11-13 1:48 pmnstuart
I still wonder what you people are talking about when you say ‘cluttered’. I count a total of 7 buttons (8 if you want to include the ‘New Tab’ button) in my window right now. Along with the tabs thats it…how the heck is this cluttered?!
(see screenshots someone posted above)
2006-11-14 2:32 pmCowMan
My suspisicion is they are thinking of a first experience with an older version, say Opera 7, that defaulted with the bar thingy open and buttons everywhere. See… http://www.opera.com/graphics/docs/screenshots/opera-7-linux.png
fckn chrst I hate these people,
WTF did I possibly say to get modded down?
I specifically made clear that *my* problems with Opera were PERSONAL and although I don’t use it thought it was a valid competitor. Trying to offer insight as to why someone wouldn’t like it – as asked for.
If its for the buggy firefox 2.0 comment – its no big fcking secret that the Linux version has serious issues with flash and other plugins and the OS X version suffers from constant lock ups – THESE ARE FACTS NOT AN OPINION – look it up you lazy arse b@stard.
Go back to slashdot you little OSS trolls
I can’t stand Opera on the desktop. It’s cluttered in my opinion.
However, on I love it on my Samsung phone with EV-DO. I can practically browse any site with my cell phone that I can on my PC – just on a tiny screen. Its fast and works brilliantly though. And unlike the desktop version, the interface is simple, elegant, and uncluttered.
2006-11-13 8:46 amDecius
What was the last desktop version you used? If it was pre-9, then make sure you check out the link contained in this comment by Joe User http://osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=16468&comment_id=181545 It effectively puts the argument of clutter to rest, by showing that the default interface for the newest versions of Opera is no more cluttered than Firefox.
What do you people that are complaining about clutter talking about? Opera 7? That was years ago, perhaps it’s time to check it out again.
BTW, is there a way for Firefox to have the built in search function to work separately for each tab like in Opera?
I agree hagiz, I find the Firefox tool/addressbar contains a little more clutter but neither are obtrusive. Perhaps people are just afraid of customising the default layout?
The Opera developers should really be commended. I mean, they managed to squeeze so much functionality into such a small download. I admit I don’t use most of it, i.e. the mail client and widgets but the fact is it’s easy enough to switch off and doesn’t manage to grind the browser (or your OS for that matter) down to a halt.
Opera has come on loads in the last few years and I just hope they do keep developing such an excellent browser for as many platforms as they can.
I’ve used Opera since the 3.0 days. I like Firefox, but keep returning to Opera because of so many built-in features:
the mouse gestures are fantastic. firefox has them as an extension, but they don’t work near as smoothly, and need to be installed.
the ability to default to using cached images (when i’m on a slow line), and then to individualize each tab to use images or not – very very handy. and then opening other tabs by clicking on links from that cached image tab will also open with cached images – so helpful
The text zoom feature is much easier to use than firefox. Use + or – or * on the keyboard changes the zoom, and each tab can be zoomed individually.
And the “Fit to Width” feature is excellent. whenever text spills over the right side of the screen, just press this button and the whole page is reformatted to fit inside the screen. this really helps when i’ve made the text so large that it no longer fits.
And is there clutter in the interface? I usually take a couple minutes and pare it all down, and it’s very un-intrusive.
2006-11-14 2:36 pmCowMan
If you hold down CTRL and use the mousewheel, it’ll scroll in/out too, wicked-useful
it’s a very good question. I prefer firefox but Opera is a very fine browser. I don’t think one could say there is any one feature or capability that makes one browser popular over the other.
but remember before firefox there was just ‘mozilla’ (now seamonkey) which also didn’t take off because it tried to do everything like email when people had no problem with their email. mozilla.org was almost left for dead until they came up with just the browser. firefox is also simpler without 5 zillion buttons everywhere. each feature on its own might save time if you know what you’re doing but when I see all that stuff I just slow down to a halt when i just want to find the back button
so what did opera do? instead of being simple (but not simplistic!) and smooth like firefox, they made it more like seamonkey. they will have to relearn the lessons that mozilla.org (and originally netscape) when they tried to do too much to appeal to every possible situation.
Opera Software is very good indeed. I use opera to download torrents, I set all my downloads to 100 to download all at once. I rate them a 10.
I think this evasive manouvre is actually pretty clever of them.
Trying to force your way into the mass PC-browser market worked more or less once for Firefox (I believe a critical mass has been reached), but it will probably not work for Opera anymore. They tried by making their software free (“gratis”), but they are too late.
Instead, Opera seems to realize this, and focuses on several growing niche markets. It is in my opinion a move that shows at least some strategic awareness, which is of course good. And judging from their work on Opera Mini and Opera Mobile they are doing a tremendous job.
I also believe that their partnership with Nintendo is a golden opportunity for both parties. Nintendo gets a very high quality webbrowser from an experienced company. And Opera reputation and brand awareness will benefit enormously thanks to this deal.