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Opera Facing Losses While Firefox Usage Grows 760

Posted by timothy
from the depends-what-you're-obsessed-with dept.
An anonymous reader submits "Opera, the sometimes forgotten #3 web browser, reported a third quarter loss that tripled that of last year's third quarter despite a seven-fold increase in revenue. Opera is blaming a weaker dollar for the losses, and say they're spending money on marketing and new ventures like teaming with IBM to use their ViaVoice technology. Opera's future seems uncertain as Firefox's growing popularity may hurt Opera by stealing potential customers. With Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all free, is there room for a non-free browser in the market?"
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Opera Facing Losses While Firefox Usage Grows

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  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by fembots (753724) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:53PM (#10814926) Homepage
    According to the article, company officials said operating expenses, like adding new employees and spending more on marketing efforts, are partly to blame for the quarterly loss (of $267,000 compared to a net profit of $9.62 million in the first nine months of this year = maybe $3mil difference).

    It seems Opera is growing, and they are doing it by aggressively promoting their products, even goes as far as teaming up with IBM's ViaVoice to allow users execute commands by talking to their computers. These are licensed-features that free browsers will find it hard to justify paying for.

    So maybe Opera is just investing 25% of its yearly profit into marketing, and hopes a better year. Even FireFox wants to advertise on NYTimes.

    We shall be alarmed if they moved to a penthouse office and every employee drives a Ferrari.
    • Re:Misleading (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deathanatos (811514)
      "With Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all free,"

      IE? Free? Since when? Just because it comes with the OS (which, might I add, you pay $$$ for) doesn't mean it's free.
      Furthermore, what about all the adware, spyware (and for some, viruses) that people have to clear off their harddrive? That takes time, and, "Time is money." And with all the time I've spent doing that with IE..., let's just say with IE, you won't have any "Free time"
      • Re:Misleading (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It's free. It was free for the Mac. It was free for whatever Unix variant they had a version for. It was free for Windows 3.1 users. It was free for Windows 95 users. Those are all non-bundled with the OS versions. It doesn't cost the user any more or less to use it. It's not like you can buy a cheaper version of Windows without it.
        • Re:Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

          by McDutchie (151611) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @07:18PM (#10815590) Homepage
          It doesn't cost the user any more or less to use it. It's not like you can buy a cheaper version of Windows without it.

          Sorry, "included in the package" still does not mean "free" as long as the package costs money, no matter how much the Microsoft monopoly wants you to believe otherwise.

          Note that it's against IE's license (which is conveniently unavailable from the Microsoft website and in the application directory; you only get to see it when you run the installer) to run IE on anything but a properly licensed Windows system. To wit:

          SUPPLEMENTAL END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR MICROSOFT SOFTWARE ("SUPPLEMENTAL EULA") (c)2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
          IE6 SERVICE PACK 1

          IMPORTANT: # snipped diahhrea saying that you have enslave yourself to the Holy EULA or you can't use it

          NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A VALID EULA FOR ANY "OS PRODUCT" (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, MICROSOFT WINDOWS 98, MICROSOFT WINDOWS NT 4.0, MICROSOFT WINDOWS 2000, MICROSOFT MILLENNIUM EDITION, MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP, OR ANY OTHER MICROSOFT OPERATING SYSTEM THAT IS A SUCCESSOR TO ANY OF THE FOREGOING OPERATING SYSTEMS) YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO INSTALL, COPY, OR OTHERWISE USE THE OS COMPONENTS AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS UNDER THIS SUPPLEMENTAL EULA.

          Capitalized terms used in this Supplemental EULA and not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings assigned to them in the applicable OS Product EULA.

          General. The OS Components are provided to you to update, supplement, or replace existing functionality of the applicable OS Product. You are hereby granted a license by or on behalf of the entity which licensed the OS Product to you to use the OS Components under the terms and conditions of the OS Product EULA for the applicable OS Product (which are hereby incorporated by reference) and the terms and conditions set forth in this Supplemental EULA, provided that you comply with all such terms and conditions. To the extent that any terms in this Supplemental EULA conflict with terms in the applicable OS Product EULA, the terms of this Supplemental EULA control solely with respect to the OS Components.

          Additional Rights and Limitations.

          * You may install and use one (1) copy of the OS Components on each of your computers running validly licensed copies of the applicable OS Product, provided that you use such additional copies of such OS Components in accordance with the terms and conditions above. Microsoft retains all right, title and interest in and to the OS Components. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by Microsoft.

          # (bunch of warranty stuff in capitals omitted)

          E.g. running it under WINE would be illegal, at least if you don't own (e.g. have paid for) a Windows license, but the above language could also be interpreted to mean that you can only run it under Windows even if you do own a Windows license. In neither case it is anywhere near "free" though.

          • Re:Misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:48PM (#10816195)
            Stop being a prat. True you pay for the OS in which IE is included(well most people do), but given that most people need that OS(haven't seen a linux distro which is ready for public consumption yet, though it works perfectly for my won needs), we can say that the OS license is a necessary expense for running a computer. Since IE is bundled with a necessary expense it is essentially free. Perhaps not as in speech, but as in beer, and all things considered most people are for more concerned with free beer than free speech. Judge this as you will.
            • Re:Misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2004 @09:56PM (#10816584)
              Oh, I suppose when we pay for Windows, we are only paying for the kernel....the Windows Control Panel, the file manager, Outlook Express, the Start Menu, the Explorer Shell and the Add/Remove Programs list are all free right?

              I suppose when you buy a car, you are only paying for the engine too right? The pedals, steering wheel, transmission and all the other stuff that makes it work (face it, MS has enbedded IE so far into the OS it "makes Windows work") are all free, right?

              Also, read the IE liscense agreement, it is most definately not free, you just assume it is, because you are a pirate (not that I haven't done it too, but at least I admit it). Does this sound stupid to you?

              "I got a free car! All I had to do was steal it. But it was still completely free!"

              Because that is essentially what you are doing.

              Please grow a brain before placing your opinions which I will group in the same category as my trash and try not to clutter the internet even more.
      • Silence! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:57PM (#10815419) Homepage
        Silence!
        • New versions are no-cost downloads for supported versions of Windows.
        • IE is also a no-cost download for MacOS
        • All browsers are affected by various security issues. Need I remind you that the current version of Mozilla is 1.7. 3 ? This is solely due to security issues.
        • The money-delta between using Mozilla on Windows and IE on Windows is $0.00. It's free enough for the purposes of this discussion.
        Stop karma whoring.
      • Re:Misleading (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:02PM (#10815945) Homepage
        and you are forgetting one thing. I dare anyone to show me an embedded version of any of those browsers.

        I can get Opera in 120K for embedded uses. there is no embedded IE that is worth a damn, and the Gecko engine is not designed for embedded uses.

        Opera is cleaning up in the embedded market, I see it in many tiny net enabled places almost every day.
        • Re:Misleading (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TravisWatkins (746905)
          Not for long if Minimo [mozilla.org] has anything to say about it.
          • Re:Misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

            by pslam (97660) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:58PM (#10816271) Homepage Journal
            Not for long if Minimo has anything to say about it.

            And they say: The primary focus of Minimo to date has been system with ~32-64 MB of RAM, running Linux and using the GTK toolkit.

            Not to belittle their efforts, but 32-64MB of RAM is more than your average palm top device, and GTK is a memory hog. Something that fits in 2-4MB RAM is more like what a portable device needs.

            Still, it's a good start.

    • Re:Misleading (Score:3, Informative)

      by geg81 (816215)
      It seems Opera is growing, and they are doing it by aggressively promoting their products, even goes as far as teaming up with IBM's ViaVoice to allow users execute commands by talking to their computers. These are licensed-features that free browsers will find it hard to justify paying for.

      The reason open source browsers don't have voice-guided browsing is because it's a useless gimmick. If there was any kind of demand for it, there are multiple open source speech recognition systems that it could be ba
      • Re:Misleading (Score:3, Interesting)

        by say (191220)

        It makes sense with voice recognition on embedded platforms (PDAs, cell phones), which happens to be Opera's main market.

  • by Karma Sucks (127136) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:55PM (#10814948)
    Check this out http://www.google.com/firefox [google.com]
  • 3. Profit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:55PM (#10814949) Homepage Journal
    All they have to do is get slightly better than IE, and them MS will buy them out.
  • Probably not... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:56PM (#10814950)
    I have been a computer technician for years, and I have never ever seen a computer with the opera browser myself. Most people still use internet explorer, the more security aware windows user will tend to use firefox, but opera is nearly unknown.

    I don't think anybody has any reason to pay for some unknown web browser, unless it has some amazing features.
    • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:59PM (#10814986) Homepage Journal
      I have been a computer technician for years, and I have never ever seen a computer with the opera browser myself.

      Have you ever considered that maybe Opera users are smart enough to avoid your services? :-P
    • Re:Probably not... (Score:3, Informative)

      by EEBaum (520514)
      Perhaps most Opera users aren't taking their computers to computer technicians. I've never had to take either of my Opera-running boxes in for service, but then I built them myself.

      I personally quite like the Opera interface, and have grown quite accustomed to it. I use the free version with the ad on top, which I find pretty benign (though not as good as no ads at all).
    • Re:Probably not... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cubicledrone (681598) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:04PM (#10815035)
      I don't think anybody has any reason to pay for some unknown web browser

      Except for the people who helped Opera achieve a 700% revenue increase.
    • Re:Probably not... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:15PM (#10815110) Journal
      I've never ever seen the inside of a Chinese home, that doesn't mean that there aren't several hundred million of them, does it?

      As for not having any reason to pay for some "unknown" web browser unless it has some amazing features, well, have you considered that the very reason that people do pay for Opera, when there are plenty of free alternatives available, is because it does what it does amazingly well?
    • Re:Probably not... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jtcm (452335)

      I don't think anybody has any reason to pay for some unknown web browser, unless it has some amazing features.

      Amazing features is _exactly_ what Opera has:

      • Mouse Gestures! - I don't know how I ever surfed the web without mouse gestures.
      • Fast Forward & Next Buttons - Browsing an image gallery? Just keep hitting "Next" for the next picture in order! (instead of hitting back after each picture)
      • M2 Email Client - Opinion is a little divided over M2, but I love it and have been using it as my main emai
      • Re:Probably not... (Score:4, Informative)

        by feargal (99776) on Monday November 15, 2004 @07:36AM (#10818657) Homepage
        Not to mention the fact that they are one of the very few companies that not only support Windows and Mac, but Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD too.

        They are also the only truly innovative people in the browser market. Without detracting from Mozilla, most of it's killer features have been in Opera for quite some time now.

        As well as the notable tabbed browsing and gesture-based browsing, Opera introduced many smaller things that have proven invaluable in my work as a (non-designer) web developer:
        • single click toggling of things such as javascript, java, and cookies
        • Ability to easily view, edit, and delete cookies
        • debugging of page structure by highlighting certain page elements
        • On page menu uploads straight to the w3c HTML validator

        Also, the following innovations have definately added to my browsing 'experience'
        • The Zoom function - overlooked by many, this lets you zoom in/out on a page (Ctrl+Scrollwheel!) which, when you have a 1600x1200 display, is often of great help.
        • Address bar shortcuts - "g" for google etc. unfortunately not customisable, as it is on Firefox.
        • Meta links toolbar - if a page has meta link tags, Opera displays them on a toolbar at the top of the page, no larger than the slashdot OSDN menu.
        It does all this while still rendering faster than any other engine and yet retaining a small footprint - I currently have 15 Opera windows open, with 29 tabs, on a P3 550 w/ 128M RAM.

        Finally, anybody who responds to MS bullshit by releasing [opera.com] a Swedish Chef "Bork Bork" edition is a good guy to me.

        There are problems - they only recently added the capability to view an SSL cert, and the Java support on FreeBSD is difficult to get working (although that is more a problem with java on FreeBSD than with Opera).

        The OSS community needs companies like Opera - how else will we ever get decent gaming :)
  • SEVEN FOLD GROWTH??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mOoZik (698544) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:56PM (#10814954) Homepage
    That's hardly the bio of a company losing market share. It seems what THEY ARE failing to do is keep their operating costs under control. Even though that rate of revenue growth cannot be maintained in the long run, seems to me like what's really dead is their management for not being able to turn a profit with such revenue numbers.

  • Short answer: No. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krymsin01 (700838) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:56PM (#10814957) Homepage Journal
    I remember when I used to actualy use Opera. I think the only reason I used it at the time was because it supported tabs. Gradualy my intrest in it dwindled. It didn't support CSS properly, plugins were a hassle. I tried it again a year or two ago, and immediately deleted it. Nothing turns me off from a piece of software like a damned banner ad in the main window.
    • bork bork! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stfvon007 (632997) <enigmar007.yahoo@com> on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:06PM (#10815054) Journal
      I used opera a couple times. My faviorite was the "bork bork" version wich translated msn.com into sweedish chef in response to msn.com perposly making itself look broken to the opera browser. Link here to the slashdot story on it: http://slashdot.org/articles/03/02/14/1256231.shtm l [slashdot.org]
    • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:11PM (#10815079) Journal
      Opera ads are now Google ads, so they're text rather than graphics ads. Hardly distracting unless you're an ADD sufferer or something.

      Not meaning to flame you or anything, but your comment is typical of many that I see any time Opera is mentioned on Slashdot: "I tried Opera x many years ago and it didn't do y properly or I didn't like the way it does z". In almost every case, I find that y and z were either something trivial that a quick change in the preferences could have fixed or something that was changed several versions ago.

      You wouldn't try to talk about the Mac platform in an informed manner if you'd used nothing more current than System 7, so why do the same with Opera?

      Seriously, I think I could count the number of valid issues that people actually have with Opera's current feature set or user interface with the fingers of one hand after I'd had four of them shot off...
    • Re:Short answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by yog (19073) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:14PM (#10815106) Homepage Journal
      I used to use Opera; I paid for the full edition, and enjoyed its many innovative features such as tabs, convenient keyboard shortcuts for things like turning off image display, nice bookmark management, excellent mouse gestures, save-and-restore session, and on and on. At one time, it was the best browser by far for Linux, and it was an appealing alternative to IE on Windows. They really had the UI aspects down pat.

      However, it crashed about once a day on my Redhat workstation and no amount of back and forth with tech support could uncover the problem.

      Meanwhile, Mozilla appeared on the scene and got better and better. I would say that today, the Mozilla/Firefox family surpasses Opera in enough ways that Opera doesn't really have a niche like it used to.

      I still like some of Opera's UI aspects best, but good old Moz is so stable now that it's a toss-up. Firefox has finally stabilized to where it doesn't crash on me 2-3 times a session, and I'm evaluating it as a replacement for Mozilla. Its font handling seems not as good as Mozilla though. I do dearly miss Opera's style sheet extension that lets you force word wrap on any web page with a simple keystroke.

      One thing about Opera that bothered me was that they had a cut-off for owners of the previous version; you had to pay to upgrade. At that I drew the line and see no reason to put any more $ into that product, though I still appreciate their alternativeness and wish them well in their fight against the Microsoft titan.

    • Re:Short answer: No. (Score:3, Informative)

      by evilviper (135110)
      Nothing turns me off from a piece of software like a damned banner ad in the main window.

      Well, in that case, use it for 30 days without the banner.

      Then, at the end of the 30 days, pay for it if you actually like it.
    • by Bronz (429622) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:46PM (#10815324)
      Uniformed: "It didn't support CSS properly"

      CSS support is excellent. Here's there spec sheet:
      http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/
      Feel free to compare that with Firefox and report back to us.

      6 one way: "plugins were a hassle"

      What plugins are you referring to exactly? You want a hassle? Trying to get a uniform experience out of Firefox. Firefox has let 'extensions' go too far, letting several things that should be in the core application,and UI tested, be thrown to the dogs. You can let extensions change the behavior if you want, but don't make the user jump through hoops on every freaking install.

      Let's take the issue of 'tabbed browsing'. Opera brought it to the browser, and it's evolved naturally. It looked like Firefox was going to follow suit, but somehow completely lost sight of what makes it work. I install Firefox at work. Tabs (MDI) is logical. But there is no built-in contsruct to save the tabs as groups (or god-forbid in the unlikely event Firefox crashes the state of the tabs be automatically saved -- standard behavior in Opera). That's an important thing when you allow a user to interact with dozens of information sources under one instance of an application. So now I need an extension. I go trudging off and nothing exists for Firefox 1.0 that seems to fit this bill. Advantage, Opera. But I can live with that... but what about re-arranging tabs? Same problem. I need an extension. Can't find one. P.S: Mozdev? How about a 'Search' button?

      NOTE: *I* know these extensions exist, but are they actually compatible from 0.9? And what about those people who don't know they exist? And what about those extensions that actually overlap (and hence, contradict) features?

      And finally, let's say I somehow get Firefox behaving logically with respect to tabs and I'm happy. Until I sit down at my co-workers machine and he's got completely different extensions doing similar, but ultimately confusing things.

      Sometimes, it's worth a few dollars to have someone else just get it right. Yeah, that's an opinion. Everyone's got one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:57PM (#10814960)
    No.
  • by sH4RD (749216) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:57PM (#10814964) Homepage
    I must say that although I am still an Opera user now (it still wins in the customization department), if Firefox added in the massive ammounts of neat extra features Opera has (someone make an extension! please?), I would switch. Firefox seems to be just as fast, plus I love the security of open source. So Opera better change their buisness model, and fast, because Firefox is bound to have all their features eventually.
    • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:04PM (#10815033) Homepage Journal
      I can't speak for 1.0, but I ran some tests on some large, simple-layout web sites comparing FF 0.92-or-so and Mozilla 1.7-or-so to Opera 7.53-or-4 a few weeks back.

      Opera was several times faster than Mozilla. Firefox was about the same as Mozilla. A page that took 10 in Mozilla and Firefox.

      All tests were done with local files.
      • I couldn't agree more. The reason I can't make the switch to Firefox is that it feels so much more sluggish than Opera. I don't have any speed tests to prove what I "feel" but after a half year or so of using Opera, I can't stand to lose it's responsiveness (same goes for the newer versions of IE, way too slow feeling).

        I've got nothing against Firefox, but Opera's responsiveness is worth the money to me.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:57PM (#10814967) Homepage
    Yes. There is. As long as the others are not suitable for embedded applications Opera shall live. Mozilla has a project to do this, but it is still way off...
  • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:58PM (#10814979) Homepage Journal
    There's room but only as a value-add or niche market.

    There's room in the "small embedded" market, such as cell-phones and PDAs, and some vendors that bundle software may prefer a commercial vendor with paid support, especially for things like home-entertainment boxes.

    I don't see your typical computer maker shipping a paid-for browser unless they get a REALLY GOOD DEAL, but I do see them shipping a mozilla-based browser.
  • Yes of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @05:58PM (#10814982)
    With Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all free, is there room for a non-free browser in the market

    Rivers, lakes and rain are all free. Bottled water is a $5 billion industry.
  • Ok (Score:4, Funny)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:01PM (#10815010)
    a seven-fold increase in revenue

    is there room for a non-free browser in the market?

    If not, what are they selling? Office furniture on eBay?
  • by imaginate (305769) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:03PM (#10815026)
    I started using Opera about four years ago and quickly became hooked. Gestures, fast rendering, etc., made me an instant fan. The single (non-flashing) ad in the corner didn't really bother me.

    At some point I'd used it enough that I figured it was worth paying some back, so I registered it (ironically, it looked wierd at first without the single ad block). Best $40 I've spent on software.

    I haven't had to pay for an upgrade since then, and I've installed it on my computer at work, my laptop, and my new desktop. At some point I may have to kick down again and I'll probably do it, just like I bought Doom I after playing the hell out of it.

    I've used Mozilla a little bit, but it was back when it was way more kludgy than I hear firefox is. I know that I could get a gesture patch and all, but I guess I'm happy with the way Opera handles just about everything (though I still have to load ol' IE to get at my bank's web page and my work's exchange server).

    I appreciate the benefits of open source, and at some point I'll probably migrate to Firefox (at the very least it's good to know that if Opera goes under I have a great alternative). But for now, that's one for-profit organization that is building a very good piece of software and has brought some serious innovation to the browser world - I, for one, hope they are able to stick around...
  • As an Opera user (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OO7david (159677) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:04PM (#10815038) Homepage Journal
    As an Opera user, I must say that there is room for a non-free browser. For one, FF doesn't quite have all of the features of Opera (it's getting there, though), and the tabs work slightly differently in Opera that, for me at least, make browsing far faster.

    Once FF has extensions for it all, then, yeah, Opera is probably toast. However, until then, as another user pointed out, Opera will be like bottled water to the lakes, rivers, etc of IE, FF, et al.
    • by FFFish (7567)
      Firefox will never "get there." Is there anything innovative in Firefox that wasn't pioneered by Opera? Like so much open-source software, the UI and functionality rely heavily on innovations created by commercial companies.

      Mouse gestures? Put into the browser first by Opera. Tabs? Likewise. Extensive keyboard navigation? Oh, what a surprise. Revolutionary email sorting system? Opera, of course. Code that rewrites pages so they work better on small screens? Opera. Pop-up ad supression? Opera.
  • by slapout (93640) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:17PM (#10815137)
    I've been an Opera user since verison 3 and it's still my favorite browser.

    I recently tried Firefox 1.0 and I still like Opera better. Firefox has tabs, but I couldn't put them at the bottom of the screen. And with Opera I can have two sites open -- one with pictures on and one with pictures off -- at the same time.
    And there's a buttom on every window (or "tab") that lets me switch between "author" mode and "user" mode. That means if I come across a website that has say yellow text on a white background I can press this button and it'll change to black text on a white background.
  • by lakeland (218447) <lakeland@acm.org> on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:23PM (#10815181) Homepage
    Currently we have a near monoculture in web browsers. If you're not using IE, you're pretty damn weird and you can expect many web pages to not work.

    As firefox gains in popularity, web developers will have to start writing compatable HTML/JS/etc. and as a result life will become easier for the opera users out there.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:24PM (#10815185)
    I have been using Opera for about 4 years now.

    Opera is the slickest browser out there. The interface is great and the features have lots of little subtle twists that make them much better than plugins in Firefox.

    Opera also has killer caching that provides instant forward/back ( I mean INSTANT ) through recently visted pages.

    But I recently switched to Firefox. So my bet is Opera is toast.

    Why did I switch? Compatability. More pages take Mox/FF into account. Like my Bank and Gmail for 2 that are important to me.

    Talk to an Opera Zealot or Opera developer and the answer has always been the same. The site is serving bad pages to Opera. And this is generally true. Using a proxy tool to spoof firefox in Opera many of the pages did indeed work, but this is a clumsy solution. Unfortunately the Opera line remains the same. Users should fight to change the bad pages.

    Where in my view a true firefox emulation/spoofing mode would go a long way to making Opera more workable.

    But I have finally conluded that this is not going to happen. And that Firefox is finally there with the features and compatability intersection that makes it my current browser choice. It is compatible enough, and has features enough.

    Opera is now Toast for me.

    RIP Opera. I really wish they could have made more effort to handle errant pages than simply telling users to change the world. I will miss the Opera way.

  • Mobile devices (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trejkaz (615352) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:27PM (#10815205) Homepage

    Firefox doesn't run on mobile phones yet, so I figure Opera has a niche there.

    Alternatively, I will buy the first phone to ship with the Gecko rendering engine in its web browser.

  • Opera Still Rules (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:29PM (#10815213) Homepage Journal
    Opera still blows other browsers out of the water on Windows (yes, that includes Firefox). It's the fastest graphical browser with the best CSS support I've seen. And even with mail, news, IRC and address book included, it's a smaller download than Firefox.

    And let's not forget that Opera pioneered many of the features we've come to love, and apparently continues to do so.
  • Opera is Like BeOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @06:35PM (#10815252) Homepage Journal
    Opera is like the BeOS. It's great, but unknown and unloved. If it goes under, it will take the rest of the world years to achieve the same level of excellence. Unless, of course, they open-source the whole thing.
  • Opera (Score:3, Informative)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @07:03PM (#10815474) Journal
    I use Opera, and I find it's UI much better than Firefox. The only problem I find with Opera is *the* compatibility with some websites. Not that it doesn't work per say, but that they check the browser's name and say "It's not supported" (Yes, I know you can make it claim to be IE or whatever, but that doesn't always work)

    A lot of people claim Opera's problem is they can't complete with Free. Well, I use Opera's free version. Whats the problem? Opera's customizable interface blows Firefox away. In UI, Firefox is no competition to Opera. Speed? Nope, Opera is still far better.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Firefox too, but Opera in my opinion has a far superior usability. Firefox just renders more websites. Every product has it's pluses and minuses. I use both, but if it renders in Opera, then I use Opera.
  • Using it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @07:11PM (#10815531) Homepage Journal
    Im in and out with Opera since 97, and since Firefox 1.0 was released im using it again.

    Yes, have adds, yes, have some compatibility problems, dont have the extensions that Firefox/Mozilla have, yes, is not open source (to differenciate with "free", as you can get it without spending money).

    In the other hand, is pretty stable (well, using 7.6 beta 2, i can leave some room for problems), it displays slashdot pretty well (with firefox, sometimes the content move to the black area on the right, a problem that had also Tikiwiki as explained here [tikiwiki.org]), it loads FAST and is pretty compact, the ads are text based (bit dependant on content like gmail ones, and i could re-register if want them off), have a good mail client, it have even a good rss reader integrated, and surely have some other nice features that i dont explored yet. Uh, and of course, gmail works with it pretty well.

    Why that last switch? Installed firefox 1.0 RPM from SuSE [suse.com] and started to have problems (well, the right col bug problem was there from some time), firefox sometimes dont load (have to kill the task to retry), sometimes load, but don't display anything on browser's window (seems to work, just not show) and sometimes works. Of course, had to reinstall most themes/extensions, and somewhat between 1.0rc and 1.0 decided to disable the open of new windows from web pages.

    I could had try to install another/newer rpm or from other format, clean configurations and try without extensions/themes, and so on... but too i can play a bit more with Opera and leave that test for later.

    About opera's "market share", well, that seem to run well in the embedded market. Being small, with low requirements, fast and multiplataform enough are good advantages there and where hardware is not at the top. And for normal desktops still is a good alternative.

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @07:12PM (#10815540) Journal
    I don't quite see what Firefox's growth has to do with Opera's losses.

    Opera's main income is from the embedded market, and Firefox is nowhere to be seen there. Besides, Opera's losses are due to hiring more people to keep up with demand. They recently started porting Opera to Windows Mobile.

    In conclusion, Opera's losses are expected since they have to hire to keep up with demand, and Firefox is largely irrelevant since it is not available for mobile phones.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @07:41PM (#10815781)
    After actually reading the artice I noticed something interesting. They had a third quarter loss of about USD 300k, yet profits of over USD 9M for the year. This is the 90 day US market mentality on why so many businesses get in trouble. I take a look at why they loss money in a single quarter, and the answer looks to be investment into new employees and marketing. Typically that will pay off down the road. The artice stated they had a some 7-fold increase in revenue for the quarter over last year. Hmmm...

    Company is European. (Nordic if I remember correctly). Typically European businesses, in particular German companies (I studied International Business and German in collge) tend to have an out look of 15 years. If there are a couple off quaters or even off years finicailly because of marketing or R&D expenses, then typically that is expected and over the long term one should come out ahead. Classic example: European Steel industry putting in efficent plants and equipement. Hell of an up front cost, but here 30 years later when energy prices have increased, put a hurt on the inneffecient US steel industry.

    Boeing usually goes to Japan to finace projects like the 777 because Japan has almost a life time "Where do we want to be in 50 years" approach.

    Not to say all good/bad/indeffierent, but too often US companies slash marketing and R&D to improve quarterly or yearly numbers and find themselves out of business 5 or 10 years down the road because someone else with forsight developed the better mouse trap or marketing trap.

  • Browsername spoofing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KivlE (547859) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:33PM (#10816116)
    Couldn't the statistic on Opera usage be largely scewed by the fact that it makes it very easy to identify as Internet Explorer? I think more and more people are discovering that just leaving the identification as IE gives them much less of a hassle. Personally I've started identifying as GoogleBot, since it makes a lot of sites behave much more nicely.
    • They're reporting losses in downloads, I imagine, which would be much more accurate then using server logs because of said browser spoofing. Since you can only download the official client from Opera, this is really easy to track.
  • by monki34 (632596) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:54PM (#10816238)

    i'm really not trying to insult anyone, but i have two good reasons why i use opera for porn surfing.

    1) opera has this cool feature called "next". if you go to a gallery with a bunch of photos, you can just hit space bar or click "next" to automagically go to the next hot pic. this avoids the complexity of maneuvering the mouse, hitting the "back" button, and clicking on the next thumbnail. when you spend time looking at a whole lot of porn, this really speeds things up.

    2) no-one ever looks at your opera cache/history for porn.

  • by Fallen Andy (795676) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @08:55PM (#10816249)
    A while ago, when mozilla was first released in source I used to use it as a benchmark for burning in new machines (it took a long time to cook one).

    Oh boy. twenty different object orientated frameworks and and and. About 1 million lines of code. (I know that's an underestimate).

    Never thought anybody would be crazy enough to actually pick up that stuff and run with it.

    Too much of a coward myself.

    It's a *lot* harder to tear down something and keep it sane than to rewrite. But the firefox crew
    (much to my great admiration) managed to do just that. We know it's tough guys. You did a great job. Hope you manage to resurrect composer too...

    It's nice to know that great software engineering is alive and well. (Guess what browser I'm using).

    Sorry to the Opera people, but the honest truth is that when you insisted on advertising in your browser we all instinctively thought spyware, malware other stuff. You should have reacted to how the world has changed if you wanted to stay in the running...

  • by Bruha (412869) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @09:41PM (#10816498) Homepage Journal
    However if I'm forced to pay for every critical ancillary peice of software in my OS of choice then computing becomes prohibitively expensive. I have 5 seperate machines in the house so paying for 5 copies of Opera for all those machines would get expensive. I'm also considering replacing both me and the wife's machines with Mac's vs PC's and delegate the largest machine to a glorified Xbox until Linux gaming comes around. I appreciate Apple's family license which would fit perfectly within my budget and comes with everything we need for day to day use of the internet. Firefox or Safari works just fine for what I need it for. Opera while a great browser, is hard to swallow when there's free competition. They would be better served supplying browsers for CE devices like cell phones and PDA's. Of course you also have to worry about those devices turning to Linux in the future also in which case you probably will see FireFox being used there also.
  • by rastoboy29 (807168) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @10:14PM (#10816704) Homepage
    ..as far as I'm concerned is neither one will use the freaking RAM cache properly. I have a 2000 mhtz computer, ultrafast memory, a gillion gig hard drive, but with all browsers but Opera it takes a full second to go back to the page I was just looking at. With Opera it's the blink of an eye. I have no doubt that they are doing it "properly" somehow. Perhaps the page has code to tell the browser to check for updates. But guess what--I don't give a damn! I'll hit reload if I want to check for updates. I like a browser that has my interests first, not those of some webmaster or anyone else. In short, Opera still feels MUCH MUCH FASTER than Firefox or IE, and I'll stick with it until that changes. Lee
  • Damn. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SinaSa (709393) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @11:13PM (#10817013) Homepage
    O.K I'm probably too late for the mods to take ths up, and as such nobody will notice this, but I'll try anyway.

    Everyone has been mentioning the superior featureset of Opera, saying its innovative, listing things like good CSS support, the instant back/forward caching, but they forgot one!

    Auto-refresh! This is the best feature EVER you can set a page to refresh every N seconds, do you know how useful that is for forum whores and the like?

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