Please, rendering technology was the heart of the browser and now it's been flushed down the toilet.
> How will Opera deteriorate by using the most popular browser engine?
How will it innovate? How will it differentiate? By creating a different set of icons on the toolbar? Look at Dell (basically sticking their logo on sb's else hardware) vs Apple which actually innovated and designed stuff. What Dell did made sense in the short run (they were able to increase their profit margins), but in the long run without innovation and technology you lose.
1) This will kill the crew morale; most of the dev's will quit.
2) Opera may continue to grow for a bit; just like Dell did when it started to outsource more and more manufacturing, and then design to asian companies. (One of those companies is now known as Asus). But it the long run, having no technology, it will deteriorate.
I skimmed the article and it looks like a wishful thinking of the publishers who see the writing on the wall.
The Association of American Publishers recently reported that annual growth in adult e-book sales dropped to 34 percent during the first half of 2012
So e-books are still growing and growing fast (34%!). The fact that an e-book costs as much as a paper one, has a DRM, and a delivery fee(!) is a disgrace but just imagine what will happen once those get fixed.
> It is really hard to recruit people with those skills.
Are you talking US? I'm curious if there is any demand for such people in Europe. AFAIK Europe is no longer relevant. One example: not a single mass market digital camera was produced in Europe.
I've been hearing that kind of crap for more than 10 years now and have known several startups that claimed exactly that.
Some would claim they had some cool software and you would start thinking, "oh my, how did they do it? that's truly incredible. This might be worth even more than the 200ooo$ they charge for it". The truth was that the price tag was that high so that noone could buy the software (because it was not ready yet; and in fact never materialized).
Some companies had some technology, e.g. Celoxica that did Handle-C (C variant) synthesis to FPGA. They had large offices, their employees drew BMW's but finally the bubble burst; they moved to a more modest location; and then finally sold the C synthesis business to Catalytic, a company that claimed they could synthesize MATLAB to FPGA (haha); and finally all that crap was acquired for 80(?)k $ by Mentor Graphics.
Go for Lego Mindstorms or something similar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Mindstorms_NXT#Programming
0.01$ Socialism never works.
0.01$ Polish people I know are very unhappy about their government; they say it the worst one after communism was overthrown; they have also had a lot of bitter remarks about public education. (Actually some people in Poland are on hunger strike now protesting against the removal of history lessons.) So this "free" stuff looks like the goverment is trying to improve their PR.