back to article Opera: Can someone free Korea from IE?

Opera is quite pleased with the state of the European browser market, now that the EU has ordered Microsoft to give users a fair choice on Windows. But it still bemoans Internet Explorer's ongoing stranglehold in other parts of the world, most notably Korea. According to Opera chief technology officer Håkon Wium Lie, the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. JDX Gold badge

    The beauty of the internet is that if you make really good products, you can get distribution

    With 2% of the market share after a decade, Opera's NOT a really good product then by their own logic?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Actually, Opera's market share is around 5% globally, and 10% in Europe.

      On mobiles, Opera is the dominant browser with 25% market share.

      Finally, Opera has more than 140 million users. That sounds like "distribution" to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Ooops

        "Opera's market share is around 5% globally" No. Try 1.6% globally.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Companes worldwide like IE

    Lots of companies live in an IE-only world. Why? Saves them updating their apps. I have a copy of IE kept up to date purely to do things like my travel expenses and HR. Of course, FireFox does everything else,

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera still looks silly, but....

    While I thought the ballot thing was pretty silly, they make a good point in that a lot of users will just use IE because they don't know they have a choice, or can't be bothered. This makes it a pain for the rest of us who have to deal with webpages made only for IE, and wide adoption of a browser that just isn't very good. I've been using Opera for about as long as it's been around and it's only in the last two years or so that I've gone a couple days without having to fire up IE to get a page to work correctly. Windows still pops up IE every once in a while for something for some reason, usually while using another Microsoft product, funny that.

  4. Camilla Smythe

    Hangul Word Processor Anyone?

    "TJ Kang, Executive Vice President of KT said: "KT is pleased to be working with Phorm

    in Korea to introduce this groundbreaking technology."

    Then he exited the company in March this year just after....

    I'll leave it to the journalistoes..

  5. Cameron Colley

    What is needed in corporations is gropu policy for Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

    Until Firefox, Chrome and opera work with group policy many Windows-running companies probably won't touch them. There's too much risk involved in allowing unfiltered internet access.

    1. a person


      Since when do you filter net access at the browser? Muppet.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        @a person

        Since cretain other browsers didn't enforce proxy settings when told to do so by Group Policy and deny the ability to change 'em to the user. Muppet.

        It's not just about security behind the firewall, it's also about ensuring that laptops, when out and about, VPN in and proxy out for their Internet access so they always get all the filtering and such. A right PITA, but corporate policy.

        That's just one of the many reasons why where I am sat enforces the use of, er, IE.

        Not that I'm bothered, I don't mind IE......

      2. Cameron Colley

        @a person

        If you're going to criticise then you had better learn a bit more about the subject.

        Group Policy is used on Windows based domains to enforce setting on servers and PCs within that domain. One of these policies is which proxy a web browser should point at. Firefox does not take any notice of this setting -- so if you use firefox on a domain with a separate web proxy and gateway address you go straight onto the internet and bypass the proxy. This leads to you being able to view whatever you like and, in some cases, no record appearing in internet access logs.

        Before you go around calling people names perhaps you should educate yourself, muppet?

  6. Dazed and Confused

    IE is required for life in Korea

    I had a discussion about this with a number of Korean guys earlier this year. They are all Unix people, many of them have Linux boxes at home but they all also need to run Windows and IE. Why? because none of the websites they need to access will work on anything else. You can't bank in South Korea except by using IE.

    A browser selection screen like the one in Europe simply wouldn't be enough. You got to shift the content first. When Koreans are able to use other browsers to do the sorts of things people expect to be able to do on the web then you might get some competition for browsers.

  7. Mark Dowling

    Free trade INTO S Korea?

    That'll happen. Right after Korean "safety regulators" find the iPad in their to-do list.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Just to pre-empt the tards...

    Mozilla, Google both backed Opera's compaint to the EU....

  9. Bill Gould
    Thumb Down

    Ah, but the real idea is retention

    " In the two weeks following the roll-out of the ballot, Opera saw downloads more than double."

    Very nice. How many are still using it though? I've downloaded it 3 or 4 times now. Never stuck with it more than a week before it drove me bat-shit crazy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Retention indeed

      Considering that Opera's desktop user base more than doubles every two years, it seems clear that they are keeping users as well.

      1. Chris Pearson

        based on?

        Based on what metric, downloads or people who actually keep and use it, and if so how are they measuring it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yeah, but double almost fuck-all is still almost fuck-all.

  10. Phil Rigby

    I like Opera, but...

    ...they need to quit complaining while they're getting ahead. They won a good decision in EU, leave it at that.

    Also the comment about Opera downloads doubling - true, but did people stick with it after trying it? Or, because it doesn't "look" like IE, did people go back to what they were used to?

    I'm as big an Opera fan as anyone, but all this complaining about MS strangle-holds just makes them look like petulant children, in my opinion.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You are the one complaining here.

      The EU decision was won by the EC. Opera was not part of that. All Opera did, with the support of Google and Mozilla, was to ask the EC to look into Microsof's anti-competitive practices.

      And yes, since Opera's active user base more than doubles every two years, people are not only downloading it, but also sticking with it.

  11. Mike OReilly


    Did it occur to anyone that maybe Korea is more advanced *because* of IE and ActiveX? If you use them properly, you can actually get sh*t done pretty efficiently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I don't know what goes on in Korean corporations, but 8 out of 8 net cafes I used in recent visit there the browser was IE6.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Oh really?

      You really think that IE + ActiveX, that fabulous method of virus propagation and OS tie-in, has helped in some way?

      You don't think it has anything more to do with the nation actually making a lot of successful products and building national infrastructure to suit? And do said plug-ins work with a sensibly secured Win7 box as well, or do you have to weaken you security settings (and allowing users to say 'yes' to any web-initiated plugin counts here) to allow them to run?

      Web standards should be the norm, and OS-specific or browser-specific web sites forced out of use.

      1. Mike OReilly

        listen everyone

        All I know is that IE works fine for most people despite what you geeks say. If you trust MS, which 99% of businesses do unlike many amatuers here, what you do is you embrace the MS ecosystem including IE and just use them to get things done fast. You let other people waste time figuring out which browser has better acid score, is 0.1 sec faster or can block flash ads.

    3. hplasm

      The problem is-

      that doing 'sh*t' is all IE is good for.

      1. Mike OReilly


        "doing 'sh*t' is all IE is good for."

        Comments like that make me laugh. Do you really think 2/3 of the world would be using IE if it were that bad? I think not.

        1. a .de surfjunky
          IT Angle

          Using M$ IE because "IE = Internet" for them -> "don't know" Mass!

          They use M$ IE because "IE = Internet" for them they don't know whats this "mysterious" browser they switch on the PC and click @ the blue "e" and are into the Internet.

          "2/3 of the world"s (mostly Windows) users are:

          -> greenhorns/newbies,

          -> THE famous "generation 50+",

          -> using only some programs (Computer @ work ONLY -> Example: office assistants )

          -> people that look at the browser like at a 0815 hammer from discounter ,

          -> PEBKACs ( = people permanently nerving the IT-Support -> learning resistant !!! ),

          -> don't want know / care about

          -> politicians (excluding Pirate-Party & other IT-compatible)

          -> "Internetausdrucker"

          -> ...

          PEBKACs ( = DAUs in german) :

 (daily German IT/-customer-support manic)

          Same situation with Safari on MacOSX (but less absolute number BUT STANDARDS COMPLIENT & WITHOUT ActiveX alias InfectiveX)

          I am an Opera-user and I will change from WindowsXP to Linux mint 9 (gnome) soon (keeping Opera)

          plus evtl. Windows 7 for games ONLY!

          My classification: Advanced User.

          1. Mike OReilly

            Not advanced enough

            "My classification: Advanced User"

            Hate to break it to you but you are not advanced enough. Once you reach the next level, you will finally see how foolish and naive you were wasting time with Linuxes, Macs and Operas of the world. I know because I've been there.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: hplasm

          "Comments like that make me laugh. Do you really think 2/3 of the world would be using IE if it were that bad? I think not."

          However you choose to look at it, 50% isn't 2/3rd of the world. IEs usage is in decline and I cannot see IE9 stemming the flow, it may slow it briefly. Despite all the charts, demos, and noise that Redmond are making about IE9, in terms of modern browsers it's the 5th best in a field of 5.

          Do you honestly believe that Internet Explorer has ~50% market share because it the best browser? I can tell you *why* it has half the market, but it's getting late and a simple Google (or judging by your comments, a Bing) on your part will provide the answers.

  12. Anomalous Cowturd

    Orly OReilly?

    >> If you use them properly, you can actually get sh*t done pretty efficiently.

    As long as you don't mind risking your data to badly written or malicious scripts.

    Opera user for over ten years now, occasionally forced to use FF for badly written sites...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe the Koreans don't want "freeing" they just want to browse the internet and have better things to do with their lives then compare browser types. On the other end they just want to provide resources to their main user base and save money not having to code for every possible eventuality under the sun. Right choice? I don't know. Depends on the costs and impact. A windows pc/vm/etc costs very little now days so getting a machine that'll run ie isn't exactly taxing.

    I think it's hard for other IT people to understand but browsers are only an obsession for a tiny percentage of people in the world.

    I have to say one day I woke up and realised "fuck me, it's just a browser" and that was a great day in my life. Also a browser is only secure as the person using the computer, and at the end of the day do you really need ten fuck tonnes of functionality in your browser anyway?

    There are of course 3 reasons I use failfox,

    1) RikaiChan

    2) ABP

    3) NoScripts

    That's it. If every browser had those three things I'd not care at all which browser I used and would likely pick based on speed and memory footprint.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "they just want to browse the internet and have better things to do with their lives then compare browser types"

      Until they wake up one day with a shiny new phone, and they can't access sites because it requires a PC running Windows.


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > can't bank in South Korea except by using IE.

    Nods to Dazed and Confused... The financial regulators _mandate_ the use of the plugins. And the writers / distributors of the plugins only release an Active X version... the govt itself has effectively mandated IE only (well for Internet Banking anyway).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In fact...

    ... only half of Korea is actually affected.

    1. a .de surfjunky
      Big Brother

      Correct, North Korea isn't -> NO Internet -> NO browser (for the citizens).

      Even often (for some) no electricity (and for the majority never)

      (excluding political leaders, they have)

      Look @ Korea at night from space

  16. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Fair do's

    While Opera's moaning and grumbling gets on my wick, I have to give some respect for not just moaning and going away, but constantly moaning and trying to get something done about their problems!

  17. AtomDreams

    No one screaming

    Despite Opera's claims...there aren't a lot of users in Korea, corporate or private, screaming for Opera to come rescue them. Opera's whining tantrum here in Europe did not cause a mass migration to it's browser either. I have noticed that a large majority of companies and schools in Germany use Firefox, and not IE or Opera.

  18. mhenriday

    According to StatCounter.

    Opera presently enjoys a market share of approximately 2 % worldwide ( and 5 % here in Europe ( In South Korea (, where IE dominates with a market share of about 93 % (but IE8, mirabile dictu, now leads by seven percentage points over IE6) and Chrome and Firefox struggle to maintain shares of 3 %, Opera's share is less than 1 %. In any event, from a consumer's point of view, the issue here is not market share for one browser or another, but rather Microsoft's bundling practices, which by illegitimate means seek to limit competition. I, for one, would very much like to see Opera, together with Mozilla and Google, launch complaints against these practices with the relevant authorities in countries like South Korea, as a small contribution to leveling the playing field in the worldwide web browser market. If they don't wish to start in South Korea, they could always try doing so in the US....


  19. JDX Gold badge


    Might be a security hole but it was still damn powerful considering how long ago it was introduced. It's precisely because it was so powerful it was insecure, in part anyhow.

    And I really doubt Opera has 10% of users in Europe, unless you're including mobile devices. Source?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ANYONE using the ....TARD is a girl!

    ANYONE using the ....TARD is a girl!

    Cut it out ladies!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Unbundle Windows

    The solution to Opera's distribution problem is to require the unbundling of Windows: you should be able to *choose* Windows (along with Microsoft's goodies), something else (GNU/Linux, BSD-of-the-month, Mac OS X <twists Steve Jobs' arm> if you absolutely must) or *nothing* *at* *all* when you buy a computer. The important one is the *nothing* *at* *all*.

    If you want to run Opera or whatever kind of software where Microsoft could be interfering, you'd then be able to get exactly the software that meets your needs - Opera could even sponsor various distributions or roll their own. There'd be no need for shenanigans and persuading a vendor to advertise other vendors' products with all the accusations of whining, unfair play, under-the-table deals, and so on, that go with it.

    None of this "Intel's CPUs only work with Windows" or "ur teh piratz" if you won't take an operating system is credible. There is no decent reason why consumers are forced to take Microsoft products when they buy another product. And for anyone still not getting it, people should still be able to *choose* what they like.

    Yes, it's all about choice: you know, the thing Microsoft clearly don't want people to have.

    1. a .de surfjunky
      Gates Horns

      Easier possible solution -> slim the IE to basic

      Internet Explorer for:

      -> System (like now, mannnny programs require basic functions of it),

      -> Windows-Update (like now, trusted Windows-System-care-website) ,

      -> IntrAnet (like now, jepp, company network ONLY, as browser)

      -> Browser-Choice- & download (Internet) -> here without ActiveX, VBScript, JScript NEW!

      (same with all other Internet zone websites, ist the start-page)

      => to take the "2/3" to care about browsers and try them and choose the favorite one

      (or more). the users learn M$ IE is NOT the Internet .

  22. JDX Gold badge

    You can buy non-Windows PCs already

    Many companies let you choose Linux. And I believe a certain fruit-based company might sell PCs as well as phones.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like