back to article Opera Software asks fat lady to stay schtum for a bit, but keep humming

Opera Software, maker of the Opera browser, has “has initiated a process to evaluate and consider strategic alternatives for the Company”. Opera's browser is very well-regarded, but last week the company announced preliminary second quarter will be at the lower end of forecasts and also reduced its future revenue forecasts. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Funny how that happens when your flagship software is basically nothing but a fancy skin for Webkit/Blink. Shouldn't have killed Presto. Still hopefully Opera Mini doesn't go away as that is about the only thing the company makes of value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: figures

      nothing but a fancy skin for Webkit/Blink

      You beat me to to it. And a business model of selling what the competition gives away for free won't help much either.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: figures

      Not to mention all the USPs that went out the window with the release of v15.

    3. MacroRodent

      Re: figures

      Shouldn't have killed Presto.

      Sadly, it seems Presto was dying before the change. The last pre-WebKit Operas had problems with a large number of sites, Facebook included. Evidently most people who knew about the nuts and bolts of browser engine design had left the house, or could not keep up. Now at least the basic browsing works again.

      Or maybe the web has become so complex that it is simply infeasible for a small project to field an independent browser engine.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: figures

      Opera makes money from selling its embedded browser and proxy solutions to OEMs.

      Presto was killed because Opera couldn't keep up with the pace of development. As a long-time user of Opera I wasn't happy with the decision but I could understand it. Given the small size of the company it's making a reasonable profit, though how much of that is from software sales and how much is from search engine referrals is unknown.

      What I couldn't understand was some of the decisions taken when they launched the Blink-based browser: no bookmark manager and lots of fluff like "Discover". It's still my main browser and I'm dependent upon the mail client but I'm closely following Vivaldi which is being developed in the spirit of the old Opera. It's far from perfect – somehow keeps forgetting the extensions I install – but the intention is clear: create a browser for power users. The intended market for the blink-based Opera is still unclear, to me at least.

      More recently: Opera closed all development in Oslo. Some ex-Opera developers are now working on Vivaldi which bodes well for it, I hope.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: figures

        >Opera makes money from selling its embedded browser and proxy solutions to OEMs.

        And that is the heart of the matter and why I imagine it became hard to justify a business case for the rising cost of keeping Presto up to the standards regardless of how nice it was to have another alternative rendering engine available. Opera Mini though gives them more even than Google awareness of what their users are surfing on mobile so I imagine its valuable enough to keep around for quite some time at least to someone.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: figures

      Actually thry needed to ditch presto. It was becoming increasingly incompatible with the www (worldwide WebKit).

      New opera works better than it ever used to. It's also more fully featured than other WebKit browsers, and loses the useless cruft of the old opera.

      I would love to use opera, but I have a Chromebook, ehichvpretty much dictates using chrome everywhere else because opera wanted to do their own sync thing that wasn't compatible with google.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: figures

        I can't remember any issues with sites with the Presto version of Opera, I always used it as it used to handle its resource usage nicely and the interface customisation was exactly what I wanted. The ability to have tabs on multiple lines (Instead of squashing them) and have them save upon closing the browser was something I missed straight away (I'm a former Lotus Notes user what do you expect!).

        I for one miss the "useless cruft" of the Presto based browser.

      2. Steve_J

        Re: figures

        Useless cruft?

        You mean pretty much every feature that made it particularly flexible, powerful and customisable, setting it apart from the other browsers on offer?

    6. Steve_J

      Re: figures

      I wouldn't have really cared about whether it used Presto or Webkit if the user interface had still stayed Opera.

      I used the browser because of its unique features and customisation options. With Opera 15 they threw all of that away and lost me as a user (Firefox with a few extensions ended up being more Opera like than Opera).

      Obviously stripped down inflexible Chopera didn't grab the new audience they were hoping for...

  2. Chris Daemon

    We pretend that we are busy, and tell you what we "think" when marketing is done shoveling; just to let you know... you forgot about us, we think, so this is a reminder.

    - Opera People

    Thumbs up first poster, and true. Plus, the days when it was a shareware browser. I faintly remember the choice of nagging they gave the user. Something about a constant banner or something.

    It was a neat alternative, but helped fracture development for the web - not to forget it's mobile shenanigans that transcribed pages. My memory gets really fuzzy there, but I think it did frames to tables or something - kinda like WebTV.

    To help the bottom-line, they could sell their user's souls to Google... just like Firefox!

  3. lawndart


    I would wholeheartedly like to thank El Reg for bringing to my attention the Vivaldi browser, which saves me some the frustration of discovering with each forced update that Opera has removed yet another function which I used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: says

      Amen to that. I just wish they'd get on with the plugin bit so you can add NoScript and Ghostery and use it for everyday.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: says


        You can actually use extensions. Currently you have to download them (for me on MacOS from the Opera store), unzip and import them. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to have them survive browser sessions for some reason but it's a while since I tried it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: says

          Sweet. Thanks for that, I shall give it a spin.

    2. Whiskers

      Re: says

      Another attempt at a replacement for old Opera is 'Otter' <>. On this old P4 laptop it works a lot better than Vivaldi.

      My usual browser these days is 'qutebrowser' <>

  4. Douglas Smith

    Opera also took over the old Nokia Store so the last official resting place for Symbian and S60 apps is at risk but AppList is still available

  5. Richard_L

    The cautious language the company's used suggests it is considering either an acquisition or another partnership of some sort.

    Maybe they've realised that they've buggered up everything that was good about v12 and are going to buy Vivaldi in order to sort themselves out ;)

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Agree with the sentiments above. Opera browser was standards compliant, feature rich and user friendly. V12 had annoying issues with standards but v15 (or whatever they called it) the things that made Opera "Opera" were forgotten in favour of a tinned Chrome soup. I can now do *nearly* everything directly in Chrome instead of using a cut down, featureless Chrome with an Opera label ...

    It saddens me, as there was so much screaming by the dedicated Opera userbase to keep the fundamentals of the product interface when 'they' made engine changes but 'they' wouldn't listen to their customers ...

    Don't customers come first?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Don't customers come first?

      Sure, but who were the customers? All those people using the browser for free? For a while Opera seemed to have cornered the embedded and mobile (low memory, low bandwidth) market. But in the meantime with things like AndroidTV, Chromecast and UC Browser have come to the market.

      Along with the technical difficulties of playing catch-up with Presto, Opera wasn't making a lot of money from the browser. There were differences of opinion in the board as to the best way to run the company and as a result Jon von Tzetchner left (he's now with Vivaldi).

      I, too, think they through the baby out with the bathwater with Opera 15. Using it for the first time felt very much like a slap in the face. The mobile version continues to do well, though I ditched it because I couldn't use an ad-blocker. On the desktop it's definitely lost differentiating features.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ads are annoying but ...

        > I ditched it because I couldn't use an ad-blocker

        Lol I use it as my ultra low bandwidth browser (%99+ size reduction ftw) and turn images off so ads aren't really a problem. It still does render sites in a more usable form (with or without images) on mobile than any other browser. It has its place but yeah hard to justify as the daily driver go to mobile browser.

  7. Alan Denman

    Might help if you put the featues back in your software.

    Reasons to use Opera become less for ever more featureless minimal settings browsers.

    That includes you Opera!

    Firefox wins it for me now, even on mobile.

  8. Jess

    It seems they did the same as Nokia.

    Dumped their in house system in favour of something third party. Losing a huge chunk of their support, and gaining nothing back.

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    What they said, and why the sale?

    What they said --^ . It may well be true that the actually Opera-based Opera browser would have been too hard for the few developers to bring up to date. But, it certainly didn't bode well when they switched Opera to basically being a skin. Why would I spend anything to buy a skin?

    I think the BIG value of the Opera sale may be all these in-the-field browsers using the Opera proxy. Not that I favor this, but the mini version of Opera runs EVERYTHING through an Opera-operated proxy server, I could fully see someone buying to data mine this, and insert ads.

  10. Tannin

    Hello from Pluto

    "Opera's browser is very well-regarded" - what planet are you writing from? I can't believe I just read that! FMD, 99% of punters quite correctly regard Opera's browser as a no-account fifth-rate clone of Chrome with added major flaws and nothing much anyone can think of to recommend it.

    Opera's brower used to be very well-regarded - indeed many good judges regarded it as best-of-breed and even its detractors granted that it pioneered all sorts of features which the other browsers eventually copied and which are now regarded as obvious standards.But that was years ago before Opera Inc inexplicably abandoned its one great product along with its loyal users and chose instead to shoot itself in the head. Nobody knows why.

    (Yes, yes, Pluto isn't really a planet anymore. That's my point, really.)

  11. mi1400

    Opera 11.64 (not 12) was the best ever poweruser-humanity could have. I have approx 2,000+ tabs opened every given time and opera.exe consumes as little as 1.4GB ... these tabs are unread articles...research on some software tech... each research field/area consisting of some 100tabs... how it is achieved... three small checkboxes added to my opera taskbar .. disableJavaScript, DisablePlugins, and DisableImages. opera can enable it on the fly instead of restarting. i also have disabled autoredirect to keep even expired pages as is. also have disabled themes. I have VBS script which copies opera session/.win file in yyyymmddhhmmss foramt every 30min. so even if opera.exe crashes i can resume the state back. At this level the tabs are so small the i cant see them except a shadow moving in near smooth tabs line (tabs borders even disappear even while scattered in 6 windows. So the move around tabs i have customized shortcuts to instead of using ctrl+tab i have defined "[" and "]" to move linearly among them. Instead of ctrl+w to close tab which has a mystery of crashing opera i defined only "m" to close tab.. this saves from crashing opera. People praising opera12 are fake power users. as 12 had removed many of 11.64 legacy. I have "j" defined to enable javascript only for that page instead of whole session and "k" to disable javascript for that page after load complete. have defiened "n" for new tab unstead of ctrl+t as it had similar opera crashing habits like ctrl+w. lastly the session restore on my samsung840pro ssd takes 15-20mins with all pages loaded with content. If this browser has taken the legacy of 11.64 then i wish them very best!!!


    An no Anonymous Coward bookmarks don't let search the article text and when blog expires which is often for them.. even the text is no more available. so plz concentrate on how lohan was made, thank alreg and rejoice.

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