Category Archives: Web Browsers

Split Opera, Hold the Viking Helmets

Opera RingThe reporting is a bit confusing, but it looks like the Opera web browser has been sold to a Chinese consortium. The group wanted to buy the Norwegian company outright, but the bid failed, and they fell back to an alternate deal.

According to NewsWeb:

The following business units of Opera will be included in the Transaction:

· Mobile Browser, including Operator Co-brand solutions
· Desktop Browser
· Performance and Privacy Apps
· Opera’s technology licensing business outside of Opera TV
· Opera’s 29.09% ownership in the Chinese joint venture nHorizon

The Consumer Business will be reorganized into a separate company structure. For
clarity, the following businesses are not included in the Consumer Business or
the Transaction:

· Opera Mediaworks
· Opera Apps & Games (including Bemobi)
· Opera TV

It’s a shame to see Opera broken up and dispersed…but in a way, that already happened years ago. When they switched to WebKit in 2013, they lost what made them unique and (IMO) valuable: They’d been a solid third-party (well, fourth-party) that helped keep the web from collapsing back into a monopoly. Within a year the community portal was gone as well.

Since then I’ve only bothered with the desktop browser occasionally when I need to test multiple sessions at once. I used to keep a copy on my phone for times when I was stuck on a slow connection, but these days the cell network in my area is a lot faster. When it gets slow, it’s also unstable, so compression doesn’t help much.

VivaldiI think I will check out Vivaldi again, though. Founded in part by Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner, it started as a new home for the Opera community. When I first checked out their browser, it was a really rough preview, but it’s at 1.2 now. While it’s using Blink as the rendering engine, they seem to be trying to innovate through the UI instead, with a heavy emphasis on customizing everything.

(via Slashdot)

Drop in Windows Web Browsing

From yesterday’s Google Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter, here’s a report on changes in global web traffic patterns:

Browsers and Operation Systems (OS) are identified by the “referrer” string sent by users’ browsers.

% Visits from OS 11/1/09 – 2/1/10 11/1/10 – 2/1/11 Difference
Windows 89.9% 84.8% -5.1%
Macintosh 4.5% 5.2% +0.7%
Linux 0.6% 0.7% +0.1%
Other 5% 9.3% +4.3%

That’s a huge drop in Windows, almost entirely matched by the rise in “Other.” Want to bet that “Other” has an awful lot of Android and iOS in it?

Recent Links

Even Microsoft Hates IE6

IE6Microsoft has jumped on the ditch-IE6 bandwagon with IE6Countdown.com, following in the footsteps of such campaigns as Browse Happy, End 6, and Save the Developers.

Of course, since it’s a Microsoft-sponsored campaign, it’s only promoting upgrades, rather than promoting an upgrade-or-switch message.

Static HTML points out why you might want to put your effort into some other campaign instead. Because IE6 Countdown is only an upgrade campaign, and IE6 users are all on Windows XP or below (Vista ships with IE7), they can only ever upgrade as far as IE8. Given the huge gap between IE8 and IE9 in terms of standards support, HTML5, CSS3, and so forth, IE8 will soon become the new millstone around the web’s neck.

So instead of plugging IE, consider plugging your own favorite browser, be it Firefox, Chrome or Opera. Or perhaps plug another switch campaign. After all, there are quite a few alternative web browsers out there!