Home > Uncategorized > CNet reviews Opera 8, among six browsers

CNet reviews Opera 8, among six browsers

May 20, 2005

CNet has a review by Robert Vamosi who reviewed six browsers Internet Explorer (IE) 6, Firefox, Netscape 8, Safari, Opera 8, and Deepnet Explorer.

His full review is mostly positive of Opera and its features; however, he got one fact wrong, in fact a big one.

Here is what he wrote:

“As a paid browser, Opera has always been on the cutting edge of browser innovation and was once considered the best alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6) until Mozilla Firefox came along. Still, Opera 8 offers a few features found in neither IE nor Firefox. If you’re an early adopter, you won’t mind paying. For the rest of us, however, there are better free alternatives to IE, namely Firefox.”

“Unfortunately, Opera comes with a catch: in order to get all of the advanced features, you’ll need to pay $40 or put up with an endless stream of banner advertising on the free version. This makes the value proposition for Opera 8 questionable at best.”

First of all, Opera is free! You can download a fully functional version of Opera 8 for free. Opera has always been free for a while already. The fact that there is a small strip of Google ads on the top of the browser, doesn’t remove its status of a free browser.

As an analogy, watching TV is still free even though there are advertisements. Google, the most popular website on the web, also has ads and people come back again and again to their site. Google ads don’t scare people away. Well guess what, Opera uses Google ads too.

Second, Opera’s ads don’t interfere much with the user’s browsing. There is a small strip of Google ads on the top of the browser. You barely notice it. There is no “endless stream of banner advertising.”

And third, there is a one liner editor’s take for each of the browsers reviewed. Here is what he said about Opera.

“If you don’t mind paying for Web browser features found nowhere else, Opera 8’s the browser for you.”

And in the review summary:

“Despite a ton of great technology in Opera, few consumers will be likely to pay for the app.”

Is he implying that mostly paid users use Opera? Well not according to my statistics. Opera has roughly 10 million active users, of these only about 100,000 users actually paid for it, according to Opera’s CEO. You do the math; it’s not a big percentage of the users.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 20, 2005 at 3:22 pm

    Have you heard of cracks? πŸ™‚

    It takes some 2 minutes to find a working serial for Opera, so no surprise people are using it without paying. And without ads, too.

    I know it’s bad, that why as soon as I found a way to get legal Opera, I used it (the 250-clicks thing). Otherwise I just had no idea of how to pay those 39 bucks being located in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

    I’m just saying that your stats doesn’t quite work. I’m more than sure that most of unpaid users are using cracked Opera.

  2. May 20, 2005 at 3:35 pm

    Interesting, why they choose Deepnet for example. Perhaps Deepnet is the one, that really isn’t free in the IE-shell section. Why not Avant, Maxthon or Slimbrowser?

    But I can understand this rumour about the “paid browser”. Opera site says, that I can download a free version, but otherwise they have a license, which doesn’t mention about this free version. I had to ask for a verification from the helpdesk of Opera ASA, that I may use the free Opera at work, too.

  3. May 20, 2005 at 4:57 pm

    How can we contact this guy at CNet who leaves readers with a false impression of Opera?

  4. May 20, 2005 at 5:41 pm

    Opera hasn’t really “always been free”, y’know. πŸ˜›

    Opera really should remove the option for banners. I see no reason why one wouldn’t prefer Google text ads, and the main bar that appears is very cluttered and unnecessary in the default setup, giving a bad impression.

  5. Anonymous
    May 21, 2005 at 5:53 am

    Opera is as free as MSN Messenger for example, if not more: MSN Messenger (and the likes) are loaded whith ads everywhere, but they (reviewers) continue to advertise it as a free product !

  6. Anonymous
    May 21, 2005 at 6:20 am

    remarkable is the editor’s rating:

    IE: 7.0
    Netscape 7.7
    FireFox: 8.0


    Opera: 7.0

    wait a moment – this can’t be serious, or?

    who needs reviews? everybody knows the best choice πŸ˜‰

  7. May 21, 2005 at 7:41 am

    These reviews are always ridiculously biased towards Firefox.

    The reviewers never actually use Opera to its potential. As soon as they hear that you can pay for it if you want, they’re put right off.

    And saying that you can’t use advanced features without paying is a lie. The only feature that can’t be used in the free version is Kiosk mode, AFAIK – and not many general users are going to want to use that.

  8. Chetan
    May 21, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    This review is questionable at best.

  9. Anonymous
    May 21, 2005 at 6:16 pm

    “Opera has always been free”
    hum, only since version 5, actually.
    before, it was a 30 day demoware πŸ˜‰

  10. May 21, 2005 at 7:15 pm

    Oh deary dear, is cnet being mean to all the poor little Opera fanboys?


    Well it does contain plenty of plain errors, but it’s silly saying they are biased towards Firefox just because they prefer ad-free software. Or do you mean Mozilla is paying them or something?

  11. Anonymous
    May 22, 2005 at 8:36 am

    Yet another reason to stop reading reviews and to start thinking for yourself.

    Most editors don’t even do the basic research these days, so why should I take the time to read their article?

    Heck even for a school paper I do more research than these people do.

  12. May 23, 2005 at 2:19 pm

    “These reviews are always ridiculously biased towards Firefox.”

    And yet a lot of Firefox users have been complaining about CNET’s negative coverage of Firefox over the last month or so.

    That, and most people really do prefer free without ads to free with ads or paid subscription. Why else is skipping commercials one of Tivo’s most popular features? It seems to me that the ad/subscription model really is the elephant in the room where Opera is concerned.

  13. Anonymous
    May 25, 2005 at 8:55 am

    waitaminnit… I use, love and live Opera since 8, but I must be missing something;

    “Unfortunately, Opera comes with a catch: in order to get all of the advanced features, you’ll need to pay $40 or put up with an endless stream of banner advertising on the free version. This makes the value proposition for Opera 8 questionable at best.”

    Price aside, you DO have to pay for it to get rid of the advertising. Does the free version have banner advertising? As in the “banner of ads across the top”? Yes. Do they end if you don’t pay for it? No. Sounds endless to me. The only thing I can see that’s wrong is the advanced features comment – if I’m not mistaken, O8 doesn’t lock anything in the ad-supported version. Like I say, am I missing something?

  14. Anonymous
    June 5, 2005 at 12:56 pm

    Yes, I think you’re all missing something. It’s a badly written sentence in the CNet review that’s got you all worked up. The reviewer is saying, in essence, that in order to use all the wonderful features of Opera you have to EITHER accept the ads or pay the money. The sentence can be read two ways, and as Opera lovers you’ve chosen to read the sentence in the way guaranteed to offend you rather than the way that doesn’t contradict the reviewer’s own statement further down in the review. I love Opera too, but give the author a break. He may be stupid but he’s not wrong.

  15. June 6, 2005 at 11:13 pm

    Ilya Birman said…

    > Have you heard of cracks? πŸ™‚

    Why don’t you ask “Have you heard of stealing or robbing to get money?” ?

    I paid for Opera 6 several years ago, using my debit (not even credit) card.

    Don’t tell me that you could not do
    that in Chelyabinsk (
    not with _my_ card, of course :-]),
    if I did it in Novosibirsk, Russia.

    By the way, I paid only $19.95 or something, because I used the offer from BMTMicro (iirc) in Opera’s banner.

    For Opera 8, I used the “the 250-clicks thing”, too.

    (I still think that $39 is too much for it, so I had the ads.)

  16. Anonymous
    June 8, 2005 at 7:33 pm

    I think this small banner ads are a fair price to use this good browser for free, and it helps to develop the software.
    The ads are related to the topic I am just reading, and help to provide related informations. They are not blinking or popping up or otherwise disturbing, as often to be seen in on-line newspapers.
    When I buy a magazine, it contains much more ads, despite that I have to pay for the paper.
    My opinion: keep it as it is now. It is acceptable, it is fair.

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