Home > Uncategorized > Controversy over Opera's PC World award

Controversy over Opera's PC World award

June 8, 2005

Last week PC World released the list of the top 100 products of 2005 to receive a World Class Award. The Opera browser was included in that list. Though Firefox won Product of the Year.

So the Opera browser won a world class award, but Opera ASA (the company) took it one step further by saying it won the “Best browser award”.

Asa Dotzler, from Firefox, wrote a flaming post in his blog with a screaming title of “Opera lies about being named pc world best browser”. In it he writes that not only did Opera not receive the “Best browser award”, but that it got beat out by two other browser Firefox and Maxthon.

Well first of all, on his second argument, Opera only got beat out by one browser. Maxthon is not a browser; it’s merely a browser plugin for Internet Explorer (IE).

Second, while I don’t disagree with Asa’s argument that Opera didn’t win the best browser award, I wouldn’t say that Opera was lying. Clearly there is some room for confusion. The list of the 100 products to receive the world class award is grouped by categories. The Opera browser is in the category of “Web”, there are no other browsers included in this category, not even Firefox. This may give you the impression, at first, that Opera is the best browser to win an award. However, the reason Firefox is not included in the “Web” category is because it’s in its own category of “Product of the Year”.

I think Opera made a bad judgment in this case. When I heard what Opera said, I was taken aback by it; there wasn’t even a “Best browser award”. Clearly the Opera’s marketing department should have done more research on this.

Opera is currently in contact with PC World trying to get some clarification on this matter.

The “Best browser award” has now been removed from Opera’s homepage, and replaced with “PC World’s World Class Award”. Good move, Opera.

Opera’s homepage before:
Opera's homepage before

Opera’s homepage after:
Opera's homepage after

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 8, 2005 at 11:21 am

    Ok, they changed that graphic, but left their erroneous press release up – http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/06/03/ . They’ve also only just removed the link to that press release from their front page, hours after changing the graphic, days after the most recent release – which now has taken its place. How does that seem, to anyone, as anything other than an admission of guilt and a move to cover up their mistake?

    If you make a mistake, a public mistake, you apologise for it – publicly. You don’t just change it and hope no one notices. Doing that makes you look like a liar, whether you are one or not.

  2. June 8, 2005 at 12:24 pm

    Calling Maxthon “just a plugin” is splitting hairs over implementation, kind of like saying that internet radio isn’t really radio because it’s transmitted over wires.

    It creates an entirely new UI that embeds an existing rendering engine. For all practical purposes, it is a web browser. By the same logic OmniWeb isn’t a web browser because it reuses Safari’s engine (though one could perhaps argue the point since OmniWeb forked WebCore instead of just linking to the copy on the machine).

  3. Anonymous
    June 8, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    Subtitles, stop spreading your FUD everywhere. The link to the press release on the front page has been removed, end of story. Stop speculating about other things to boost your own ego.

    And PC World called Maxthon a browser plug-in. It is NOT a browser.

  4. June 8, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    Well, at least when I “spread [my] FUD”, as you so eloquently put it, I sign my name, and decide not to be an anonymous coward.

  5. Petr Tomeš
    June 8, 2005 at 2:18 pm

    “The link to the press release on the front page has been removed, end of story. Stop speculating about other things to boost your own ego.”

    This *is not* end of story, because still exist official press release which has totaly wrong information.

    http://opera.com/pressreleases/
    http://opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/06/03/

  6. June 8, 2005 at 2:21 pm
  7. June 8, 2005 at 2:28 pm

    Opera has now updated their original press release.

  8. June 8, 2005 at 4:33 pm

    Anonymous: Whether PC World called it a browser or a browser plugin is irrelevant to whether it is a browser or a browser plug-in.

    I assume you are not familiar with Maxthon. It is a stand-alone application that uses the IE rendering engine which (whether we like it or not), is bundled with Windows. I haven’t tried, but I suspect you could delete iexplore.exe and still run Maxthon. It is marketed and, more importantly, used as a browser — not as a plugin or extension.

    I don’t know what PC World was thinking when they called it a plugin, but then I’ve heard a lot of people complain that Opera isn’t “just a browser” either.

    Whether you agree with PC World or not, they did prefer Maxthon to Opera, and arguing that Maxthon doesn’t count because it was labeled as a plugin is like arguing that Firefox doesn’t count because it was labeled as a product. (Don’t laugh, I’ve seen people use this argument over on one of the forums I was looking at today.) It’s nitpicking semantics instead of simply conceding the point that PC World ranked two browsers higher and moving on to more pressing matters.

    Opera made the list two years in a row, which is really impressive and deserves congratulations. I don’t think any other browser has managed that. And whether it’s #2 or #3 among browsers they ranked, it’s still ahead of Safari, IE, Netscape, iCab, OmniWeb, the other half-dozen Mozilla variants, Konqueror, etc.

  9. Anonymous
    June 8, 2005 at 6:17 pm

    Usually I despise everything Asa writes about Opera as twisting the truth. Unfortunately this time I have to agree with him.

    When Firefox wins the Product of the Year award (and it was very prominantly displayed) there is no room to think that Opera was their choice for “best browser”. It is clear that they liked Firefox best since Firefox is their number 1 and Opera is down at 88. That isn’t even close. It is hard to imagine that anyone at Opera really got confused by Opera being the only entry in that browser category considering how loudly Firefox was praised in the first page of that article.

    I’m unhappy with Opera putting their “spin” on this since it only gives ammunition to Opera’s enemies. Opera should have won the best product of the year, but it didn’t so just accept that. Otherwise we start to sound just like those airheaded Firefox groupies.

  10. June 8, 2005 at 6:37 pm

    Cnet’s Paul Festa’s take on this.

    http://news.com.com/2061-10795_3-5737433.html

  11. Anonymous
    June 9, 2005 at 2:09 am

    “Usually I despise everything Asa writes about Opera as twisting the truth. Unfortunately this time I have to agree with him.”

    I say, what is there to “agree with”? That Opera lied?

    Sure, Opera screwed up, by their own admission. But there’s a long way between making a mistake and lying.

    Asa is a troll. He obviously makes the worst of it to make Opera look bad. That’s the way Mozilla PR works.

  12. Anonymous
    June 9, 2005 at 3:53 am

    I used long time Maxthon and Opera side by side. Maxthon is a very useful IE shell. It’s favorite advantage, that for IE engine gives a huge tuning. Has very good features, but not to mention on the same page, as Opera or FF. Maxthon applies features, (e.g. mouse gestures) that have other browsers (FireFox, Opera), but hasn’t any own advantage. Maxthon is an “IE-shell”! (or plugin). And can give for IE similar usability, like FF or Opera. It’s a great for the IE users! I think, it was honored with this ranking. Although, I can see, that Maxthon, Slimbrowser and Avant together can give comparable features, like FF or Opera.

  13. Anonymous
    June 9, 2005 at 3:53 am

    I used long time Maxthon and Opera side by side. Maxthon is a very useful IE shell. It’s favorite advantage, that for IE engine gives a huge tuning. Has very good features, but not to mention on the same page, as Opera or FF. Maxthon applies features, (e.g. mouse gestures) that have other browsers (FireFox, Opera), but hasn’t any own advantage. Maxthon is an “IE-shell”! (or plugin). And can give for IE similar usability, like FF or Opera. It’s a great for the IE users! I think, it was honored with this ranking. Although, I can see, that Maxthon, Slimbrowser and Avant together can give comparable features, like FF or Opera.

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