Home > Uncategorized > Is Opera bragging too much?

Is Opera bragging too much?

November 29, 2005

Not everyone likes to hear Opera brag about its download numbers. David Berlind, the executive editor of ZDNet, complains about this in his latest blog posting.

In a press release, Opera claimed that online security concerns have prompted record downloads of Opera 8.51, which has been downloaded more than a million times in the first week since its release. Here is a snippet from his blog “Is this a new PR tactic? 1. Issue broken software. 2. Wait until a few million people download it. 3. Issue a fix. 4. Wait until at least 1 million people download the fix. 5. Use the opportunity to blame your competitor for the ‘good news?’ “

When I first read the press release yesterday, I thought it was kind of odd. I didn’t really see the link between ‘online security concerns’ and the popularity of Opera 8.51 (that’s why I didn’t write about it yesterday). I thought it was definitely a PR move by Opera, after all it needs lots of it — Firefox seems to be getting much more press coverage (especially with it’s new release today).

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  1. Anonymous
    November 29, 2005 at 1:57 pm

    What do PR mean??

  2. November 29, 2005 at 2:03 pm

    PR is an acronym for Public Relations.

    Take a look at Answers.com and Wikipedia for an explaination of the PR term.

  3. Anonymous
    November 29, 2005 at 2:58 pm

    So IE has an “Extremely Critical” error that has not been fixed since it’s release on 5-31-05, and Opera fixes a less critical problem the very next day. Am I missing something? Is that not something to brag about?

  4. November 29, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    C’mon Firefox also use this “downloads trick”. Nobody can say you exactly how many new users browser gets with new version. For example, I downloaded Opera 8.51 three times (work desktop, home desktop, home notebook). And same with Firefox – which I need for testing purposes… 😉
    So, nothing wrong with Opera or Firefox downloads numbers – something wrong with author of article.

  5. Anonymous
    November 29, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    Quote from a comment on the original article:

    “Funny! I truly enjoyed reading this article.
    There are countless examples of how companies try to exploit security fears and flaws of competitive products and yet they end up looking very silly.”

    Ridiculous!
    I think it’s about time that Opera collect some PR points of their impressive security/exploit record.

    /minisu

  6. Anonymous
    November 29, 2005 at 5:24 pm

    It’s a clear attempt to promote Opera’s security features packed in a press release about download numbers. The author at ZDNet is right when he says that, with 3 million 8.50 users and 1 million downloads of 8.51, at least 2 million have not upgraded to the latest (safer) version.
    Opera simply doesn’t know what has “driven” the record downloads…

    But hey, it’s nothing to get excited about. It’s marketing, and Opera needs more of it.

  7. Anonymous
    November 29, 2005 at 7:50 pm

    Are they saying that Firefox doesn’t brag about their numbers? Firefox brags 24/7. I don’t see Opera loudly boasting their downloads… I don’t see a fat counter that says “look, we hit 100 million!”

  8. November 29, 2005 at 10:01 pm

    It doesn’t seem to be the numbers that’s at issue, but the assumption of causality.

    If Opera or Firefox says “We got X million downloads last week, therefore people are interested in our product,” that’s fine. (Though people still complain when Firefox does it.)

    If Opera or Firefox says “We got X million downloads in the week after an IE vulnerability was announced, which is 20% higher than normal,” then sure, maybe you can say the news bolstered interest in your product.

    But to say “We got X million downloads of our security fix after an IE vulnerability was announced, so more people than usual are switching from IE to our browser” seems like a major leap in logic.

    That’s what makes this press release a little odd compared to the first type of claim, which you can see in the post-8.5 press release.

  9. November 30, 2005 at 12:48 am

    There is one more thing here that must be taken into consideration: What browsers did the downloaders use?

    If they were Opera users that updated to the latest version, the logs would show that. If a fair number of downloaders were using IE – a larger number than usual – it must be allowed to look for reasons for this. Yet another security risk in IE being published (and not patched) does make it seem likely that this played a role.

    Of course, I haven’t seen the logs from Opera, so it’s just speculations from my side – but not too unlikely, I think.

  10. November 30, 2005 at 3:40 am

    “Are they saying that Firefox doesn’t brag about their numbers? Firefox brags 24/7. I don’t see Opera loudly boasting their downloads… I don’t see a fat counter that says “look, we hit 100 million!””

    Hahahahaha! So you don’t think Opera would be bragging that much even if they had had 100 million downloads? 🙂

  11. Anonymous
    November 30, 2005 at 8:06 am

    100 million downloads… Thats an interesting number. I guess Opera is far beyond that if they counted accumulated downloads like Firefox does.

  12. Anonymous
    November 30, 2005 at 9:19 am

    Well… maybe there is sort of bug there. I mean I don’t use the English version of Opera (I have switched to French) and when I used the ‘check for any upgrade’, I got no need to update your version… silly since it was 8.50 (and since there is 8.51 available)
    Maybe 2/3 of Opera users aren’t English-Speakers

  13. November 30, 2005 at 4:55 pm

    >>> 100 million downloads… Thats an interesting number. I guess Opera is far beyond that if they counted accumulated downloads like Firefox does.
    I think Firefox guys just accumulate number of downloads fom version to version (.9, 0.91, .95, 1.0, 1.01… etc.). And Opera guys told about downloads of particular major version.

  14. November 30, 2005 at 9:46 pm

    @fatal, not exactly right. The download count include only downloads of Firefox 1.x from mozilla.org. Automatic updates, nighties and pre 1.0s are not counted.

    Currently the Spread Firefox site is under maintenance as they are renewing the site. I believe they will reset the counter as well (just my guessing so don’t blame me if it doesn’t).

  15. December 1, 2005 at 4:30 am

    Typo. I mean “Firefox 1.0.x”, not “Firefox 1.x”.

  16. December 2, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    Public Relations? hardly in my opinon.

    I’d prefer to call it Procedure & Regular.

    Procedure, because it’s only natural to fix a security issue and release a updated version with the fix.

    Regular, because it is just that. Why must excitment over the popularity of your product be viewed as anything else other than that?

    This is stupid, and shouldnt even have as many comments or attention brought to it as it has when there is far cooler Opera news to talk about.

    Dan DeVaney
    http://dandevaney.com

  17. December 8, 2005 at 3:55 am

    Like Firefox isn’t talked about too much? Opera is way underated, and Firefox is way over rated. Firefox and it’s users constantly brag about it 24/7 and I for one aam jack of it. It’s about time Opera braged a bit more, Opera deserves it, and is verry much the quiet acheiver.

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