Home > Uncategorized > What's Up with Opera in Seattle June 20th?

What's Up with Opera in Seattle June 20th?

June 10, 2006

Daniel Goldman pointed out on this blog, Opera is making a product announcement with its CEO front-and-center in Seattle on June 20th.

Although I am not able to come to Opera’s event in Seattle on 6/20 due to the press of business and family commitments, after doing some off-and-on thinking about the event, I’ve come up with a highly speculative list of possibilities. None of these ideas are based on communications I’ve had with anyone at Opera. This is just off-the-top-of-my-head.

My speculation starts with the expense Opera is going to for the event which includes travel for the CEO and other staff plus however many “users” are being flown in. From a ROI perspective, I am assuming the expected public relations payoff, and product being unveiled, have to be commensurate with the expense.

In no particular order my ideas are;

* It is a Times Square type event designed to highlight Opera’s users and the capabilities of the company’s software. As many readers know Opera rented a giant video billboard in Times Square on New Year’s even 1/1/06 and filled it with images of Opera users including the owner of this blog Daniel Goldman. By holding an “event” in Seattlle with the company CEO, it gives Opera some corporate identity advertising and branding in one of America’s high tech centers. It creates “buzz” for Opera with the computer trade press and perhaps general news media. It is a marketing blitz for Opera’s product line overall.

* It is an event designed to attract technical talent. Opera is expanding rapidly and could be planning to set up a US development center. It may be proving too difficult to attract top US technical talent to relocate to Oslo. Since some of the prospects for hiring live in the Seattle, area, Opera is following Google’s example and bringing the development center to the talent rather than the other way around. Why not stage a raid on the existing talent pool and make it easy for people to drive across town to work for Opera rather than have to relocate around the world?

* It is related to attracting investment to Opera. The firm is not listed on any US stock exchange due to burdensome regulatory costs, but does accept new money via US investment banking houses. Perhaps with the proliferation of “Microsoft millionaires” in the Seattle region, Opera is looking to attract “angel” funding for specific product development efforts. Perhaps this is tied to setting up a development center in Seattle as noted above?

* The product is tied to Microsoft in some way. Perhaps a new mobile technology is in the works with Microsoft’s mobile OS or perhaps Opera has a beta version of Opera 10 designed to take advantage of new features in WIndows VISTA operating system?

* It is a new mobile gaming software product which works on cell phones and is not tied to Nintendo, Sony, nor Microsoft.

* It is a shift, in part, for the marketing model for Opera. In terms of revenue focus Opera is a business-to-business play with reliance on licensing revenues for Opera mobile products being embedded on cell phones distributed by major telecommunications carriers, e.g., T-Mobile, etc. Opera doesn’t “sell” Opera mini directly to end users. It gives the software away for free to build an installed base which is then attractive to content providers. My speculation here is that Opera has a new product line, e.g., several items involving interactive online content, which are wrapped around Opera mini, but which are sold directly to end-users rather than through telecommunications carriers.

* Opera has a new video type device based on its set-top cable TV technology which allows users to download videos to an I-pod type portable device. I’ve always wondered why Opera would just be satisfied with embedding its browser in cable TV controllers and not marry it to a portable, wireless video device. Perhaps Opera has a new portable video device which downloads video content over wireless networks or allows multi-user play of gaming technologies via wireless carriers on a portable video device.

* On a more mundane level Opera just needs a media event in the US at least twice a year to keep its profile in the news. The Times Square event was just six months ago so it is time for another marketing hurrah this time on the West coast to balance the event in New York last January.

* Opera is making a major new push for the desktop browser in the US as a way to break ground for a follow-on push of the Opera browser on US cell phones. As Opera’s CEO has said many times the desktop browser helps cell phone customers become familar with the interface and be more receptive to using it on a mobile device.

Well, that’s as much as I have time for today. Maybe these ideas will stimulate others.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joey A. Tyson
    June 10, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Daniel’s post seems quite specific in that this is a major product lanuch, not merely a marketing ploy. The major tech companies that come to mind when I think of Seattle are MS and Amazon, but as a reader pointed out, Nintendo USA is there too. The only reasons I could think they chose Seattle are 1) to slap something in Microsoft’s face, or 2) to announce something involving Nintendo. Perhaps something related to the Wii?

  2. June 10, 2006 at 10:45 am

    I agree Daniel Goldman’s post is specific about a major product launch. Doing it in Seattle seems to point of a partnership with a major technology firm in the region. You’ll have to accept my less focused ramblings as thinking out loud over Saturday morning coffee and not as a contrary comment to Daniel Goldman’s keen insights.

  3. June 10, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Whatever it is, We’ll just have to wait (Firefox’s major launches and Places taught me this, LOL).
    Come on guys only 10 more days.

  4. June 10, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    …desktop browser helps cell phone customers become familar with the interface and be more receptive to using it on a mobile device

    I would think rather vice versa… 🙂 Opera Mini now seems more poular than Opera for desktop.
    It’s like Aplle iPod now advertize iMac. 🙂

  5. June 10, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    Whatever it is, we can’t freaking wait!

    Drew Olanoff
    Best Damn Tech Show, Period.


  6. Stahn
    June 10, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    It’s probably World Domination-related stuff.

  7. June 10, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    I think Dan Yurman is very much correct, even though this event is termed as a product launch, the ultimate goal is to create a buzz for Opera.

    If it’s not a joint announcement with another company in Seattle, Opera could have simply launched it from Norway.

    On a side note, I’m flying to Seattle for this “product launch” event.

  8. Heh
    June 11, 2006 at 10:52 am

    “Opera is looking to attract “angel” funding for specific product development efforts.”

    Does it need that? Opera has more than 60 million dollars in the bank…

  9. June 11, 2006 at 5:16 pm

    Does anyone know What exactly Opera’s (The Company) revenue is and the profits yearly are ?
    I bet Opera makes the most money via their Mobile Devices. Right ?

  10. June 12, 2006 at 5:43 am

    I’m more than a little out of the loop, but could this be how they’re planning to release Opera 9? (isn’t it due very very soon?)

  11. David
    June 12, 2006 at 10:55 am

    I live in the Seattle area, but I won’t be able to attend. I will be waiting though to hear about the announcement.

    It’s exciting to say the least.

  12. June 12, 2006 at 11:18 am

    …release Opera 9? (isn’t it due very very soon?)

    I hope not.

  13. .ed
    June 12, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve been invited, and will be attending.

    I agree that if this had nothing to do with Seattle, they could have launched it from anywhere.

    My guess is that it is Nintendo related, possibly the full presentation of Opera DS and Opera Wii and an announcement regarding the forthcoming WiiConnect24 Network and infrastructure for Wii. The service is rumored to have similarities to both the Opera Community as well as xbox live.

    Hopefully this will also come at the feet of an announced extended partnership betweeen the two companies to develop future software packages.

    I will be moblogging it, thanks to Opera.


  14. June 12, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    .ed, just curious what do you do opera-related that got you the invitation?

  15. .ed
    June 12, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    I’m not sure I am supposed to say in detail, But I’ve recently been recruited (during E3 by an Opera staff member in Olso) to promote Opera and Nintendo in the US and across the internet in “different ways.” Which is why I feel this could be Nintendo related, since I recieved an invitation.

    However, I definately have no additional information whatsoever. And my previous comment, along with this one is not for promotional purposes and reflects my sole opinion on what it may be. I am just as curious as you all.

    I do however seriously doubt it is Opera 9.

    And your site is awesome Dan.

  16. June 13, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    I’ll be there, looking forward to it!

  17. June 18, 2006 at 12:36 am

    supporting chiniese will be fine

  18. June 18, 2006 at 11:19 am

    The June 20th date could be related to the release of Opera 9. According to the weekly blog of Opera’s desktop team, reported at http://www.avencius.nl/?q=node/463 the firm is targeting a June release for the commercial product. I’m looking forward to reading Daniel Goldman’s on-scene blogging reports from the event.

  19. mao
    June 19, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    I’m with .ed on this, it surely is Nintendo related. Can’t wait to use Opera on my DS and future Wii!

  20. July 27, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    What is so special about opera? My friends keep telling me: Oh, you don’t use Opera? Which era are you living in?

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