Home > Desktop, Marketing > Why hasn't Opera been able to attract more users?

Why hasn't Opera been able to attract more users?

July 31, 2006

I was reading a thread in the Opera forums that was discussing how to convince Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox users to try out the Opera browser. One of the comments brought up an interesting point to ponder “Why are people afraid to switch to Opera?”

It’s obvious that Opera has had problems with increasing its market share over the past eleven years. In order for it to reverse this trend, it needs to first get to the bottom of why people haven’t switched yet.

Of course the ads were a big turn off, but Opera has been ad-free for nearly a year already. Is it the case that people still aren’t aware of this yet? If so, perhaps there needs to be more focus on it being ad-free.

There are two reasons, I believe, which causes people not to try (use) the Opera browser.

First, the look and feel (UI) of the Opera browser is different than IE and Firefox. Most people don’t like changes. Changing browsers is hard enough, getting familiar with the new ‘browser look’ shouldn’t make it harder.

Second, whether it’s Opera’s fault or not, the reality is that there are sites that don’t function properly in the Opera browser. This has been much less of an issue with the release of Opera 9, but nonetheless still a problem to reckon with. Why would users switch to Opera if not all sites work properly?

What do you think about this? Opera is a fast browser, low on memory resources, and very innovative, but why hasn’t it been able to attract more users?

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Categories: Desktop, Marketing
  1. July 31, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    As much as I live Opera, and have been a dedicated user for many years, it’s still far from intuitive. There are still some nasty bugs, which seem to never get fixed (like the fact M2 can bring the whole app to it’s knees when cheking mail/rss).

    Until I am perfectly happy with it, I am not prepared to reccommend it to others.

  2. Ebola_Influenza
    July 31, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Here’s an amazing fact: many people are still clueless about computers & programs, they barely know how to use them, let alone what a hard-drive is compared to an operating system. Trust me, I fix many of their computers often enough.

    So, given this, it’s hard to switch to anything else. They don’t know that there are other choices, why they could/should choose, or care to put in the effort when they can barely get by as it is.

    Now, that said, there are many knowledgeable users out there, and some prefer xyz.

    I like Opera!

  3. Mufaa
    July 31, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    The GUI is perfect. I mean its not rocket science. And every similar to IE or Fx. It has its normal set of buttons and all the normal toolbar. I see no difference at all.

    One of the major reasons i see Opera not capturing the minds of other brower users is the name. Opera…sounds…well boaring. And neither is the logo that good. If u remove my memory and present me Opera’s and Firefox’s logo in front of me, will definately choose Firefox.
    Alright, Firefox, personally is a little childish name but it works!

    Also some sites are not compatiable. New users will not understand that its the websites fault. They will see Opera as the incompetent one and remove it from their hard drives shortly.

    Otherwise i dont see why Opera cant win. Its good lookin, high-tech, low on resources, fast as a bird, and smooth as a BMW.

  4. July 31, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I agree with you. Firefox’s biggest selling points are ease of use and the marketing.

    Unfortunately Opera lacks both.

    P.S. Ease of Use for the Average Joe

  5. Wajo357
    July 31, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    I know this sounds weird, but I feel a HUGE problem Opera has is its NAME. When you say to someone… “I use Opera.. its awesome”, people get the WRONG impression. A company wants its name to give off a certain image or feeling. The name Opera gives a first time listener the feeling of a big over-weight women trying to break glass with her voice!
    Internet Explorer is a name people understand.
    Firefox is a name that just sounds impressive – it is comprised of a powerful animal and a strong element.
    Merlin would even be a better name than Opera. One of the reasons Opera’s advertsising is failing is because the NAME is turning people off. If I wasn’t approached by a friend who sat me down with Opera, I would have NEVER tried it.

    CHANGE THE NAME. This will be a big step. Opera 10 is the perfect time to change the name. Once the name is changed, the advertising will work better.

    Does anyone argues/agree with me?

  6. July 31, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Yep Wajo357 is right. I don’t want to go around and say “Hey Dudes. How’s it hanging ? Do you guys use Opera ?” (I’m going to be a Freshman in High School this year and that’s reason enough to get beat up). I know Mr. Tetzchner said they won’t change the logo but it needs work too.

  7. July 31, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    Well, there’s not a clear cut single reason. When your user base is browsers throughout the world, you can’t pin it down to single reasons. If you could join all the forum and blog postings on this topic over time, I’m sure it will have at the heart of it- the following-

    Press– Opera used to get the short end of the stick. But that’s turning around in my opinion. Also…

    …Marketing– I’d love Opera to get the credit it deserves in the marketplace. It breaks my heart to see “Opera Mobile on X new phones!” only to go to the manufactures website and see no notice of it. For some reason, Nintendo.com is not coming up, so I can’t check on what they do as far as recognizing Opera.

    Right place, wrong time (or wrong place right time?)- Of course, Firefox got early “alt-browser” steam. FF was right place, right time. I personally, don’t have any problem paying for software that is such an important part of my life in spite of free alternatives, but evidently, I’m in the minority (I also didn’t mind using the browser with the ad there either)

    UI My father uses Opera. But only because I told him to click the red ‘O’ instead of the blue ‘e’ to get on the internet. He manages just fine, but I can’t see any compelling reason why he would switch on his own. he’s not impressed by the advanced features of Opera. My Opera install is custom fit. Truly “bespoke” to match the way I browse. That’s why I love Opera, but most people don’t need, want or care about that. It’s still an excellent browser, more secure than IE etc. etc… but my dad is just not going to use mouse gestures no matter how cool I tell him they are. He manages the UI just fine.

    I don’t understand the “it doesn’t look like windows” argument. I *do* understand the need for consistency in a UI, and to have familiarity of features and all that….but it’s not like Opera has some space age UI or anything. It still has the File/Edit/Bookmarks… Tools->Options just like every other windows app. Skins are a silly argument, but one that still comes around every now and again… and admittedly, the dialogs are ‘different’, but those are hardly consistent in ever other windows app.

    It’s not Open Source I guess that’s another reason. I don’t understand that one all that much.

    Well, there’s a handful of reasons. I’m sure its some or all of those for everyone.

  8. michael83815
    July 31, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    The main complaint I get from people who I’ve suggested Opera, is it doesn’t render the sites as well as IE and it is a hastle to teach them to use the user preferences so the sites might work.
    I love Opera myself but I here these complaints from my own mother and having to walk her through getting a site (on the phone) to work that she likes it not fun.

  9. July 31, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    I tried to get my mom to use Opera but she was confused by my advanced looking custom interface. Even the default interface is likely to be confusing to newbies. They look at it and don’t see the bar across the top with the buttons they’re expecting to see (solution? Turn on the “main bar” by default!). I finally got my mom to use Firefox but I had to put the print button back on the main bar before she’d use it.

    Now, I don’t like to see Opera changing user interface things just to be like other browsers (like new wand dialog box and the Ctrl-n/ctrl-t thing) but in this case I think it makes sense. If it doesn’t look like a browser is expected to look like when it first loads up then people are going to be confused. Sure, the back button is there and any dummy can figure out what that is but home, print, and all the other options are gone. Regular people don’t know the keyboard shortcuts!

    I also think marketing is a big part of it – people just aren’t aware that other browsers exist and why they should switch when IE works just fine for them. This is the same reason why everyone is on windows and everyone uses office. There should be a short list of reasons why people would want to switch. Tabs aren’t enough anymore.

  10. Wajo357
    July 31, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    Megan,
    I agree that many adults who are not techno-savy are having a hard time adjusting to Opera. However, I believe they would have the same problems with Firefox since it doesn’t LOOK like IE. However, I believe Opera isn’t focusing on getting the older adults to make the switch. Opera is making certain assumptions that their user-base would have. I believe they are gearing (at this time) to a crowd between 15-30 years old – which has NO problem with where the print icon is. When opera takes over this market, they can worry about the other ones.

  11. July 31, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    Oh, and I also think that things should be simpler by default. Leave anything that could be confusing or annoying off and let power users turn them on if they want to (like the start bar – oh, that’s where the bookmarks are!, the tab preview, things like that)

  12. Wajo357
    July 31, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    Megan,
    I believe Opera is now being bundled with the start bar disabled as well as many of the features hidden – as you are requesting.

  13. July 31, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    Wajo357, but buttons such as the ‘Fast Forward’ and ‘Rewind’ are unnecessarily shown by default.

  14. July 31, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Oh good! I was just checking an old install of 8.5 to remind myself of what the defalt installation looks like.

    I didn’t realize what you said about Opera targetting a younger audicne – sorry I mentioned that then. My mom didn’t have a problem with Firefox though – once I got the print button back she was good to go. It looks enough like IE that she knew what to do with it. Opera could be like that. Simple on the outside, complex on the inside. Your web, your choice. Use a simple browser, or an advanced one. As it is it’s just different enough to look confusing and people don’t want to have to learn how to use something new – even people who are supposed to be tech savvy.

    I do think the younger audience is starting to understand that there are other browsers (and operating systems) out there. The problem is reaching that audience and communicating that message. The mobile and nintendo thing is a great way to find that audience – but how to get them to take the next step?

    Another thing alternative browsers need to do is figure out why people really need to switch. In terms that are going to be relevant to them. As I said, tabs aren’t enough anymore, there has to be more. Opera has got so many little things you could mention but there has to be something big to push people to take action.

    Just a thought – the 15-30 target audience is really big on instant messaging and social networking. Perhaps integration on that level might be an idea. I’d love to have an instant messanger built into Opera… if it was compatible with other messenger services. Oh, and integration between different installations of Opera, say between the mobile, nintendo, and desktop versions so you don’t have separate bookmarks and all that.

  15. Daiwai
    July 31, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    Mark Gillespie, I don’t understand your argument at all. If you are using Opera now, it is the best browser for you, right? Then how are all the people you know so different from yourself, that an other browser is best for them?

  16. July 31, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Haha, funny. I was reading the same post earlier as well. I think that a lot of Opera’s problems lie in the fact the new age kids are into what is “hype” and “cool” as rijk mentioned (somewhere, can’t remember exactly where tho). They are the ones who decide what is cool and what is not. They like the name Firefox vs. Opera I suppose. I was trying to persuade my cousin into switching to Opera a while back and he said all of his friends use Firefox. I told him Opera does the same things faster and you’re safer at that, but he was determined to stay with the in-crowd. I believe getting Opera on college campus’ would be a great advertising form. I know where I go to school they all use FF and it is on the machines, but if Opera was made available to them I’m sure many would fall in love with it and switch over to it.

  17. July 31, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    Daiwai-

    I can’t speak for Mark Gillespie, but in my case, I have a completely customized UI. Mouse gestures that that work simlarly to expose, very few visible icons, since context aware mouse gestures do most of my work for me, and keyboard shortcuts to most of the rest.

    I hide the menu bar since I don’t need it… I could go on and on- the bottom line is: Opera is tailored to be the most efficient tool for me. But the first thing someone else would say when they sit down in front of mine is: “where’s the ‘back’ button?”

    Where I differ from Mark though is that I still recommend it. I don’t think the UI by default is all that different or confusing than IE or FireFox. But I just thought I’d throw my two cents in in favor of Marks point.

  18. July 31, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    kyleabaker

    My guess anyway is that Firefox will get a giant marketshare and be so mainstream that people will want to find an alternative it just to be different.

    Here’s a new plan! I say Opera focuses on getting *parents* to start using Firefox. Since it’s been statistically proven* that once parents are in to something, kids will move away from it (to opera!)

    *not really

  19. Wajo357
    July 31, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    Daniel,
    Yes The FF/Rewind button is still there, however I don’t think two extra buttons will make someone look at their browser in disgust and switch back to IE. If they want to use it, they’ll fiddle around – otherwise they won’t touch it. It is not like there are a dozen buttons after install which can get confusing to the non-ie user.

    WOW… daniel.. this little conversation had me thinking of an excellent feature. I do not know if anyone suggested this… but…

    It would be a great idea if a user can right-mouse click a button/menu/toolbar/panel/etc and have a Help drop-down option besides the custamize option. The help would then open up a new page which directly talks about the item you just right-mouse clicked on. So if a user sees the FF button and says ‘HUH?’, he or she can right-mouse click, select HELP and learn about it. Anyone have any comments on this?

  20. WolvenSpectre
    July 31, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    I agree about the press coverage and the publicity working against the browser. Maybe it is effective in northern Europe, but it doesn’t play so well here in North America (can you remember Opera Man? and the present campaign… Creepy looking).

    I think there is also another problem. When was the last time you looked at Opera merchandise and thought it was cool. Have you seen this new one by a designer… Most people I know wouldn’t wear it and wouldn’t know what it was for.

    Look at what the built in Firefox community has done. Major ad campaigns, Firefox Flicks, etc.

    Another problem is Opera hasn’t rectified annoying little interface and functionality bugs (blank pages during downloads, M2 doesn’t make html email, Organizing of RSS Feeds, more chat functionality, etc)

  21. July 31, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    @Eddie
    Eventually all mainstreams must come to an end, but the problem with that is _time_. Can Opera afford to keep going if FF continues to grow. I mean I will be here to the end, lol, but I don’t think I will be able to keep them alive if the going gets tough.

    Too bad the parent trick most likely wouldn’t work. 😉

  22. WolvenSpectre
    July 31, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    lets face it the current flash problem isn’t helping things either

  23. July 31, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    Wajo357 – I think that the ff/rewind buttons could be just another “what the heck is that” sort of thing for people new to Opera. It’s enough to make that part of the toolbar look different from what they’re expecting. What they actually do isn’t clear either. Most people probably wouldn’t understand the concept of rewind and fast foward on a web page. Might as well leave them off and let the advanced users put them on if they want to.

    I like the idea of more easily accessible help would be good, and the formatting in email would be great given the target audience.

  24. Wajo357
    July 31, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    I agree with the murchandise comment. Sometimes I look at the ads, and all I can think of is a GAP ad gone totally wrong!

  25. WolvenSpectre
    July 31, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    Gap Ad gone wrong! I love it!

  26. July 31, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    @WolvenSpectre
    You are right bout FF’s community helping them out tremendously, but you do realize that if you want the Opera community to do something you must first start with yourself. I don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say you aren’t doing anything, because I really don’t know. But a lot of people who discuss that issue really aren’t contributing like they think others should. We all have to step up and contribute in our own way. I’m not a great graphic’s designer or anything, just a hobbyist, but I’m trying to make some catchy graphics to spread around the net to advertise for opera. I post some Opera9 ads on my site to advertise, etc. Maybe you are good at designing merchandise! Anyways, back to some graphics, haha. 😉 cheers.

  27. July 31, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    I agree about changing the name of Opera. The name simply won’t work in America. Yes, it would be a huge hassle. But sooner or later they are going to have to bite the bullet. Firefox had to change their name a couple of times, and they survived. It can be done. Changing around the default buttons and toolbars is a start, but the name is the key. People hear the name before they see the product.

  28. WolvenSpectre
    July 31, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    I agree, I wish I had the spare time to dosomething for the community, and I am not saying we don’t… more like we haven’t and we should!

  29. sonyx
    July 31, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    re Sohil:
    Personally I like the “Opera”-branding. Or maybe u want Apple to change its name aswell?:P I mean, using a half-eaten apple as a logo would normally put the odds against any company;)

  30. July 31, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Just to clarify my point, I can live with Opera’s bugs and shortcomings, I like the fact I can customise the UI to make it work perfectly, however many people I could recommend Opera to wouldn’t know where to start. The default UI needs some serious tweaking to make “numpty” users, who account for 90% of PC users, be able to use Opera.

  31. July 31, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    @Mark Gillespie
    I use Opera’s default skin and arrangement and have no problems with it. Also, when comparing it to FF or IE7 there isn’t much difference in UI really. The only barrier I can see for a new user is getting used to a new “skin”. Same basic buttons, etc. with a different appearance.

    I think the desktop team spends a lot of time considering where to put each button and to not show some buttons by default. I wouldn’t consider this barrier large enough to not recomment Opera9 to a friend, but I respect your opinion and views on that. Also, as you said, about 90% of windows users are beginners and that is unfortunate for a windows based users reputation, however, just because only 10% aren’t beginners does not mean that there are few non-beginners. That 10% is probably nearly as large as the user base for mac computers. 😉

    I haven’t done a fresh install in sometime, but it seems like opera used to offer like a simple interface or advanced interface when installing. I don’t think they do that anymore. It’s sad that I can’t remember, since I’m isntalling weeklies nearly twice a week, haha.

  32. andrewdied
    July 31, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Some things opera has done, like MDI, didn’t catch on for a long time. When you reach way out and try innovative features, then you’re going to miss a large market share. Those were things I liked, so I’ve been paying for opera since 3.x. Similarly, I think a large share of the people who have been using opera for a long time have been willing to pay for it.

    People who use Firefox are not willing to pay for it. And, like others have said, once you’re on a browser it’s painful to move.

    That being said, folks like me are willing to go through some considerable pain to find the “right” application for them. For example, I’m seriously considering buying a copy of The Bat! for email because Opera M2 doesn’t support S/MIME or PGP/GPG.

    Opera’s niche has been people who aren’t willing to put up with specific bugs in browsers, or must have certain features in opera.

  33. July 31, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    Because Firefox fanboys exist who are too proud to try anything else. Perhaps it’s to Firefox’s advantage that it’s based within the US. Unfortunately, if a product is successful in the US, it’s successful in the world. And Opera really hasn’t established as large of a userbase in the US as it has in Europe (think of Russia’s 8%, Poland’s 7%, and Lithuania’s 6%).

    Because Mozilla is based in the US, it was easier to do its New York Times advertisement. I think the Opera interface does not resemble IE’s or FF’s interface enough to be as smooth of a transition as FF was. In addition, FF was strongly promoted in tech reviews on G4TechTV, while Opera was not. FF’s big PR movement was to be more secure than Opera has. And I scratch my head why Opera didn’t get the same treatment as FF, but somehow, it missed the boat. Opera’s becoming more popular in tech reviews, however. There is still hope for another boat.

  34. July 31, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    @IceArdor
    “There is still hope for another boat.”

    Indeed there is… 😀

  35. tbc
    July 31, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    About the branding. I will be disappointed if Opera will change it’s name. I like it. Not because it sounds cool, but because for me it means cool browser.

    About the UI. Please don’t make opera look like any other browser by default. I think some users appretiate that it hase more to offer. If FF/REWIND button is dropped by default I guess many new user would never learn about such a cool feature. It may also happend then, that somebody will start opera and since it looks like FF she will just keep using FF without giving Opera a try. Why? …after all — it’s not that much different! I also agree that making more hints might help, I love the idea someone presneted above with help being an option in the dorpdown menu on buttons.

    And yes, M2 could do more. And yes, my bank’s internet banking site shoud work in Opera. I am getting annoyed of using Firefox to access it 🙂 I realy do, I’ve even opened another account in another bank that has a less messy website.

    About FF will take over Opera. I think it’s the other way around. If only more people will realize that that there are better (I’ve previously written “other”) browsers besides IE, more people will want to try out Opera. I guess it might be a strong feature of opera to hook upon users who want to try something else. So, it’s only good FF gets more and more users. The real problem is IE.

    Now, I think that the biggest problem here is marketing. Yes, one browser rules the Internet for years and guess if it is connected to the fact that on most of the desktop computers in the world the word “Internet” is written under it’s icon. Yes, FF, and the Mozilla foundation have better marketing than Opera and this largely involves the coolness factor and the open source factor. Could Opera do more advertising? Could there be more cool merchendise? Where are the “Fastest browser on earth?” knickers gone?

    Also I think that the most active FF community members are the open-source fight-microsoft guys. If Opera manages getting more involved people, this could help. Personally me, I try evangelizing for Opera a lot. Do it guys! All of you!

  36. tbc
    July 31, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    Another thing. If you look here (http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2006/July/browser.php), and compare the market share of Opera x.x with IE 7.x you might fast get the impression that most of the US-based operaq users are the web developers.

  37. July 31, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    You guys sicken me. What makes you think if anything is based in USA it’s a success ? Mozilla is based in US because Netscape was. And Netscape was because US offered the best opportunity for upstarts.
    Today in the globalised world this isn’t truth. Aren’t Sony and Nintendo based in Japan ? Aren’t every major car markers from Japan or South Korea or Germany.

    1. When the timing was perfect for the alternate browser, Opera still had ads turning away users.
    2. By the time they realised this it was too late. Firefox had taken 10% of market share.
    3. We Firefox fans (I use Firefox and Opera) spread way too much than Opera fans do.
    4. Buzz. Firefox makes the headlines for fixing a security hole. For reaching 180 million downloads (we’re at 200 now)
    5. Better Marketing. Remember World Firefox Day. Damn Blake and Asa just come up with the best ideas. This created HUGE Buzz in the media and obviously people wanted their naems in the source code so they were more or less forced to spread.

    It’s all basic marketing. Always have good PR, tilt the media in your favour and you’ve got a winner.

    Damn I should write a book or something.

  38. Kwerboom
    July 31, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    Here are the still relative comments I made as “!!” on Asa’s blog back when he did this discussion when Opera was first made free:

    “Opera is a great product. Even if Mozilla released Firefox 10.0 in” a decade from now”, it would only be a shadow of what Opera” 9.0 “is today and would never compare to what Opera will have out in the future. Opera is a polished, beautiful system. Its rendering engine and stability are far superior to Firefox’s. That said, I have a few issues with Opera.”

    “Program-wise, Opera vs. Firefox is an apples to oranges comparison as Opera is a suite and Firefox is only a browser. Opera vs. Mozilla Suite vs. Netscape is an apples to apples to apples comparison as these are all suites. Opera, when compared to the others, is by far the most superior. It is a powerful, high quality product. That said, suites aren’t exactly popular with users now days. Netscape barely registers on statistics and Mozilla dropped production on the Mozilla Suite leaving it to independent programmers to continue the work. Opera is a product that people are just not interested in.”

    “The type of person who uses Opera and Firefox is different. Opera is a power user’s suite. It is for those users who want control over every detail and to be able to tweak every setting no matter how mundane. Firefox is a just above average user’s browser. Opera serves a very, very small niche of users. It is sort of like car owners. If every car owner had enough money to purchase, buy the gas, cover the maintenance, and pay the insurance; how many would buy a Ferrari? Maybe some more than normal, but most car owners would buy a half decent car and stick the extra money into something else.”

    “I remember working in a computer lab. Most computer users are computer illiterates that believe that if they type in their problems on a keyboard, the magical and mysterious tower next to the monitor will divine their needs and connect to the mystical realm of cyberspace, and then the monitor will magically show the solution to their problem. When there work gets lost or the computer breaks, shaman/computer lab workers like myself would be expected to do a ‘rain dance’ and fix the problem. If that didn’t work, I would end up playing psychiatrist to help them through their loss. These type of people aren’t power users that would use Opera. In fact, most of these people would be too ignorant and scared to use Firefox.”

    “The state of the whole browser experience is not that great. I don’t know which Mozilla comment site said it, but right now the browser market is about ‘my browser experience is less worse than the other guys.’ Its like Internet Explorer is a turd and Firefox and Opera are bronzed turds fighting over who are best. All three provide a view of the Internet through a browser window. Both Firefox and Opera also provide a tabbed browsing experience. The separation between Opera and Firefox is a paper or plastic question: Do I want a power user suite that accesses the same Internet or do I want a moderately simple browser that accesses the same Internet?”

    “The first rule of marketing is that you are marketing a solution not a product. Opera Software is marketing a product. A multi-option, more powerful [insert Tim Allen-like grunts], power users wet dream product. But in the end it is just that, a product. One can look at and ask, ‘What does it do? How will it help me?'”

    “Firefox is marketed as a solution to the insecure, archaic Internet Explorer experience. The Mozilla presents it as a simple, understandable alternative. Blogs like Asa’s and Mozilla Developer News offer opportunity to add to the Firefox experience. The Mozilla Community and Spread Firefox sell the Firefox Attitude and Firefox Lifestyle. And Blake Ross offers the vision of Firefox as the first in many steps toward software solutions that are actual solutions for one’s mom or grandma.”

    “Opera is a superior product. But that isn’t enough to make Opera the top suite in the browser market because users don’t seem interested in suites. Opera is a power users dream, but most users aren’t power users or even computer literate. Furthermore, Opera connects to the same Internet as Firefox and doesn’t deliver a new experience in delivering the same websites and webpages. Finally Opera Software sells a product not a solution.”

    “As John C Dvorak, in his February 8, 2005, PC Magazine article ‘The Practical Superiority of HD-DVD’, practical superiority supersedes all other forms of superiority. In the Betamax vs. VHS wars, VHS’s practical superiority of more hours tipped consumers toward it. Practical superiority can also apply to Firefox vs. Opera. Firefox has a practical superiority of being” an “out-of-the-box browser to Opera’s” over-optioned browser.

    First off, as a Firefox user, I’m not going to argue that you have the superior browser. That much is obvious.

    Second off, as a Firefox user, I don’t feel threatened by Internet Explorer and other Firefox users switching to Opera for a superior environment. The best browser should win no matter who makes it. Also as just a plain old browser user, I’ve switched from Netscape to Internet Explorer to Mozilla Suite to Firefox and I will switch again if Firefox’s quality ever drops like Netscape’s did.

    All that being said, Opera doesn’t need to be rebranded. I can’t remember where on the Internet I read it, but even Firefox has brand problems because users still associate that name with some old Western movie.

    It’s not the name that is the problem, its the marketing. At the end of the day it comes down to the following: “What problem is Opera trying to solve for me?” “Why is Opera right for me?” “How will Opera make my browsing experience better?” Answering these questions will go along way to helping Opera gain market share.

    Also, two minor personal points: When I open up Opera for the first time, the UI shouldn’t make me “feel like” I have to tweak it because of its busy interface. Also, I really like the Firefox Update Manager because it gives that automation like with my Windows install that makes me feel that system can at least take care of keeping itself modern and ‘secure’. Most high end software like anti-virus suites, Adobe, and even Firefox and OS’s like Linux and Windows (and by extension, Internet Explorer) have Update Managers, Opera behind the curve in this area.

    In conclusion, at the end of the day its not about arguing who has the “superior” product or belittling the “inferior” product in hopes that noobs see the light and switch. Its about offering a solution to a problem. You may now pelt me with rotten vegetables and rocks for taking Opera in vain.

  39. July 31, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    Um.. Why are we having this discussion ? Are Opera employees listening to this or something? If they aren’t they should

  40. July 31, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    I really enjoy the Opera browser, but I can’t view certain things properly in it, including many sites I use regularly.

    The main reason, however, is the lack of Extensions. I hate how the Opera widgets aren’t built into the browser, but instead are external from the actual application.

    I do use Opera sometimes though. Its fast and I like several of the features that Firefox and IE7 don’t offer me.

  41. July 31, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Seems to me like the only people who don’t have problems with the Opera name are users who don’t live in the U.S. Take it from us – the name will never fly here. (See comment #27.)

  42. July 31, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    Either the name needs to be changed or the logo. The logo is about as boring as ma and pa kettle. The firefox logo is really cool, but opera is a simple O with some pretty dodgy 3d effects on it. When you download the high res versions from the website, its an absolute embaressment.

  43. Naelphin
    July 31, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    The biggest problem is that of compatibility. I can load up FF and be 90% certain that it will work, because it gets a lot of press, so people check against it. All implementations are slightly different, and without testing it is impossible to see each product’s little eccentricities.

    When I use Opera, it is much more of a random shoot. Things like CNET videos don’t work properly, and CNN sometimes stops working. Versus FF where it works pefectly. Why? Because people test against them. Web standards are nice, but for most webmsters, Web Standards = Works in FF. and FF has its own bugs, as does Opera.

  44. Aditya
    July 31, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    The problem with Opera is compatibility & lack of aggressive marketing.
    Remember how aggressive Firefox people were ? Ad in New York Times, World Firefox Day, Put your name into Version 2 source code. These all works.
    About incompatibility, Gmail “still” doesn’t work in Opera (try using spell check more than twice in same message with 9.01), Gmail chat doesn’t work (masking as Mozilla at times work but it isn’t solution) other Google websites such as calender, page Creator don’t work. It is up-to Opera people to make their browser compatible with websites. Remember Opera needs people, people have choice when it comes to Opera.

  45. July 31, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    I’ve long held the opinion that Opera’s default set of buttons is a massive problem. Out of the box, there’s no “home” visible, the forward/back buttons don’t have the history dropdown, there’s no “go” button and various useful features are hidden under the location bar (if you know what I mean).

    IE users are not the kind of users that think to customise their toolbar; they just want the same buttons they had in IE. Forward, Back, Stop, Reload, Home, Favourites, History…

    Opera’s promotions don’t always hit the mark either. The Opera 8 “superhero” did not work, IMHO. The new campaign is much better, quite similar to mobile phone campaigns actually (not saying they’re always great; but it beats the superhero ;))

    As for the name and logo… well, IE’s big blue E is hardly a work of art but that didn’t stop people using it. Sure, the Opera logo could use a touch up, but I don’t know that it’s the key factor. Same for the name – Firefox? Huh? Are we setting fire to the web? Not everyone thinks the name is cool 🙂

  46. DD32
    August 1, 2006 at 1:38 am

    Well Opera isnt a great name, but it certainly isnt a big issue in australia, but Unless there was decent advertising next to the name, it doesnt really make many people look, It needs to be magical in a way? To intregue people to look?

    The interface is another issue, i cant handle the default install look.. its too.. different and doesnt have what i need within reach i dont feel.
    Heres a sheenshot of how i setup opera on machines, people seem to be more accepting of it this way, i *wish* there was an option on install to have a ‘Normal’ look.. and also to have a first welcome page for new users explaining HOW to customise it, and what to look for.
    (Screenie: http://img489.imageshack.us/my.php?image=operaod0.jpg )
    Allthough.. *Removes Tile and Cascade buttons* They’re rather useless.. There needs to be a maximise all button for times you acedetally click it..

    Anyway, I like Operas icon, it suits it, You jsut need to entice people to like the program, to do that they need to use it first, to use it they need to either be forced to, have an open mind, or like the name opera.

    Another option might to be make those who use the opera browser on their devices, to have a small sales pitch or something “Now with Opera Web Browser” if that was displayed in the corner of a mobile ad on tele, it’d certainly interest someone as to what it was, allthough then making them relaise it was available for their machine is another thing.

    I personally dont get what its about Firefox that peopole like, The name and icon draw attention, but thats really it to me. The default look is useable as a direct change from IE, Open source has nothing to do with it, for the majority of the users they dont give a ….. if its open source or not, as far as they’re concierned, if it works, thats good enough for them. (IE isnt open source now is it..?)

    D

  47. August 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    I am so used to Opera that when I have to use Firefox at university I find myself trying to restrain to hit the computer because it feels so inconvinient.

    However Opera has some major flaws. I think the developers need to really put in a lot more effort into compatiblility and ease of use. Most noticably Gmail, and some other Google sites lack functionality with Opera. Also installing plugins into Opera, for instance, often cannot be done by an average Joe as it involves digging through config files manually, or at least googling for the application manually. On IE and Firefox you just click “Install Plugin”.

    I believe that now that Opera is ad-free, that Opera 9 has greater compatibility and that Opera 9 is so superior to Firefox, its popularity will continue to grow.

    However there is almost no marketting! First time I tried it was when I got sick of IE and was asking a friend for browser suggestions, but then I instantly discounted Opera because of the ads. Then when I installed a Firefox so-called “release candidate” which not only came pre-broken, but it broke my settings so badly that when I tried to reinstall it and go back to an older version I could neither use the stable version nor the “release candidate”. Then I declared that because of this dispeakable failure I don’t trust Mozilla with my computer and found Opera which was already ad-free.

  48. WildEnte
    August 1, 2006 at 2:21 am

    Didn’t have the time to read all of the above comments, but what I recently found was:

    “Why is Opera free?”. I mean … I know, you know, but they don’t know. Good things don’t come for free. Right. IE7 is bundled with Windows, so that’s free because you bought windows. Oh and right, Firefox is this Open-Source thing which is all about some charity or something or whatever. Meant to be free and all. But Opera? Isn’t that a company? Are they making money by giving me the browser as a gift and then what? Do they steal my passwords?

    I don’t know whether it’s clear to the average user why opera is free. If something is free and you don’t see why, don’t you get suspicious?

  49. Blah
    August 1, 2006 at 3:02 am

    People don’t use Opera because of the interface. It’s that simple.

    I don’t think the problem is in the logo or the name – the default interface is bad. If nothing else, then just because of using that dog-ugly theme instead of looking native, like almost every other application does. People don’t want to use applications which don’t fit in, and Opera looks like a punch in the face. When you somehow get rid of the default skin, you’re presented with incredibly ugly and bland buttons.

    IMHO, it’s too late to fix anything right now. IE7 will take back 1-2% market share, and Safari is gaining ground with Macs becoming more popular. I think we’ve almost gained an equilibrium.

    People have started testing websites in Firefox because of the hype that surrounded it, but also because of various developer tools available. Opera is planning them for v10, which is likely at least a year away. That’s about four years too late to make an impact, and I seriously doubt they’ll be better than what different Fx extensions have to offer.

    I’m a very happy Opera user, but I don’t think Opera will ever become widespread on desktops. It’s just too late for that.

  50. Merkile
    August 1, 2006 at 4:34 am

    Blah: The default interface in Opera is fine, and it looks fine on default setups of Windows, Mac, etc. You may not like that it’s skinned, but it doesn’t really stand out the way you claim it does. And I don’t think you know whether people like skinned apps or not. You may not, but you don’t represent everyone else.

    Also, it is never too late. Opera has been gaining users lately, and that will continue. It is also very successful on other devices, and that will benefit the desktop version.

    You are simply being too negative, but without any facts or real arguments to back up that negativity.

    Sohil:

    P.S. Ease of Use for the Average Joe

    Which isn’t a problem in Opera, since it looks like any other browser.

    WolvenSpectre:

    lets face it the current flash problem isn’t helping things either

    Flash problem?

    Mark Gillespie: What’s so confusing about Opera’s default UI?

    Aditya: When Google blocks Opera, there is little Opera can do to be “more compatible”. Opera already IS compatible, but Google keeps blocking it. You can’t blame Opera for that.

    The same to KonstableKonst: You are saying that Opera needs to put effort into compatibility, but the fact is that it is not Opera’s compatibility which is the problem here. The problem is that sites aren’t tested in Opera, and some sites simply block it outright.

  51. August 1, 2006 at 4:55 am

    I’ve got another suggestion: Opera integrates Qunu into its user interface and gets other (more advanced) Opera users to use it too. Then, if anyone has a problem using Opera, they can just enter something like ‘qhelp menubar’ into the searchbar or access ‘live help’ straight from the context menu, which then queries Qunu and shows a list of currently available Opera experts that the user can talk to – in realtime.

    This way users with questions about Opera can get real help in real time from passionate Opera users, vastly increasing the satisfaction ratio of Opera newcomers, and most likely therefore their ‘stickiness’ too.

    NB: I know there’s IRC, but IRC isn’t the same, and Aunt Tillie will never use IRC – ever.

    Disclosure:
    /me @ Opera 1996-1999
    /me @ Qunu (my idea)
    Qunu integration and notificiation of Opera community already passed on to Jon and Rolf

  52. August 1, 2006 at 5:07 am

    My 0.02 cents on the marketing issue, given that’s what I did with Sandra while working at/with Opera Software…

    IMO, Opera doesn’t necessarily need a new name or a new icon, but it needs better recognition, and that recognition comes through a vocal personality high in the ranks at Opera Software, who is not only becoming the public face of the company, but who also moves the focus away from name and icon issues.

    Jon has never been comfortable with that role and would rather like to stay in the background, but has assumed this position now because there’s nobody else in the company (at this moment) who can relieve him of this.

    The Norwegians in general are too conservative and not daring and challenging enough. They still go fairly quietly about their business, but that’s hardly the way to attract more customers, read: market share.

    Why I’m saying all this: this is in part what I tried to do back then – become the challenger of the IE/NS gods as they were. The thing is that if you do this kind of ‘job’, you’ll be at times at odds with other people/ideas, and then you’ll need full backing of the company. In the end I didn’t have this backing anymore, which is why I eventually moved on.

  53. August 1, 2006 at 5:22 am

    3rd and last comment based on what Kwerboom and through him also Asa said:

    1) the product vs solution issue is spot-on. The Opera website still doesn’t pay sufficient attention to it, neither does their marketing. Can’t say more because of an NDA.

    2) i like the idea of asking new users which browser they came from and offer them a theme that’s very similar to it, then take them through some simple steps to outline the real power of Opera, IOW link features and benefits, which brings us back to point 1) above.

    There’s obviously lots more to it, but I’m glad some excellent comments are made here on this blog. Let’s hope they find the right ear in Oslo.

  54. No Idea
    August 1, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Wajo357, but buttons such as the ‘Fast Forward’ and ‘Rewind’ are unnecessarily shown by default.

    Why?.

    I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Weird UI?, Hard to use?…

    I’ve converted many people (most of them average users in the company I work for – Opera is the default browser on most workstations being Linux or Windows) to Opera over the last few years and all these things do not apply at all to what I have seen.

    They liked the speed and how every feature was well integrated and provided great functionality (notes, mouse gestures, keyboard shortcuts,…; yes, average users use these features if they see that they can be more productive using them, believe it or not); not to talk about security for those who actually run Opera on a Windows machine.

    People in general are just afraid of changes until they show and experiment by themselves the benefits of the new “situation”. This apply to browsers (or any other software product).

    There’s just one thing that most people are not afraid to try: the product that can make them be “cool”; this is of course related to marketing and where Firefox has managed to “attract” most of its users via a huge marketing campaign a là Apple. Opera has never done it – I don’t if it would be good for Opera or not but the fact is there.

    That said, compatibility problems do not help either; most of the time it is just broken code served to Opera or being blocked by a silly script but it prevents visiting the site. Fortunately, Opera 9 is a huge step forward.

  55. asdf
    August 1, 2006 at 6:12 am

    Opera is outsider in the browser’s war. The ballte is between ie and mozilla. So if people don’t like IE, they switch to opposite browser, firefox. Everyone talk about ie and firefox, not about opera. So for people unfamiliar with opera it looks like not the choice that most meople do when switching from ie. When people switch from ie they don’t care about features, they just need non-MS browser. That’s all. The most known non-MS browser is firefox.

  56. ben
    August 1, 2006 at 8:56 am

    A big advertising campaign is needed to ge the n00bs to actually know what opera is, for all they know it is a type of singing.A logo change is needed, or at least some proper 3d effects on the current one (see post #42). Mozilla was always an ugly name and they branded there product much cooler name “firefox”. It is hard to win with firefox being funded by google, opera need to somehow get little opera links everywhere.
    Usability is not a problem at all, my mother is no expert with computers and uses opera with less trouble than IE.
    A hell of a lot of people say to me, “i would switch but i love a certain extention in FF”. A secure way of implimenting extensions (widgets are stupid as they are not part of the browser window). Extensions would allow the comunnity to get behind the browser and push it forward further.

    Why are there more windows machines than macs? One big reason is because software avalability is tighter for mac users.

  57. August 1, 2006 at 10:03 am

    I posted this over at digg and got a few interesting comments. Seems that a lot of people don’t know that Opera does not have ads anymore. Two of the people there also commented on the weird UI thing too.

  58. August 1, 2006 at 10:09 am

    I just do not think most people bother with Web browsers.

  59. August 1, 2006 at 10:21 am

    By the way, I don’t think anyone’s suggestiong major changers to the UI. Just rearranging things a bit on the default install so it looks like people think a browser is supposed to look when it first loads up.

    I think that most of the other interface things are big improvements over the others, especially the preferences area and things like that. But people want something that they can start using right away. Opera has done a fantastic job with usability otherwise and I’d hate to see them change things just to be like the others.

  60. August 1, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    A good example of UI problems in the default Opera 9 skin, is the forward and back buttons. No little dropdowns to jump back multiple steps. No sooner have I left Opera 9 with a friend, do I start getting phone calls about getting “stuck” on a website and the back does not go back properly. I know you can swap them for proper back buttons with dropdowns, but people asked for an example of Opera 9s broken UI. There are plenty more…

  61. _Insert random name here_
    August 1, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    No little dropdowns to jump back multiple steps. No sooner have I left Opera 9 with a friend, do I start getting phone calls about getting “stuck” on a website and the back does not go back properly. I know you can swap them for proper back buttons with dropdowns, but people asked for an example of Opera 9s broken UI.

    What the dropdown arrow has to do with getting “stuck” on a website?. If the back button doesn’t work, either there’s something that prevents Opera from doing so (usually a bad coded site) or you found a bug in Opera. In none of these scenarios the dropdown arrow is relevant since Opera won’t go back in history no matter where you pointed it to go to.

    There are plenty more…

    And these are?.

    Keep in mind that what it works for some people does not for others. UI guidelines are muddy waters and there’s not a perfect solution.

  62. August 1, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    Um. We’re talking about Average Joes on Windows not people like you or me.

  63. August 1, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Megan: Thanks for posting the link to Digg. I registered on the site just so I could post my two cents. 😉

  64. August 1, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    The problem is Average Joe, I am VERY happy with Opera, I have it customised exactly how I like it, however customisation is generally beyond the scope of 90% of users, so the default UI needs to 100% perfect from the outset. As it is, I think it’s far from perfect, so I am unable to recommend it to my Joe Average friends. I do however evangelise about it to my tech savvy friends.

    A for broken sites, they are plentifull, but that’s no excuse for not having multiple back functionality, even IE5 had it, and users are used to it, the same sites are broken for those browsers also.

  65. _Insert random name here_
    August 1, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    For the record: I was talking about average users…

    A for broken sites, they are plentifull, but that’s no excuse for not having multiple back functionality, even IE5 had it, and users are used to it, the same sites are broken for those browsers also.

    It seems that you didn’t get what I posted. If Opera can’t go back in history (due to a bug in Opera or a crappy coded site) dropdown arrows are irrelevant because there’s nothing you can do: Opera can’t go back no matter what kind of buttons you have. Selecting, as an example, “CurrentURL -6” or “CurrentURL -9” won’t fix the problem since Opera can’t go back in history; in other words, it’s broken for that page internal history. Buttons are completely irrelevant here.

    the same sites are broken for those browsers also.

    Nope. just because it doesn’t work in Opera doesn’t mean it won’t work in other browser. As I said, it can be a specific Opera bug or (most likely) a bad coded site (usually with lots of JS) which is only tested in IE.

  66. Darken
    August 1, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    First, the look and feel (UI) of the Opera browser is different than IE and Firefox. Most people don’t like changes. Changing browsers is hard enough, getting familiar with the new ‘browser look’ shouldn’t make it harder.

    I switched to Opera for this. 🙂

  67. August 1, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    I think you misunderstand. There are plenty of sites that get stuck on a single back click, pressing multiple times does not help, yet using the dropdown and going back 2 steps, is enough to skip the site with bad back handling code.

  68. _Insert random name here_
    August 1, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    I think you misunderstand. There are plenty of sites that get stuck on a single back click, pressing multiple times does not help, yet using the dropdown and going back 2 steps, is enough to skip the site with bad back handling code.

    I yet have to see one of those. 😉

  69. August 1, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    @ _Insert random name here_ not that I was saying the Back button should have the Dropdown. When they say broken they probably mean, they can’t see the other sites so it’s broken.

  70. Darken
    August 1, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    CHANGE THE NAME. This will be a big step. Opera 10 is the perfect time to change the name. Once the name is changed, the advertising will work better.

    Does anyone argues/agree with me?

    Good idea!

  71. August 1, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    The lack of desktop success is a mystery to me.

    Firstly the success of FF is very much to do with the geek/elite IT dudes who get off on open source etc. Would Opera want to compete with that small segment of users – I don’t think so. They never click ads, are snobs and likely would have more fun spending 2 months writing an extension that already exists in Opera.

    I suspect that the `not invented here’ syndrome might explain some of the lack of visibility of Opera.

    Given that a much better IE is going to ship with Vista, how can Opera raise its profile with Vista users ? It must promote itself as the most secure and private browser out there – you need it to protect yourself against the internet while using Vista (and more with XP).

    One little thing that I think no-one picks up on much is that Opera allows you to turn of referrer logging. To me this is one the most important features. Why should I give away some of my private information about how I’m surfing and finding sites ? No way. You want to work out how I got to your site, tough – that is my private information.

    Perhaps Opera might like to think about a marketing story around how a secure and private browser is the only way to survive the big bad internet. Make some noise about the phishing features where you can trace the SSL certificate, can’t spoof URLs without Opera noticing, can turn off `web bugs’ by turning off images with one click – can filter and block evil cookies at a very fine level. Add in that the wand is your only way to protect your online banking details etc.

    Opera won’t ship with Vista so it will never be on everyone’s desktop like IE7 will be, but still Opera needs a story about why all upgraders should install it.

  72. mcf
    August 2, 2006 at 1:25 am

    pardon the firefox brower – no other choice (i don’t class IE as a choice)…
    anyway, my ten cents:
    I think the reason Opera hasn’t been taken up is many a combination of many small things. I’ve found that although all the sites I use function in Opera, there are often small things that don’t work, or are annoying. For instance, the google auto-complete in Gmail only recently began to work in Opera. On other major sites, the layout of the page is slightly different than in other browers.

    I have to agree with the other comments, the Opera name and logo need a bit of a change.

    I really wish i could use Opera all the time. From the mouse gestures, to the hugely customisable toolbars and fast response and loading times (javascript in Opera is really quick!), there are many things Opera has over any other browser. not so sure about these wiget things, tho.

    Opera needs an update manager. It would be so much easier to update Opera if it popped up a thing like the pop-up blocker (but identified differently), and downloaded only the needed updates. I don’t want to have to download and reinstall Opera every time. That’s not going to attract anyone.

    As stated in comments above, Opera has to rise above other browsers, get noticed, to be more widely used.

    At the moment, I have to switch between Opera and firefox, depending on the web pages I use.

  73. blah
    August 2, 2006 at 5:06 am

    In my opinion Opera should concentrate on getting new users. _Not_ switchers. Get a deal with computer companies so they install Opera on new computers, label Opera “Internet, Opera Browser”, hide Internet Explorer in the deepest possible dungeons. And, such computer companies should give a free book “Internet: practical tips” or such explaining the basics of surfing the internet, and maybe some more advanced features like mouse gestures. That, in my opinion, would be a great move. Opera would get lot’s of new, fresh users who are not polluted by IE or Firefox. They wouldn’t switch – as someone pointed out, people don’t like changes – to another browser, because none is like Opera.

  74. Lusec
    August 2, 2006 at 9:31 am

    As a person with a little knowledge about marketing, I want to say that Opera’s name or logo is not the problem.

    Take a moment to think about Apple and their logo. A fruit and an example of said fruit with a bite taken out of it. Objectively speaking, it is a bit of a joke. However, people don’t look at the apple and see a joke. They see an iPod, or a mac, or some othe cool gadget. Apple is associated with something positive.

    Association is the key word here. As long as the consumers think of something desireable when they see the logo or hear the name (crude example: Playboy = naked women = good), everything is fine.

    Of course, it is sometimes necessary to reinvent products or companies, but it is a long, difficult, often expensive process which can alienate many consumers.

    I do not believe that there is anything fundamentally wrong with Opera and their logo. The only thing that is wrong is that people think of fat ladies and boring music when Opera is mentioned, and not a fast, innovative, customisable and in all ways excellent browser (disclaimer: I have nothing against opera music, and I rather like the way they dress).

  75. August 2, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Excuse me polluted !!!!!

    Maybe this is why people don’t switch

  76. August 2, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    I have accustomed to name Opera since I use it from version 3. But I can agree with Lusec and many other people there – Opera logo and name for a browser are little boring. Name give people wrong associations.
    Opera can change browser name but left Opera Software ASA as company name.
    One more show stopper for Opera browser is buggy behaviour (or unability to work at all) on some popular sites. So, even Opera veterans can’t advise this browser to non techy users…
    Version 9 is a great improvement over version 8, but I would like to see Opera 9.54 that not add any new features but improves compatibility.

  77. August 2, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Any scenario where you leave it up to the general public to choose between, and to determine whether one product is better that the other, as a developer, you are selling your soul to the devil.
    And your intergrity along with it.
    I’d rather go back to paying $30, staying out of the limelight, and having the most secure, fastest and most comfortable browser there is. And leave the disagreements up to the rest of the public while I surf throug hundreds of websites like free bird ~ CC

  78. FrankB
    August 2, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Dan,

    I think it very simply all boils down to two things:

    1. Brand recognition (attracting new users)
    2. “Techcentricity” (keeping new users)

    The first one is, I guess, relatively obvious. I really would love to see some market research about who many percent of internet users recognize the name Opera as a browser compared to IE and FF. Conclusion: Much more marketing, for example through sponsoring. And then ultimately do NOT do marketing though the channels of the tech savy (not geek websites or magazines) but stuff like newspapers and magazines everyone reads. Heck why not even in beauty magazines. magazine(doesn’t have to be the Vogue). Opera should be on every single computer, should come bundled on new Computers, new memory sticks whatever… Or to say it the FF-way: Spread the word….

    The second one is a bit different. The first one grabs someones attention but then new users probably often get stuck because of something I call the techcentricity of Opera. Opera is by far the most innovative, tech heavy browser. If I had the time I’d tweak it for a week, 8 hours a day and would still find stuff I could tweak, BUT (a big but :D) that doesn’t help Joe Average.

    Joe Average wants a simple browser and maybe a simple mail client. (most of my friends don’t even know mail clients exist, they just use webmail). Everything else (IRC, RSS, Widgets plus lots of subfunctions like userjs etc.) is a product of Opera’s techcentricity. The techcentricity itself wouldn’t be a prob but I feel that it is part of a different mindset. M2 has it’s benefits, it’s a wonderful concept but a inexperienced user that once experiences one of these bugs for example:

    http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=150277
    http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=152038

    will just switch back to something else asap.

    Browserwise as soon as a user realizes that he can’t do banking or can’t visit one of his preferred site he will switch back.

    Most users do not give a dime whose fault it is that a website doesn’t work. They just want to surf the web or read their mails….

    Basically I don’t have the feeling that Opera conducts much research about what average users do expect and experience.

    Hope this helps as I love Opera and would love to see it succeed. I could rant on for a while but for now it’s enough I think 🙂

    Cheers
    Frank, who btw loves Operawatch!

  79. August 2, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    Frank and all commenters above,

    You all bring up some very important issues relating to the branding and marketing of the Opera browser. I can assure you that Opera marketing folks are reading these comments (I’ve spoken to them), they recognize the issues mentioned above, and are actively working to change.

    Keep the suggestions and ideas coming!

  80. zielsko
    August 2, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    The type of person who uses Opera and Firefox is different.
    Those user groups are having different needs.

  81. August 2, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    come on, there is nothing wrong with Opera’s name. In fact that is what first caught my eye, an icon and name that seemed more “classy” than sensationalist. Think of it as the fancy feast of browsers.

    Aside from that, one major problem is that some pages don’t load properly. As well as it’s wide range of advanced features may scare off the casual user, who thinks its hard when in fact its not if you just read the how-to aritlces.

  82. XXX
    August 3, 2006 at 11:26 pm

  83. YYY
    August 4, 2006 at 6:09 am

    http://img488.imageshack.us/img488/8342/operaprobscy5.jpg

    The address bar is part of the page so the current position is correct. Just because other brower’s tab and window management implementations are worse than Opera’s doesn’t mean everyone should follow that flawed UI guideline. Try to use MDI in Opera and you will understand why it does make sense. You can place it there if you want, anyway (just in case you don’t know it).

    Status bar takes too much space. The feature is provided by tooltips so it doesn’t make any sense to enable it by default.

    The start bar is disabled by default since Opera9.

    Regarding the fast forward and rewind buttons. What’s so hard to understand?. Everyone has used a DVD player and/or Video recorder.

  84. August 4, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    Status bar takes too much space. The feature is provided by tooltips so it doesn’t make any sense to enable it by default.

    I find tooltips to be insanely annoying in Opera, and so I have them turned off. I read a lot during my web browsing (not just clicking and moving to a new page every 5 seconds), and it seems like 9 out of 10 times the mouse pointer rests on something that brings up a tooltip – and that tooltip blocks the text I’m reading, which causes me to have to move the mouse away. It just happens way too often.

    The status bar does not take up too much space. The only way it would is if you’re still using 800×600 or 640×480 resolution, both of which are outdated and retarded now.

  85. YYY
    August 4, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    The status bar does not take up too much space. The only way it would is if you’re still using 800×600 or 640×480 resolution, both of which are outdated and retarded now.

    Most people use 1024×800 which is not that big. Screen space is a priority and the status bar takes space that provides functionality already present so it is a no-brain to keep it disabled by default. BTW, try using Opera (or other brower) in Gnome/KDE or OSX with the status bar enabled at 1024×800…

  86. August 5, 2006 at 9:33 pm

    BTW, try using Opera (or other brower) in Gnome/KDE or OSX with the status bar enabled at 1024×800…

    I thought your whole point was to make this easier for Average Joe? I’m sorry to say Mr. Joe does not run Linux. And anyway, I’m sure OSA could make the status bar enabled by default for the Windows install only.

    Disabling the almost useless Main Bar would create plenty of room for the status bar in Windows.

  87. FxUser
    August 6, 2006 at 12:09 am

    The only reason I moved to Firefox (from IE) is its Adblock feature (thanx to AdBlockPlus). I google “AdBlock for opera” but comes out with many sophisticated (aka complicated) list of AdBlocker: Phyton based, C++ based, etc, which I don’t think average user could maintain the dtabase easily.

    If only there is a widget (or what is that called for FF Extensions) that performs like AdBlock, or at least able to import my AdBlock list .. I will give it a try ..

    BTW. Is it true that Opera is really AdFree from now on? I still can’t remove that image .. And many bad things associated with it ..

  88. Mezzo E
    August 6, 2006 at 3:15 am

    Opera 10 could be rebranded as:
    OX (X =10 in Roman numerals)
    The promo tag line -‘Strong Like Ox – and Compliant too’- to indicate stong security and standards compliance.
    Or ‘Strong Like Ox – And that’s no Bull’
    But there may be some confusion with Apples OSX.

    O10 -formed from current red capital letter O logo and number 10 in black
    Tag line ‘Opera Ten – Very Binary.'(since the logo now looks like a binary digit).
    Alternate tag ‘Opera Ten- Because the Internet is all just ones and Zeros’

    Just some ideas.
    ME

  89. Mezzo E
    August 6, 2006 at 3:49 am

    Ideas for promoting Opera in the USA.
    Have TV host David Letterman do a version of his ‘Oprah/ Uma’ joke from the Oscars a few years ago but have him do it as ‘Oprah – Opera’ so he seems to be introducing the browser to US TV personality Oprah Winfrey.
    Might also be a good 30 second TV commercial that could be used over and over that cuts to the URL and logo or even an audio only 30 second radio spot.

    Then provide http://www.oprah.com a special Oprah themed, skinned verison of Opera for download as the recommended browser for optimum viewing of the Oprah website, kind of like the ‘Best Viewed in IE/ Netscape’ buttons on some websites.
    Arrange to have her site optimzed for Opera so it loads the site error free and so acts a a’perfect demo’ of Operas rendering capabilities.
    -Create a software bundle CD featuring Opera and some utils for distribuion in O magazine- Oprahs magazine.
    -Add a default bookmark to the Opera Mobile/Opera Mini mobile phone browsers for Oprah.com. Create a skinned mobile browser for Oprah.com that is exclusively available via her website.

    -Supply PC or MAC info kiosks with touch screens running Opera in kiosk mode to actual opera houses wordwide.
    You’ll be exposing the browser to a generally highly educated, upper income, culturally influential market segment.

  90. YYY
    August 6, 2006 at 4:00 am

    I thought your whole point was to make this easier for Average Joe? I’m sorry to say Mr. Joe does not run Linux. And anyway, I’m sure OSA could make the status bar enabled by default for the Windows install only.

    Uh?. It was just an example to show how the status bar affects the screen space in different desktop environments. It doesn’t change the fact that it takes unnecesary space in Windows.

    BTW, average users run OSX and Linux (corporate desktops) too.

    Disabling the almost useless Main Bar would create plenty of room for the status bar in Windows

    There’s no main bar enabled by default in Opera since the 7.54 days.

    If only there is a widget (or what is that called for FF Extensions) that performs like AdBlock, or at least able to import my AdBlock list .. I will give it a try ..

    Opera 9 has Adblock built-in.

    BTW. Is it true that Opera is really AdFree from now on? I still can’t remove that image .. And many bad things associated with it ..

    Opera has been ad-free since last summer. Try installing 8.5 or 9. The ads will disappear.

  91. FxUser
    August 6, 2006 at 6:46 am

    Really? Opera != AdMachine, even now have a built in ad blocking?

    Then, is it customizable? Is it possible to import AdBlock list into Opera “language”?

    Now I’m donwloading 9.0.1

  92. Philip
    August 6, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    Why can’t Opera get more people? That’s easy, community extendability.

    Firefox won the masses not because if just fast (and ad free) at the time. It’s because it was extendable. You can literally get anything you want added to the browser through extensions.

    Want a WYSIWYG? Install an extension. Block Ads? Install an extension. FTP? Install an extension. Dev Tools? Install an extension. Smarter tabs? Install an extension.

    Opera doesn’t have extensions. It has widgets, but all it does is add pretty on top of Opera. It doesn’t modify Opera’s functionality. It can’t change the way Opera reads a webpage or display debugging right on top of the page itself (Aadvark).

    I’m a Firefox user because of Extensions. Once Opera adds extensions, I’ll convert. But until then, I’m stuck on Firefox.

  93. YYY
    August 7, 2006 at 5:41 am

    Opera doesn’t have extensions. It has widgets, but all it does is add pretty on top of Opera.

    It does have more than widgets:

    http://my.opera.com/Rijk/blog/show.dml/330699

    Most Firefox users don’t know about extensions, just the geeky or curious ones; they don’t even use tabs because the out-box tab functionality is hidden.

    Firefox hardly “won the masses” because of extensions, especially when they brake after every upgrade and conflict with each other and FF itself.

  94. Philip
    August 7, 2006 at 8:40 am

    It does have more than widgets:
    http://my.opera.com/Rijk/blog/show.dml/330699

    There’s so many inaccuracy in that list, it’s unreal. Opera users are being far too broad in their “oh, we got this, too.”

  95. Philip
    August 7, 2006 at 8:44 am

    Firefox hardly “won the masses” because of extensions, especially when they brake after every upgrade and conflict with each other and FF itself.

    Firefox’s Auto Update (something Opera lacks — maybe in Opera10?) does assist in this. Most authors will update their extensions just before a major release. Once you update Fx, Fx will go out and install any updates for extensions you have. It’ll only disable extensions that aren’t “updated” for compatability. Disable, not uninstall. Periodically you can check for updates on those disabled extensions after the fact, too.

    (ps: correct abbreviation for Firefox is Fx)

  96. YYY
    August 7, 2006 at 9:35 am

    There’s so many inaccuracy in that list, it’s unreal. Opera users are being far too broad in their “oh, we got this, too.”

    Quit the fanboyism and point out what’s inaccurate.

    Most authors will update their extensions just before a major release. Once you update Fx, Fx will go out and install any updates for extensions you have. It’ll only disable extensions that aren’t “updated” for compatability. Disable, not uninstall.

    That’s the point, you end up with no functionality because you depend on authors upgrading their extensions; some of them deprecate the extension (ie. you don’ have the feature anymore unless someone else continues the project) and most of them update the extensions 1,2,… weeks after the upgrade (ie. no functionality until they upgrade to the new framework).

    For example, target alert no longer works with FF 1.5.

  97. August 7, 2006 at 11:38 am

    FxUser is the perfect example of why Opera marketing has failed. The browser has been ad-free since last fall and now includes a content-blocker, yet the word is failing to get out. I saw a number of folks on digg.com last week arguing against Opera because they thought it still included ads and lacked a content-blocker. This has to change.

  98. Philip
    August 7, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    Quit the fanboyism and point out what’s inaccurate.

    Sure, I over exagurated a bit. Who doesn’t? I looked at a few prominent things and just turned the page. Cause if they felt these were “proper matches” than they are sorely mistaken.

    The content blocker doesn’t compare to AdBlock. I don’t like how Opera users are trying to pass “Block Content” as Opera’s answer to AdBlock. Block Content works on piece of content at a time. It does not support true regular expressions. It does not have a white list. It actually slows down Opera if the list gets too long. Block Content as a long way to go before you can call it Opera’s answer to AdBlock.

    Gmail Notifier – Opera does not have an equivalent. Opera’s M2 can only check through POP3 or IMAP. Gmail Notifier does not do this. It checks Google RSS feed for new mail. When it finds new mail, you’re notified and clicking on the icon sends to you *Gmail* not another mail client. I want that, but Opera cannot do that. When I click on Mail in Opera, it opens M2.

    Couple things not listed: Spellcheck, Aadvark.

    FxUser is the perfect example of why Opera marketing has failed. The browser has been ad-free since last fall and now includes a content-blocker, yet the word is failing to get out. I saw a number of folks on digg.com last week arguing against Opera because they thought it still included ads and lacked a content-blocker. This has to change

    I can understand where you’re coming from there. I’ve known when Opera became ad free since day one it switched. I still have the “free serial” paper when Opera gave Opera 8.5 free for a day. But there’s two functionalities in Firefox I just cannot live without: AdBlock and Gmail Notifier (I want to use Gmail, not M2 — assuming that’s what Opera still calls their Mail client). Okay, add a third (I needed it typing this post. :D) — Spellcheck.

    I’m not any ol’ fan boy that’s knocking Opera cause I thought it was Adware. Believe it or not, I’ve been following Opera and it’s development since version 6.5. Opera is a very strong browser, but it’s missing things that would get me to switch and I’m really tired of people trying to pass off Opera’s poor excuse of implementation of these missing features as the real thing.

    Get me Gmail Notifier, Spellcheck and AdBlock and I’ll switch. Until then, Opera is still just a play toy for me.
    Other features that would be nice: Aadvark, Google Notebook, Del.icio.us buttons, SEO Extension, and BBCode. These are all the extensions I use on this browser (main reason I hadn’t updated THIS browser to 2.0 yet) that Opera does not have an equivalent.
    (aside from Del.icio.us, kinda. You can get away with just using the Bookmarklets. Big plus about Fx is you don’t have to loose/reload the page you’re tagging)
    — Better yet, build an extension API and the community will build these extensions.
    Coming here in a few months (1/2 year?) Opera will be the only browser without extension capability. Yet another smack across Opera’s face.
    (Actually, IE current does, somewhat .. more ActiveX or something — I just know Google Notepad actually does have an IE extension that works just like Firefox’s version)

  99. Philip
    August 7, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    That’s the point, you end up with no functionality because you depend on authors upgrading their extensions; some of them deprecate the extension

    You don’t know how to properly use extensions then. You sound more like your 100 extension type person. See, I use my properly. I still to actively developed extensions. I keep them updated and the most prominent ones are always updated within days /before/ a major release; unless there’s a major compatibility issue, then they are updated day /of/ release.

    50+ extensions and you’re gonna hurt yourself in updates. Keep to the key ones and you won’t have to worry.

    Personally, I’d much prefer user contributed options than bloating the browser with built in features. Then I can install only what I want to use.

    Now, I’m not calling Opera bloat. I will say Opera has a butt ass load of features in it, 70% most users will never use. While that does classify it as bloatware, the difference for Opera is, unlike bloatware, it’s not slowed down by it’s 70% unused feature set.
    (well, very large Content Block list is an exception)

  100. YYY
    August 8, 2006 at 5:12 am

    The content blocker doesn’t compare to AdBlock. I don’t like how Opera users are trying to pass “Block Content” as Opera’s answer to AdBlock. Block Content works on piece of content at a time. It does not support true regular expressions. It does not have a white list. It actually slows down Opera if the list gets too long. Block Content as a long way to go before you can call it Opera’s answer to AdBlock.

    Keep in mind that the aim of the list is to provide similar features not exactly the same feature. If this would be the case, you could never compare two products since what you are looking for is a copycat.

    That said, the content blocker is not Opera’s answer to Adblock, it’s just a gui for filter.ini, a feature that was already present in Opera. It does dot provide the same features as Adblock but does its job quite well. It’s good enough for most people who would never mess around with RegExp.

    Regarding RegExp, the developer said it would be trivial to add it but there are some things that need to be sorted out in the ui. This is most likely to be included in future versions.

    The current implementation slows down Opera if your urlfilter.ini file is 200k or more, which is insane, you can use * and ? in order to create patterns.

    Gmail Notifier – Opera does not have an equivalent. Opera’s M2 can only check through POP3 or IMAP. Gmail Notifier does not do this. It checks Google RSS feed for new mail. When it finds new mail, you’re notified and clicking on the icon sends to you *Gmail* not another mail client. I want that, but Opera cannot do that. When I click on Mail in Opera, it opens M2.

    You can do this by clicking on the RSS icon once you are logged in. Opera will notify you and if you click on the link Opera will send you to the Gmail page.

    Couple things not listed

    There are more than a couple of extensions not listed. The list is about the most popular FF extensions.

    Spellcheck

    Opera uses Aspell, if you have it on your system, it will pick it up.

    BBCode

    http://shoust.techwhack.org/?p=setups

    You don’t know how to properly use extensions then. You sound more like your 100 extension type person.

    50+ extensions and you’re gonna hurt yourself in updates. Keep to the key ones and you won’t have to worry.

    Exactly, the extensions framework is limited, and that’s the point. You cannot install more than 20 extensions, otherwise you are doomed.

    If I need to install more than 30 extensions in order to emulate some of Opera’s features and I can’t do it because everything is a mess – extensions fighting with each other and loosing functionality every upgrade because some authors deprecate their extensions -, that’s hardly my fault. I haven’t seen any note over Mozilla explaining that the extension framework is flawed and you can only install 10-15 extensions.

    Mozilla depends on extensions to provide basic functionality and this is the problem, once you install more than 20 extensions everything slows down, memory leaks are everywhere and the browser does not respond like it should.

    Personally, I’d much prefer user contributed options than bloating the browser with built in features. Then I can install only what I want to use.

    It seems that Mozilla does not agree with you since they are including more and more features in FF by default (drag and drop tabs, sessions, …).

    Like it or not, you cannot rely on third party code to provide basic functionality -even more when the third party code is not tested-, this is browser’s job and finally Mozilla has learned it.

    I will say Opera has a butt *** load of features in it, 70% most users will never use. While that does classify it as bloatware, the difference for Opera is, unlike bloatware, it’s not slowed down by it’s 70% unused feature set.

    That’s quite contradictory, how can it be bloatware if it’s fast, reponsible and everything is well integrated.

    That’s not the definition of bloat.

    Mail,chat,feeds and BitTorrent are disabled by default, they do not use any memory until you enable them. They are just 500/600k of code – less than 3 extensions – and the complete Opera package is smaller than a barebones FF install.

  101. Danny P
    August 9, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    Crap logo, simple as.

    Still use it though becasue it is the best around.

  102. Philip
    August 9, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Keep in mind that the aim of the list is to provide similar features not exactly the same feature.

    That I can accept; however, more often than not, Opera users are passing it off as “Opera’s port” which is far from true. Moral dilemma of supporting/not supporting ads is what has hurt Opera in this department. Firefox gets away from this by the use of extensions.

    That’s quite contradictory, how can it be bloatware if it’s fast, reponsible and everything is well integrated.

    I’d suggest you re-read what I said. I did not call Opera bloatware. My “unlike bloatware” statement was meant as an exception in Opera’s favor declassifying it as bloatware.

    Mozilla depends on extensions to provide basic functionality and this is the problem, once you install more than 20 extensions everything slows down, memory leaks are everywhere and the browser does not respond like it should.

    There’s much debate currently about what’s considered basic functionality or not. This is why Firefox contains so little by default. It’s a core browser, simple as that. Very core. Stuff that 80+% of it’s user base will use. If you find a feature you feel should be core, build a valid argument against the Firefox devs explaining why 80+% of the users would want this feature. If you can’t, then it goes to the extensions pile.

  103. YYY
    August 9, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    I’d suggest you re-read what I said. I did not call Opera bloatware. My “unlike bloatware” statement was meant as an exception in Opera’s favor declassifying it as bloatware.

    I will say Opera has a butt *** load of features in it, 70% most users will never use. While that does classify it as bloatware, the difference for Opera is, unlike bloatware, it’s not slowed down by it’s 70% unused feature set.”

    The point is that you seem to misunderstand the concept “bloatware”. “Load of features” – as you call it – is not bloatware per se, bloatware is related to system resources, that is, how a program manages RAM, CPU, … Being loaded with loads of features does not classify a program as bloatware by any means. As an example, a barebones FF (very few features) with a huge memory leak does classify as bloatware; features have nothing to do with the term bloatware.

    Opera does not classify as bloatware in the first place (exactly because of the reasons you said).
    There’s no way you can remove it from a category which is not included in in the first place; that’s the contradiction in your argument.

  104. August 11, 2006 at 1:28 am

    I think the “average Joe” is simply unaware that Opera even exists as an alternative to Internet Explorer. Sure, he’s probably heard of Firefox at this point, but is still afraid to try it because “it’s not IE.” I think Opera needs to be advertised quite a bit more, although it has done a great job securing deals with Nintendo and Sony, as well as Opera Mini being virtually the only worthwhile WAP-based browser for mobile phones.

    I agree that the people who have heard of Opera are probably unaware that Opera has been ad-free since the better part of 2005. This needs to be stressed more in more advertisements of the browser. Finally, while the interface is different from IE, I don’t find it very difficult to use, and it’s amazing how much Opera can do and has built-in once you dig below the surface a bit. From first glance, would you have guessed that Opera also has a built-in e-mail client? Would you have guessed that it features mouse gestures, a huge time-saving system? These features also need to be known by people who know of Opera, but are either unsure if it’s right for them or are downright scared to try something new that’s “not IE.”

  105. August 22, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    I am an Opera fanatic, I sugest all people to try Opera, and they don’t like that Opera doesn’t support Windows Live Mail and Yahoo Mail Beta. So when they try to chech their new beta mails they are forced to use IE or the IE skin (Firefox).

  106. Luz F.
    August 22, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I think its due to many different things, among others:

    a) Commodity: People & business buy computers with IE included. They don’t know about computers, and they don’t want to “complicate” their lives on browser’s battle. IE it’s there, it’s free, it comes included so, why bother?

    b) Netscape users are loyal, old net navigators, they don’t like what MS did on past times to Netscape, so they continue to use it. Some may have switched to Mozilla. And some to IE because the job market required it.

    c) Opera was not free, and then it became free, but it had ads.

    d) Mozilla became popular among Open Source people and computer-minds, because of its concept.

    d) Many computer minds are old net navigators who knew the first web, with more honest people, and not with such thrill of marketing of nowadays, where you can’t trust anyone.

    e) MS invested a lot on marketing its products, including buying rights & part of some companies to enter the Mac platform.

    f) Linux users are more into OpenSource, and so Mozilla comes..And they still remember your ads!

    z)….. zZzz…

    I first tested Opera long ago. Now I have installed and it’s really great, but I still have Netscape & Mozilla, depending for what.

    I missed in your browser the old “Composer” feature that was present since Netscape 2.0 Gold.
    In Netscape 8 they also took it out 😦 .
    I’ve tried almost all Opera widgets, and none does it!.How about creating one? Just by using MENU – FILE – EDIT, one can send it to Composer on the fly, with no worries.

    So, well, now I have four browsers installed! But I had to say that you are the faster one.

    Problems with sites are true, as many websites were built for IE, and if doesn’t detects IE, it fills the browser memory, and it hangs, and eventually closes.

    Also some sites close your browser even without javascript enabled option, when it detects that you want to save the page, or an image, for offline browsing..

    Also, Adobe’s PDF’s takes a lot of time & resources, which possibly may eventually hang Opera or even the system. To use programs to clean the Ram is a wise idea to minimize this, though sometimes one may need to restart..

    keep’up the good job!

  107. Luz F.
    August 22, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    I forgot to say: How can you appeal to some people of the OpenSource environment, which are power users (or development minds) if you (at least) don’t easily show a list of all the things fixed in the updates, and such?

    Opera is really a good piece of software, perfect for Apple-Mac minds (now almost any platform): great looking, great programming, great features, no complications.. But tech-minds wants (needs)some “tech info food”..

  108. sandyman
    October 16, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    Why don’t more people use it?

    Most people use the browser that comes installed on the computer. In most cases this means IE.

    People who do switch to another browser are looking for two things.

    An easy to use browser with easy to use features. Sorry but Opera fails on both counts.

    It is so “customisable” that most users will look at it and walk away. It’s the KDE of browsers.

    Regarding features, again, for techies, it’s great but for Joe user it does not measure up.

    1) Adblocking – sorry Adblock does it better and more easily

    2) Flashblocking – idem.

    3) Toolbars, eg Yahoo/Google, forget it

    4)Stumbleupon support – idem

    5) del.icio.us support – pretty crappy really.

    Do I have to carry on?

    Opera is a bit like Betamax, technically quite good, but unfortunately it will never fly

  109. Arielb
    November 22, 2006 at 12:29 am

    I think opera’s UI is a major problem. Even if it’s UI bloat doesn’t slow the computer down, it slows down the *user* so the end result is that you spend more time looking for things and less time browsing. Firefox looks more like IE6 and the old Netscape that most people are familiar with.

    Opera is proud to call itself a browser for power users but the power users will be attracted to the open source and extensions of firefox. For example, I have the menu, buttons and address and search bar all on one row. I save lots of space that way. With the tiny menu and menu editor extensions, I save even more space.

    But let’s not get so focused about firefox and power users. It’s still a relatively small group. The real challenge is to go after the 85% still using IE. They won’t care about tabs or mouse gestures but they will care if the browser is really really cool like the ipod.
    I don’t think most die hard firefox and opera users will like this answer because it puts style over substance. But that’s the way to go to get tons of switchers.

    (and on a related note, I wish Apple would actually show the mac in action in their TV ads instead of some grunge mac guy who thinks PC’s are only good for black and white spreadsheets)

  110. November 22, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    When I installed Opera two differences in the GUI struck me immediately: the tabs are above the URL bar and nav buttons, and the stop and reload button are in the same place. These are both much more intelligent than the standard interface. When a page is loaded you can’t hit “stop,” and when a page is loading it’s (usually) silly to hit “reload.” If you really want a fresh load, just double-click the stop-reload button.

    Firefox 2.0 was disappointing to me because all of its features are already in Opera.

  111. December 10, 2006 at 6:57 am

    The main reason I have switched to Opera is its excellent memory management and lightweight operation. Firefox on my three years old laptop becomes unbearably slow when I have around 10 tabs open, but Opera is able to handle twice as many and still be quite fast. Even on newer machines I still feel more comfortable with the responsiveness of Opera.

    My main problem with Opera is development support. When I want to find documentation about how to code a specific Firefox extension it is simply a matter of googling for it. Opera lacks this kind of detailed documentation/support for developers. The available documentation is good, but only covers very basic features and functionality.

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