Home > Uncategorized > My trip to Opera headquarters (with pictures)

My trip to Opera headquarters (with pictures)

March 5, 2007

I was at Opera HQ last week for a visit, where I had lots of meetings during my short stay there. The main focus of my visit was for discussions on how we can further increase our user base for both the desktop browser and Opera Mini.

I hear lots of Opera users complain that Opera has lost somewhat of an interest in increasing the desktop market share after going ad-free in the desktop. I can assure you that it is not the case; Opera has a lot vested in the desktop browser besides for the revenue it receives for the traffic Opera sends to Google Search.

There’s a lot we can do to make Opera more popular; we discussed various ideas to achieve our goals we have set forth. We’re always open to your ideas and suggestions – you could either email them to me or to Lawrence Eng.

The desktop team was busy putting on the final touches on the new Speed Dial functionality for the Weekly build when I met with developers and QA.

That evening I went out for dinner with Johan Borg, the desktop team manager, and about ten or so other Opera guys and gals. Even during dinner Johan was tracking (using Opera Mini) the comments to his post on the desktop team blog announcing Speed Dial. He was telling me how there were already more than 100 comments in the short time the post was up – and most of them were very positive toward the new functionality. In fact, as we were waiting for the cab to pick us up for the restaurant, Jan Standal, the Director Product Manager (and one of the top brains behind Opera’s strategy), was also reading the comments to the Speed Dial blog post on his Opera Mini browser; he was amazed at how the comments were flying in minutes after the weekly build went live. The people at Opera do read your comments.

I did a video interview with Håkon Wium Lie, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Opera Software, where he also showed me (on camera) his OLPC laptop running Opera and some projects he’s working on. I’ll post the video in the coming days.

A visit to Opera HQ without visiting the people behind the Wii browser would be a complete failure. 🙂 They’re making the browser for the coolest gaming console, the Nintendo Wii. So of course I had to meet them. I even managed to browse the web and play some games on the Wii (with Haavard’s help, of course).

I also met with some of the Opera Mini people. They’re on a high, having released Opera Mini 3.0 just recently – and now PC Magazine is saying “if you only ever download one cell phone app, download Opera”. As I’ve said before on this blog, they are working on some real exciting things that will change the way you browse the web on your phone – I can’t wait. I love Opera Mini – it’s a great browser for the restroom. 🙂

On my last day there I sat down with the head of the Web Applications team, one of the things we discussed was how we could make Opera Widgets more attractive to developers. Since Opera Widgets could run on all platforms and devices (that include the Opera browser) it would be an ideal application platform to deliver web applications – think of the possibilities.

I took some picture while I was there; unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to take more pictures of around the office. Take a look at the gallery.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Yash
    March 6, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Opera has an office in India? I think i saw India’s flag in the section of flags where opera has offices?
    Where do they have their office in india? Would like to visit it if i ever have time and i am nearby!!

  2. kt
    March 6, 2007 at 1:03 am

    Great pics, Daniel…felt like I visited with you…! 😉

  3. March 6, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Cool. I look forward to watching that Håkon interview video…

  4. rseiler
    March 6, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Perhaps they read all the posts but they don’t answer all of them. Can you shed any light on this?

    Curious: There seemed to be a natural divide point between the post-9.10 work done before Speed Dial was added and all the work that’s to come mainly due to Speed Dial (I’d guess at least a month, probably two).

    Why didn’t you just wrap work on pre-Speed Dial builds, get it out the door as 9.11 (or 9.12, whatever), and then proceed on the Speed Dial build to be released a couple months hence (as 9.20)?

    The way it turned out, all the earlier work is going to be held back a couple months for Speed Dial.

  5. March 6, 2007 at 2:58 am

    There’s a lot we can do to make Opera more popular; we discussed various ideas to achieve our goals we have set forth. We’re always open to your ideas and suggestions

    How to gain more market share? The answer is simple: Localization Believe me. I’m Polish. I know that many, many people in Poland don’t know English language. After II War during 50 years all children in Poland had learned only Russian language. So a Polish Opera resources are critical for gaining more market share than 7% today in Poland. Consider for example Widgets. There are so much marketing noise in OS ASA about this feature. The results? Widgets are almost unknown in Poland. Why because widgets.opera.com are in English only 😦 Imagine how many languages are in the World. These people waiting for good localization. Not only Opera product, but other services like community, documentation etc.

    I think you should learn from your main competitor in this area. Let’s compare:

    Firefox browser: 41 full localized install packages (Windows, Linus and Mac OS) http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html
    Opera browser: 27 full localizations inside an international install package (only for Windows!) other 6 localizations are available only as lang file 😦 Other systems like Unix family have no localizated packages! Only Mac OS version has small number lang packs built in.

    Firefox product site: 27 localizations! Opera product site: only 3 (eng, jp, ru)! Opera Mini site has only lang version. This is catastrophic.

    And one more thing: I’m maintaining Polish Opera fun site: http://operapl.net The site is the most popular Polish Opera site. I’ve received many many mails from Polish Opera users who think that the site is *official* Opera Polish site. I don’t think it’s cause to be proud for OS ASA 😉

  6. Chegger
    March 6, 2007 at 3:51 am

    Why would they answer all posts? It would take ages, and the comments section would just be ten times longer. No companies do this. They do have things to do, you know, like working, eating and sleeping.

    And why would Opera get out 9.11 or 9.12? What’s the point? Why force out one more version if there’s no need for that?

  7. March 6, 2007 at 4:31 am

    Nice photos.

  8. March 6, 2007 at 8:43 am

    @Yash: yes Opera has an office in Chandigarh. In fact, just today I found out that the Indian office has a blog.

    @rseiler: I can’t speak for them. However, I’m sure you’re aware that the **entire** desktop team isn’t just working on Speed Dial. Don’t forget about the next major update to Opera, version 9.5, and of course there’s Opera 10 too.

    @quiris: Your wish will become true soon. 🙂

  9. March 6, 2007 at 9:09 am

    @quiris: Your wish will become true soon.

    Soon, you say? Interesting, very interesting 😀 Is it a matter of weeks or months? 😉

    BTW: The red-white flag: http://operawatch.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=471 – is it Indonesian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Indonesia? Or Monaco one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Monaco? Or rather inverted Polish flag: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Poland?

  10. March 6, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Pictures are dog slow. If only there was a blogging platform that could:
    a)allow you to put up blog posts
    b)Had a photo album associated with it.
    c)Looked good on Opera Mini


  11. rseiler
    March 6, 2007 at 10:43 am

    @Chegger: It seems that you weren’t following the betas between the release of 9.10 final and Speed Dial: there were numerous bug fixes made. There’s obviously a need for the fixes since they were made. There was a period of weeks between those builds and Speed Dial in which they could have polished it off and released it as 9.11, but now they’re being held up so that a new feature they decided to add late in the game can be introduced alongside the bug fixes. I maintain that there should have been two releases.

    And they should answer the posts that beg to be answered, as this one did.

    I have no problem with you being full of excuses, but please have them make sense.

  12. March 6, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Sweet. Next time you are in town give me a beep, and I’ll buy you a beer. 🙂

    – ØØ –

  13. March 6, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    On the first page, I think “launch” = “lunch.” 😉

  14. March 6, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    BAMAToNE, oops… 😮

  15. March 6, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Nice to see them work, however, if every one is a manager, no one is responsible… ??? :right:

    Indeed, responding to user views is key to success. Strategy of inclusion… user is part of the team.

    @quiris, nice site, keep up the good work… to double the Opera market share :up:

  16. March 6, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I think that i can guest one from the new futures for opera mini. It’s one from the most requested futures… It’s….. (tada…. Trumpets…) File system access!!! From where i know? In some mobile sites that has input field to upload file, now you will see “select” right after the input field, and when you press it, you got an error message: the page op:fileselect not found. or something like this. Hahaha… It’s server update, so you can see it no every opera mini version, but it’s useless without client that support filesystem access.

  17. March 6, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    And what about pictures of the building from outside ?

  18. Jonathan
    March 6, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Nice photos. Is it possible for you to scan the contents of these folders, as seen at
    http://operawatch.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=465 ? If there are interesting facts in it, of course, maybe you could scan the most relevant pages? Thanks in advance, Mr. Goldman.

  19. March 6, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Jonathan, those are just Opera brochures. Nothing fancy.

  20. wupperbayer
    March 6, 2007 at 2:43 pm


    What are all these clocks showing? And why are they labelled “Opera”, “Netscape” and “Internet Explorer”? I assume Netscape’s clock is the one which is dead 😉

  21. Hmm
    March 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm


    “there were numerous bug fixes made. There’s obviously a need for the fixes since they were made.”

    That’s an illogical conclusion. Bugs will always be fixed. That doesn’t mean that all of them are critical and require an immediate release.

    “And they should answer the posts that beg to be answered”

    Even if one begs to be answered that doesn’t mean that it’s something that actually requires an answer (or deserves one).

  22. March 6, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    It is the time at their “office”. Ther is one clock for each Opera office, i.e Norway, Japan and so on…

  23. March 6, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Is my comment still waiting for moderation? 😉

  24. Tadaaah!
    March 6, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Hey yehezkelshb! Opera Mini runs under Java. Unless Java has access, neither does Opera Mini. And it’s not like it could do much anyway, since it requires servers to process web sites.

  25. March 6, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    @Tadaaah! First, most of current phones have file system access trough java, by JSR75 or some vendor specific method (e.g. motorola). So opera mini also have an option to use it. Second, it’s not to open html files from the phone memory, this can’t to be done, as you wrote. But it’s helpful to have a way to upload file to sites, just like you can now to photo blog from your camera phone to your blog, if your phone support JRS135 i think. It’s also useful if they give as an option to save page from the internet to phone memory and read them offline later.

  26. Tadaaah!
    March 7, 2007 at 2:33 am

    yehezkelshb -> “most of current phones”

    But Opera has to work on ALL phones.

  27. March 7, 2007 at 3:25 am

    @Tadaaah! It’s can will be like photobloging future. My phone (nokia 6230i) don’t support camera access for applications, but guess what… I can use the midp2 version without any problem and compatibility broke. But….. I got a mistake. It’s not opera mini server that was changed. It’s was only specific site that added this link to support some opera mini version that i can’t talk about it here in official opera employer blog…

  28. March 7, 2007 at 4:14 am

    Good article and nice pics, man! For me, Opera is the way to surf. 😉 Go Norway and go Opera!

    I have to say, Opera Hq. looks more modest than I expected, but I like the atmosphere anyway… at least, from what I can see in your pics.

  29. March 7, 2007 at 8:12 am

    @Tadaaah! It’s like the photobloging future, my phone (nokia 6230i) don’t support this future, but guess what… I can use the midp2 version without any problem. Not all phones must use all futures! But…. I had a big mistake. It’s not a change in opera mini servers, it’s was just one site that added this special link to use with some opera mini version, version that i can’t talk about it here in opera employer blog… 😉

  30. March 7, 2007 at 8:13 am


  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: