About.com recalls Opera's CEO's swim stunt with the launch of Opera 8

April 27, 2007 19 comments

Over at the Swimming section on About.com they recently mentioned Jon von Tetzchner, the founder and CEO of Opera, and his quest to swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to the US after downloads of the then newly released Opera 8 exceeded one million in the first four days.

Btw, here is how the Seattle Times summed up the stunt:

“Various Microsoft executives have swum in “Lake Bill” over the years, celebrating product launches and other milestones with a dunk in the pond in the middle of the Redmond campus.

But none of those splashdowns compares with the stunt announced last week by Opera Software Chief Executive Jon von Tetzchner. He pledged to swim from Norway to the U.S. — stopping only for a cup of hot chocolate at his mother’s house in Iceland — if a million copies of the new Opera browser are downloaded in the first four days of its release.”

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Opera CEO swimming

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Categories: Marketing

Apparently people are still paying for Opera support

April 27, 2007 18 comments

Just the other day I was wondering whether it’s time to remove the “Buy” link (see screenshot below) from the menu bar on Opera’s website. Having a “Buy” link featured so prominently on the page may give the false impression to potential users that Opera cost money.

On the “Buy” page there’s some information about Opera’s paid support for the browser, as well as links to some of Opera’s mobile browsers that still cost money (btw, you could download Opera Mobile for your Pocket PC and Windows Smartphone for free until June).

Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t see much of a point of having the “Buy” page all together. Opera already has a “Support” section on its site. I’ll have to speak with the Web team about it.

I also wondered how popular the paid support actually is. After all, Opera has great support in the forums, where many Opera users pitch in for help.

It turns out that some people are still using Opera’s support. This fellow Opera user was having issues with his Opera and contacted the paid Opera support. The support team was able to narrow down his problem to VNC.

I’m curious to know whether any of you still use Opera’s paid support.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Archos adds Opera to their website

April 27, 2007 5 comments

Archos recently added a new Opera sub-domain to their website over at opera.archos.com.

The Opera section on their site highlights their portable multimedia players that come preloaded with the Opera web browser. Opera powers the web browser on the Archos 604 Wifi and Archos 704 Wifi.

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The Opera-powered Archos

Categories: Opera Devices

How to duplicate (clone) a tab with its browsing history in Opera?

April 26, 2007 16 comments

One of the neat tab features of the Opera browser that I use every so often is duplicating tabs. It comes in useful when you want to go back in the tab’s history, while staying on the same page.

What does it mean to “duplicate” a tab?
Opera clones the current tab with its browsing history, and still allowing you use the “Back” button in the cloned tab.

How to duplicate a tab in Opera?
Opera offers three methods for duplicating tabs (that I’m aware of)

  1. Right-click on the tab in the tab bar, and click on “Duplicate” (see screenshot below).
  2. Using Opera’s popular Mouse Gestures, hold down the right mouse button while moving down and then up then release the mouse button.
  3. Using your keyboard press the following buttons together: CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+N. It’s kind of a long keyboard shortcut, but it works. 🙂

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Duplicating a tab in Opera

Categories: Desktop, Opera Tips

Update: Opera Mini beats Safari, Netscape and Mozilla combined in Ukraine

April 24, 2007 9 comments

Last Friday I blogged about Opera Mini being more popular than Apple’s Safari browser in Ukraine, a country with 42 million people. Now the IDG Wire service picked up on the story with articles in Network World, Yahoo News, PC World and PC Advisor.

The point of my blog post last week is that for the first time a mobile browser is beating desktop browsers in the rankings. And it’s no surprise to me that the popular Opera Mini is the one to beat the big guys.

Either way, a top Opera executive pointed out to another ranking (which counts more visitors) that shows Opera Mini beating Safari, Netscape and Mozilla combined in Ukraine.

Internet Explorer: 75.9%
Opera: 11.5%
Firefox: 11.2%
Opera Mini: 0.7%
Mozilla: 0.3%
Netscape: 0.1%
Safari: 0.1%

This data also shows the importance for web developers to test their sites and web applications in the Opera browser. Do you want to turn away more than 12% of Ukraine, a population of 42 million?

Categories: Opera Mini, Statistics

How Opera ranks with its SVG implementation? "Best native implementation"

April 23, 2007 10 comments

Jeff Schiller, a software developer, has done some nice work grading the support of Scalable Vector Graphics, otherwise known as SVG, in browsers and plugins.

Using the SVG Test Suite supplied by the W3C, he graded each of the browsers and browser plugins on their support for SVG.

Here are the results (score out of 100%):

Browsers:
Opera 9.10: 89.64%
Firefox 3.0 PreA4: 56.00%
Konqueror 3.5.5: 53.03%
Opera 8.5: 47.27%
Firefox 2.0.1: 45.82%
Firefox 1.5.0.11: 44.55%

Browser plugins:
Batik: 92.18%
Adobe SVG Viewer 6 PR1: 85.82%
Adobe SVG Viewer 3: 82.73%
Renesis 0.5: 32.91%

“In roughly a year, the Opera browser went from being one of the least usable SVG implementations (no scripting/DOM support) to the best native implementation and achieved a higher score than the famed Adobe SVG Viewer”

It should be pointed out that Opera has greatly advanced its support for SVG since Opera 9.1 and 9.2. The Wii Opera-powered browser has a more advanced rendering engine than the desktop version of Opera 9 (The next major rendering engine update for Opera will likely be Opera 9.5). If these tests would be taken again using the Wii browser (with the newer rendering engine), Opera would score much higher. According to one internal estimate, Opera would score about 95%.

I was at a recent Mobile Monday conference in New York, where the day’s talks gathered around SVG. Opera’s implementation of SVG was lauded by most speakers as “top of the line.”

SVG allows you to create graphics and animations using text-only. One of the main advantages to using SVG is “write once, run on any screen resolution.” Since the graphics and animations are text-based, they can be easily adapted for any screen size.

SVG is very popular on mobile phones for this reason.

If you’re wondering why Opera is putting resources into SVG? Well… As I’ve mentioned before, Opera 9 for mobile phones supports Opera Widgets, and since Opera Widgets are written using common web standards, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SVG, you’ll be able to make complex and neat-looking mobile applications that will work on any phone with an Opera browser. Think of the possibilities.

(Learn more about SVG on dev.opera.com)

Categories: Opera Mobile, Standards

Yahoo optimizes site for the Wii browser

April 23, 2007 7 comments

Yahoo Japan has optimized their search site for the Wii Opera-powered browser.

Wow… even huge companies like Yahoo are paying close attention to the Wii Internet Channel. Other big sites, such as StumbleUpon, have also taken notice of the Wii browser. This is great!

Since I’m not one of the lucky ones to own a Wii, I turned to Firefox and the Tamper Data extension to create the Wii screenshot of Yahoo below. However, for some reason the site is optimized for the Wii, but not for Firefox. It appears to be messed up a bit in Firefox. But that’s the best I’ve got at the moment.

Edit: Robin Zalek, a reader of Opera Watch, was kind enough to make a couple screenshots of Yahoo’s site on the Wii.

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Yahoo’s optimized site for the Wii browser

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Yahoo’s optimized site for the Wii browser

Categories: Opera on Nintendo