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az
3rd April 2005, 00:31
In the latest c't (computer magazine) is a CD which contains a code with which you can legally obtain a registration code for Opera 7 for free, and which also enables you to register Opera 8 for 8 EUR once it becomes available.

I haven't tried this yet, and I don't know if I could just give y'all the code without you having to buy the mag (because it may not be available where you live), but I find this unethical and so I don't think I'll do this. Still, if you can get the magazine where you live, this is an awesome deal (and if you understand german, this is definitely one of the best computer magazines out there).

AZ

The PIT
3rd April 2005, 07:17
Mmm let me think about it err no thanks.

xortam
3rd April 2005, 10:46
Gee, I though they were giving away Opera. What do they normally charge for it?

az
3rd April 2005, 11:09
39 EUR, I think, half that for students (and i think the disabled); free program for universities etc., massive discounts for multiple licenses. Or free with banner or text ads.

AZ

xortam
3rd April 2005, 11:14
I expected that they still gave away browsers. Do they charge similarly for FireFox and others? It's surprising that people hate IE that much that they're willing to spend that kind of money on something else. How many copies of Opera do they sell at full price?

az
3rd April 2005, 12:13
The only company that sells desktop browsers is Opera Software (and they've done so for ten years). Firefox is given away for free.

Opera has gone public a while ago, but I cannot find any hard numbers on how many full licenses they sold. Nevertheless, you can find extensive information on their site, www.opera.com .

People pay for Opera not because they hate IE (well, some may...), but because Opera is just better for their needs (much faster, much more secure, much more customizable, hugely better usability, much more feature-rich, includes mail & chat client, newfeed aggregator, all three disabled by default in Opera 8. It has downsides of course: compatibility with badly coded pages, though this has gotten better, no ActiveX is both a plus and a minus, and Sasq will be happy to point out many WebApps won't run on Opera, but why this is is too techy for me :)).

The free, ad-sponsored version is also used by many, and I must say, the google text-ad sponsoring is really very modest and doesn't even take much screen space.

In the future, the main revenue for Opera will lie in the obile market though, I think (but they have promised not to leave the desktop market).

AZ

Jessterw
3rd April 2005, 12:21
The only company that sells desktop browsers is Opera Software (and they've done so for ten years).
Only if you are leaving out the Mac platform. The Omni Group has been selling it's Omniweb browser for years as well, and it's quite popular as well as innovative. ;)

az
3rd April 2005, 12:37
Oh OK. Didn't know that. Mea culpa :)

What rendering engine is OmniWeb based on?

AZ

Jessterw
3rd April 2005, 13:43
Webkit, which is what Safari uses in a round-about way. Webkit itself is based on KHTML, but with a lot of extra leg-work done by Apple. And yes, I realize that means that Opera has an extra bragging point in that they also created the rendering engine their browser uses :p

az
3rd April 2005, 14:25
That never was a bragging point for me. Frankly, I don't really care what rendering engine my browser uses as long as it's fast, standards compliant, compatible (an oxymoron? ;)) and does the things I expect of it. I use Opera because of its absolutely superior UI, and now that I've grown attached, out of habit and because I don't want to re-learn, and because I've grown used to its features.

AZ

xortam
3rd April 2005, 15:21
The only company that sells desktop browsers is Opera Software (and they've done so for ten years). ...Perhaps that's why they have such a relatively small user base and why site developers don't bother coding for it. ;)

Jessterw
3rd April 2005, 15:35
Site developers don't have to code for it if they code using standards, except for a few instances where they might have to code around a few "bugs" in how Opera handles things (largely DHTML related issues). Usually these are developers who code for IE anyhow.

But yes, the fact that the browser costs money is probably a big reason it doesn't have a larger market share. History has proven that people love cheap (free). The fact that when IE became free it beat out the far superior Netscape Navigator says it all.

xortam
3rd April 2005, 16:57
Site developers don't have to code for it if they code using standards, except for a few instances where they might have to code around a few "bugs" in how Opera handles things (largely DHTML related issues). Usually these are developers who code for IE anyhow. ...I should have said site developers don't generally test for Opera compatibility (and therefore code accordingly) and that hurts its acceptance, but as I've stated before ... IE became the de facto standard so that's what really matters.

Jessterw
3rd April 2005, 17:00
[insert standard rant about web standards here]

Marshmallowman
3rd April 2005, 19:13
Az what issue/month was it?, I am not sure I will be able to find ct around here but I'll have a look.
I was a fan of opera between using netscape and mozilla appearing...but I don't like ads or paying for a browsers ;)

az
3rd April 2005, 19:13
Of course Opera would have a larger user base if it were given away for free - but how is the company supposed to make money and pay the developers then? So, Opera would cease to exist or live on as an Open Source project, and let's face it, the big OS projects only survive because they have corporate backing/guidance.

AZ

GuchiGuh
3rd April 2005, 20:27
http://sfx-images.mozilla.org/affiliates/Banners/125x125/rediscover.png

xortam
3rd April 2005, 20:48
Such is life.

Jessterw
3rd April 2005, 20:52
Firefox development has been, post-Pheonix, funded by the likes of AOL and others who have interest in seeing a quality open-source alternative to IE available.

GuchiGuh
4th April 2005, 02:12
downloading opera now. want to see whats it like after some time of no use :)

az
4th April 2005, 02:49
Oh, forgot to say, it's the current issue, available for non-subscribers from today (monday) at least in germany. Issue 8/2005.

AZ

Nowhere
4th April 2005, 03:14
...
but because Opera is...much faster...hugely better usability
...AZ

(all this applies with many tabs open) Then why it takes for Opera few seconds to react to a click on a tab, if it reacts at all? (in most cases it does, but...) Why scrollbar deataches from the mouse when I drag it? Why something similiar happens when using scrollwheel? Why all transfer from/to webpages stops at some point? (under win2k - OS with no limit of connections number)

az
4th April 2005, 06:01
I have no idea. What Opera version are you using?

I don't have ANY of these problems, honestly. I regularly surf with many tabs open (although I must say with 100 tabs open it sometimes takes half a second to react when clicking on a tab, and with 100+ connections at the same time, it gets a little sluggish as well). There are some sites that slow Opera way down (I think it's some plugin issue), but I have no URIs at hand, because those are not sites I frequent. Oh, yes, www.the-underdogs.org slows Opera down when many pages of it are opened in separate tabs; I haven't bothered to look into the reason.

Turn off "smooth scrolling" or whatever it's called, with this off my Opera reacts faster and more directly to the scrollwheel than any other app I've tried. Transfers don't stop here (only when the damn router crashes). I don't know what you mean by the crollbar detaching from the mouse - you scroll and suddenly it is as if you had lifted the finger off the button for a split second? I never had that problem in any app.

The best address to get these problems solved is to post them at http://my.opera.com/forums/ (probably in "General" or "Opera for Windows", but I think there's also a polish forum, and some very knowledgeable polish people there). The forums are a very nice place if you don't storm in shouting how Opera is a POS or FF is hugely superior or something, and many of the people there know a lot more about Opera than I do.

AZ

xortam
4th April 2005, 09:16
So tell me az ... what are the Opera folks (don't know the company name) doing to modify their business model so it can grow their business? They'll need to enlarge their user base which will be tough if they're the only ones charging for a browser. You mention that they will be going after the mobile market but surely they'll have tough competition there as well and from better financed organizations. How viable is Opera's future?

az
4th April 2005, 09:41
The name's Opera Software ASA, they're listed in the Oslo stock exchange under the symbol "OPERA".

Well, to get a larger user base for the desktop, the most important thing is to release new, better versions that provide a benefit to the user, and, maybe more importantly, communicating this advantage (i. e. marketing/advertising). They wanted to have Opera 8 ready for the FF 1.0 release, which obviously didn't work out, so they expanded on what Opera 8 was going to be and will be releasing early this quarter. It is very hard to sell a browser when everybody else is giving theirs away for free, but they have managed to do so for the last ten years, I don't see why they should fail now. They've always been in third place (although very influential: almost all the good features you can find in Moz/FF and future IE versions have been pioneered by them).

They are already going strong in the mobile market and are quite aggressively developing and making contracts. This market works completely different than the desktop market: Important is what handset manufacturers or providers bundle with their phones (Vodafone is an important customer for Opera, because they set an example for the other carriers). Opera has quite a strong technology base for this market: The browser is already available for almost all important proprietary mobile OSes (except PalmOS), can easily be ported to other OSes (They are waiting for big customers to ask for a port to, for instance, PalmOS), and is very feature-rich for a mobile browser (the rendering engine is the same as for the desktop, AFAIK). There are a few competitors, and handset manufacturers often choose to develop a barebones browser in-house and ship their phones with that, so marketing is very important here, too. Still, this (and maybe embedded stuff) is where the volume is and where Opera has found a niche and an opportunity. We'll see what becomes of it.

AZ

xortam
4th April 2005, 11:23
... Well, to get a larger user base for the desktop, the most important thing is to release new, better versions that provide a benefit to the user, and, maybe more importantly, communicating this advantage (i. e. marketing/advertising). ... It is very hard to sell a browser when everybody else is giving theirs away for free, but they have managed to do so for the last ten years, I don't see why they should fail now. ...How has Opera Software ASA financed their business so far? Did they have large seed money that sustained them through unprofitable years? Do they have cash reserves and/or adequate credit? Are they now profitable and if so, for how long? Do they have the finances to grow the business which might include greatly expanding their marketing budget. I'm not interested enough to look this stuff up myself but you seem to be dedicated to this company so perhaps you already know the answers.


... They've always been in third place (although very influential: almost all the good features you can find in Moz/FF and future IE versions have been pioneered by them). ...Xerox was a pioneer too but they didn't have very good business sense when it came to desktop computing. My question concerns the viability of their business and how long one can expect support for the Opera browser.


... They are already going strong in the mobile market and are quite aggressively developing and making contracts. ... this (and maybe embedded stuff) is where the volume is and where Opera has found a niche and an opportunity. We'll see what becomes of it. ...This may be their salvation according to what you've said. Microsoft has pissed off enough people in the industry that they will have a more difficult time competing in the newer markets. Microsoft has got massive resources to conquer new markets and they need to find new ways to try and grow their business (which is pretty tough to do at their current size).

Jessterw
4th April 2005, 12:07
The important thing to remember is that Opera has already had a strong presence in the embedded and mobile market; it's not a new market for them.

Like az has pointed out, they've been around for 10 years or so now and they've done reasonably well business-wise. There are plenty of people who are willing to pay for premium product, and once Opera firmly establishes that they produce such a product, then I see no reason why they can't continue for the foreseeable future. They don't have to be a juggernaut to succeed.

az
4th April 2005, 12:51
I don't know how much they started with, but they were originally a small division of Norway's then state-owned telco, so I guess they had more than nothing in the beginning. Until 2002, there was NO free version of their browser, you HAD to pay to use it. I think they've made small losses all these years, but I think in 2004 they had a plus. Also, I think this was also in 2004, they settled a lawsuit with an undisclosed party (widely assumed to be Microsoft), which earned them, I think, 12 million dollars. They've been hiring a lot lately and have never been as active as now. They recently announced a Windows Phone Edition (or whatever that's called) version of their browser, which would be very nice for a lot of smartphones.

BTW, I don't think MS will be taking over the regular phone market in the near future: Windows is just too resource-hungry, and I bet a proprietary OS is cheaper anyway in the long run. For smartphones, though, Windows is a great OS, not least because of its viewers for MS Office files and Outlook synch.

BTW, please don't take what I've said as hard facts or a sound analysis. I'm writing from memory here, and I am no insider (and certainly no expert).

What Opera needs to do is make their name synonymous with something like "the full web on your phone" or something - making their name a quality feature for a smartphone or PDA, like outlook synch. Then carriers (and maybe phone manufacturers) will much more likely buy Opera mass-licenses to include the browser with their phones.

AZ

xortam
4th April 2005, 13:01
... They don't have to be a juggernaut to succeed.True ... but as Norm from "Cheers" once said ... "It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and I'm wearing milkbone boxers." ;)

xortam
4th April 2005, 13:08
... they were originally a small division of Norway's then state-owned telco, ...That explains a lot about how they've managed to survive so far.


... I think this was also in 2004, they settled a lawsuit with an undisclosed party (widely assumed to be Microsoft), which earned them, I think, 12 million dollars. ...That's Microsoft's normal approach to stealing technology.


... They've been hiring a lot lately and have never been as active as now. ...:up: That's always a good sign.


... please don't take what I've said as hard facts or a sound analysis. I'm writing from memory here, and I am no insider (and certainly no expert). ...Don't worry. I'd due my own due diligence if I was looking to invest in the company. ;) Thanks for the dialog.

GuchiGuh
4th April 2005, 20:07
Opera is still too bloated in my opinion.
I like the E-mail client thou, that's a nifty idea. Like combining firefox and thunderbird! :)

Jessterw
4th April 2005, 20:19
As az will tell you, it's not bloated, it's feature-rich :p Honestly though, people who use Opera are the same people who would use Communicator. It's meant to be a one-stop-shop for browser and email needs (as well as IRC and a few other things).

az
5th April 2005, 02:33
Actually, I would never use communicator, because it's just too sluggish. I had to get used to the "all internet communication in one app" idea, now I find it very nice, but I would have no problem with a separate mailer - what I like about Opera is the speed, features and UI. It has lots of features (overwhelmingly many if you are new to it, I'll admit, though v8 will ease it for newbies), but these features neither make it slow nor do they necessarily make its UI cluttered or inefficient.

AZ

Nowhere
5th April 2005, 05:43
...
What Opera version are you using?
...
There are some sites that slow Opera way down (I think it's some plugin issue
...
Turn off "smooth scrolling" or whatever it's called, with this off my Opera reacts faster and more directly to the scrollwheel than any other app I've tried
...
I don't know what you mean by the crollbar detaching from the mouse - you scroll and suddenly it is as if you had lifted the finger off the button for a split second? I never had that problem in any app
...
AZ

Newest official & newest beta, the same problem in both.
Perhaps it is because of the sites...but the ones I visit are rather popular/well written (w3c validation) so that would be a big minus for Opera...
And I don't mean it doesn't react to scrollwhell, it simply stops reacting a second or two after start of scrolling, you have to wait a little, it works again, and so on...
About scrollbar - almost as you describe, only that it is as if I had lifted the finger permanently. And I also never had that problem in any app - apart from Opera...



...
They've always been in third place (although very influential: almost all the good features you can find in Moz/FF and future IE versions have been pioneered by them).
...
AZ

You know...you always talk about them - but can you name them? :>


...
but these features neither make it slow nor do they necessarily make its UI cluttered or inefficient.

AZ
Yes they do. You say something different because you're used to them (and they had been added gradually from your perspective). For somebody new to Opera the make browsing experience slow (you have to focus on "distractors"), the UI is not optimal and doesn't have an obvius way of changing it and some options are on and can't be turned off (I've turned off mouse gestures, yet Opera still reacts for combination of right-left clicking)

Jessterw
5th April 2005, 06:20
Newest official & newest beta, the same problem in both.
Perhaps it is because of the sites...but the ones I visit are rather popular/well written (w3c validation) so that would be a big minus for Opera...
Might be worth noting that some of the Opera developers were instrumental in creating many of the W3C specs, most notable being CSS.

az
5th April 2005, 12:30
Newest official & newest beta, the same problem in both.
Perhaps it is because of the sites...but the ones I visit are rather popular/well written (w3c validation) so that would be a big minus for Opera...
And I don't mean it doesn't react to scrollwhell, it simply stops reacting a second or two after start of scrolling, you have to wait a little, it works again, and so on...
About scrollbar - almost as you describe, only that it is as if I had lifted the finger permanently. And I also never had that problem in any app - apart from Opera...

Please post in the official my.opera.com forums about these issues (as well as the mouse gesture thing); I can't help you, but I am sure they can (or they could at least say "you're not alone" :))



You know...you always talk about them [Features FF and others copied off Opera] - but can you name them? :>

Just off the top of my head: Tabbed browsing (although tabs are a dumbed-down version of Opera's full MDI), mouse gestures, zoom, extensive preferences (graphical; many more options by fiddling with .ini files), switching on/off images, user style sheets, focus on speed and security... These may not be options you use often or even like, and of course MDI and mouse gestures were not invented by Opera, but they were the first to integrate these into a web browser. Of course there are other things Opera has



Yes they do. You say something different because you're used to them (and they had been added gradually from your perspective). For somebody new to Opera the make browsing experience slow (you have to focus on "distractors"), the UI is not optimal and doesn't have an obvius way of changing it and some options are on and can't be turned off (I've turned off mouse gestures, yet Opera still reacts for combination of right-left clicking)

You are partly right, I must say I really hated the v7 and 7.5 default interface. V8 is a lot better in that by default mail etc. are disabled, thus their menus etc. don't show. I still think their new features like viewbar, the bar that shows in an empty tab, and the sidebar icons add too much clutter and will confuse newbies. It's a dilemma for Opera: Show a non-cluttered, non-intimidating interface and still show off that you are capable of much more than all the other browsers. They are on the right track, but they're still not there.

AZ

Jessterw
5th April 2005, 14:14
Actually the first browser to use tabs was called InternetWorks (later redubbed GNNworks), circa 1994. It was eventually bought out by AOL.

The use of tabs in Firefox and other browsers are UI decisions that were made because the developers didn't feel that a MDI best served their purposes. It's not like implementing a MDI is all that hard.

Zoom is just Opera's alternative to text zooming. I remember in the early days this feature was generally not liked. As far as speed and security go, it's rather hard for Opera to lay claim to that as every browser developer has strived to make their product faster and more secure (even MS, god bless their incompetent souls). In regards to preferences... well, Opera has too many. There's some bloat there that could be trimmed, but this is a problem that is starting to affect most browsers. User stylesheets are not a first of Opera's either, though Opera was the first to provide a drop-down list of selectable styles. Turning images on and off is something that other browsers have had for awhile as well, Opera just made it easier.

But you're right, Opera has innovated in the use of mouse gestures.

xortam
5th April 2005, 15:11
.... It's a dilemma for Opera: Show a non-cluttered, non-intimidating interface and still show off that you are capable of much more than all the other browsers. ...I remember facing that same issue twenty years ago. I like the concept of usage modes (entry-level, experienced, expert) that became popular in the 90's but I see that you want to tease people up to a higher level.

az
5th April 2005, 15:25
I don't like the concept at all. You could just as well call the modes "crippled" and "bloated". Best thing IMHO would be to start with a basic interface (FF has this down quite good, I hear. IE had, before SP2) with easy and powerful customization (Opera shines in this regard, though it could still be both easier and more powerful - but nothing's perfect :)). The only problem you face then is that users may not know about your features and you can't advertise them all. It is actually very common on the Opera boards that someone complains Opera hasn't got this or that feature and the user switched to Firefox and installed twenty extensions, when in fact Opera has had the feature for years.

AZ

xortam
5th April 2005, 15:36
What I meant to say is "I liked the concept of usage modes" back around '90, as a workaround to overwhelming the user. Programming has advanced somewhat since then. ;)

az
6th April 2005, 04:29
Opera just announced that Adobe will use the Opera rendering engine in their Creative Suite 2 (press release (http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/04/04/)), so obviously Opera is working on multiple fronts to sell licenses. This also has the added benefits of course, that websites made with Adobe CS2 will work hassle-free in Opera, and that they are very likely to look better on mobile Opera than on other mobile browsers.

AZ

Jessterw
6th April 2005, 06:05
Maybe GoLive will be something more than a half-ass web page development tool now, at least from the WYSIWYG perspective.

VJ
6th April 2005, 06:10
Maybe GoLive will be something more than a half-ass web page development tool now, at least from the WYSIWYG perspective.
Then again, they are using Opera... :D

Just kidding!
From a developpers point of view, it is a good thing to use a browser which conforms to the standards: if a site works properly there, it should do so everywhere else.
From a users point of view, it is different: it then is interesting to have a browser that properly shows all sites.


Jörg

dbdg
6th April 2005, 07:48
From a developpers point of view, it is a good thing to use a browser which conforms to the standards: if a site works properly there, it should do so everywhere else.
Jörg
That's the way I see it.

What I do find amazing though is how different things can look in Opera when your xhtml is slightly incorrect. I quite like Opera but it does need to be a tiny bit more forgiving.

Jessterw
6th April 2005, 08:16
Actually Opera is correct in not being forgiving with XHTML. The problem here is that XHTML is a XML syntax that was created to look and behave like HTML, but it is most definitely not the latter. XML is a strict language that does not offer lax interpretation. True, other browsers treat XHTML as HTML, but that's also a result of XHTML being served as text/html when it is should be served as application/xhtml+xml (something IE balks at).

Unless you're using features of XHTML then you really should be using HTML4.

az
6th April 2005, 09:41
Care to explain why one should be using HTML4 (except for saving the trouble, of course)? A friend of mine is writing a website, and he does it all in XHTML. Now, what reasons should I give when I tell him to throw away his valid code and start anew? :p

AZ

Jessterw
6th April 2005, 09:57
I should clarify. If you're not willing to make sure you code is valid XHTML and you're worried about browsers displaying it "wrong" because of the lack of validity, then you should be using HTML.

XHTML is a bandwagon that most people really don't understand. They think it's simply a new version of HTML, when it is most definitely not.

Nowhere
6th April 2005, 10:41
...
Just off the top of my head: Tabbed browsing (although tabs are a dumbed-down version of Opera's full MDI), mouse gestures, zoom, extensive preferences (graphical; many more options by fiddling with .ini files), switching on/off images, user style sheets, focus on speed and security... These may not be options you use often or even like, and of course MDI and mouse gestures were not invented by Opera, but they were the first to integrate these into a web browser. Of course there are other things Opera has
...
AZ
well, I asked about innovative ones, so tabs and gestures are out even according to you...but:
zoom - zooming images is bad bad idea...
preferences - you mention this as innovation...but they're done badly, period. Seamonkey otoh is a nice example of extensive prefereces well made
switching on/off images - you're kidding, right?
user style sheets - moz first with extension, and has taken the idea much further
speed? - see my problems...

Other things...name them :p You can, do you? :>

dbdg
6th April 2005, 11:03
I should have been a bit clearer with my comment, I meant html, it's just that pretty much anything I create or have done for quite a while now is xhtml compliant (transitional) hence why I use that term.

dbdg
14th April 2005, 12:31
New thread. bahh!!!

Az check this out, my PC's been shit for the last few weeks, guess this isn't helping. Doesn't happen all the time Opera's open, can't seem to pin it down to a specific reason.

Re-installing Opera to see what happens.

xortam
14th April 2005, 12:36
New thread. bahh!!! ...Hey ... they're cheap.