Origins and Evolution of Opera Web Browser.


Have you ever wondered the web browser you are using right now belongs to which company/organization? Today here at Browsers Addon, we are going to explore the origins and evolution of popular web browsers and their existence of today. Here Browsers Addon is going to talk about Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, from least popular to most popular, leaving out other major but not so popular browsers like Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer and etc., The reason for not considering these three browsers is because they are shipped default via their OSs.



Origins of Opera Web Browser:

Opera is almost 22 years old, it all started as research project by Telenor, one of the Telecom operators of northern Europe. Later, it was sold to Opera Software ASA (now called as Otello Corporation), which they brought with commercial intent in their mind, but later changed to make it a freeware. Otello Corporation (formerly Opera Software ASA), a public trading Norwegian software company which specializes in products intent to access web-based services across various platforms.

Opera Software was founded in Norway on 30 November 1995 by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy with an aim to continue the research project of Telenor. Opera Software first product was Opera browser which they initially sold as commercial software, but later they embraced advertisement for revenue and made it a freeware. Finally, Opera browser became ad-free in 2005 after they made Google as their default search engine.

In order to increase their market share, Opera introduced Opera Mini based on Java ME, initially it was marketed to mobile network operators, not end users. Mobile operators had to preload on their phone, or their subscribers. Before the arrival of IOS and Android, Opera web browser was most popular in hand held devices. Back in November 2016, Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund brought Otello Corporation. Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund is a Chinese Consortium which now make Opera web browser a Chinese owned company.

Evolution of Opera Web Browsers:

Opera web browser 2.0 was first publicly unveiled in 1996 which ran only on Microsoft Windows. With an eye to increase its market share, Opera started working on port to various hand-held device and thus Opera 4.0 was released which supported multiple operating systems and platforms.

Till version 5.0, Opera web browser was a commercial software which later turned toward ad-sponsorship for revenue to make it a freeware. After a deal with Google, Opera 8.5 became ad-free by making Google as default search engine.

In 2006, with version 9.1. Opera introduced safe browsing features like fraud protection and anti-phishing with GeoTrust and PhishTank. Netcraft later replaced GeoTrust for fraud protection. In order to improve speed, Opera opted for Carakan, a JavaScript Engine from version 10.50. Later in February, Opera moved from Presto to WebKit engine. WebKit engine is used by Chromium project. Later Google announced that they will fork components from WebKit to form new layout called Blink. In short, Opera now runs on Blink layout engine.

Opera Web Browser, a Copy Cat or an Innovative Player?

Now we know the origin and evolution on Opera Web Browser, what do you think about Opera? Here are the things which Opera did first.

Browser Tabs:

Yes, Opera is the first browser to implement the browsers tabs within the web browser in 2000, and the rest followed. Now you know who uncluttered your browsing experience.


Speed Dial:

No, I am not talking about the mobile phone speed dial, the nifty feature which lets you straight jump into your most visited or most liked website. Speed dial is what you see when you open a new tab, or web browser.


Browsers Sessions:

Do you remember last time you accidentally or intentionally close you web browser with all the tabs running and you were like WTF!!!. But you know that you can resume/restore next time when you open the web browser, the Browser Sessions. Yes, this nifty, life saving 😉 feature was introduced by Opera.

Pop-up Blocker:

The feature says it all. Thank you Opera !!!

Control over Private Date:

Now that we have incognito mode. Before that, what option did users had? Way back in 2000, Opera gave its user the option to delete private data from their browsing sessions.

Now this question arises, Opera being so innovation and adapting to its time, why is still opera not having good market share?

Check out this blog for the second part about Mozilla Firefox.

Source(s): Link 1, Link2, Link 3, Link4, Link5, Link6, Link7, Link 8.

Image Source(s): Wikipedia


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