2009-06-16

Opera's Brick Walls

Today Opera announced something amazing. Unite. The basis is a webserver in a browser. It allows you to share your music, images, files, and host chatrooms with anyone you choose, whether or not they use Opera. Futhermore, the APIs for writing your own services are available now. And the press has jumped onto this. Even Slashdot incorrectly reported it as the 10.0 release. However, will this actually get them users? In truth i doubt it.

Here's my theory, most Firefox users are using Firefox either because they have it installed on their machine by a sys admin or family member, or because they are religiously bound to Firefox ( oddly, in my opinion, this is very much like Ubuntu users ). Most internet explorer users just use it out of convenience or because they don't know of an alternative. This leaves very little space for other browsers.

But what about Chrome? Chrome has not done that well, even though it has the might of Google behind it. Less than 2% market share in over a year with the search giant punting it instead of Firefox at every turn, that doesn't impress me. And i like Chrome, its way ahead of Firefox on my browser preference list. But the world doesn't really care. They have IE8 with tabs by big evil Microsoft* ( which honestly, is a whole pile better than IE7 ), or they have Firefox which is open source and completely pluggable. I don't talk about Mac users.

So what am i trying to say? The average non technical user doesn't know anything beyond their desktop. And until such a time as the average user becomes technical enough, the only reason people will change their browsers, is if sites stop supporting them. If everyone stopped supporting IE 6 years ago, Microsoft would be out of the browser market. This is the same argument that can be applied to Flash, that it is no where near superior technology, but everyone supports it, so it gets used.

Opera won't get picked up in the main stream, until there is a killer app or function which makes it a necessity. And they are close. Opera Link is really an amazing service, i can't live without it. Turbo is incredible for anyone who uses internet via Wifi or mobile connections on a regular basis. And now, Unite, which has more innovation in 1 service than i've seen from Firefox since its launch. But still this isn't enough. And if this isn't, then honestly, will anything ever be?

* i don't think they're evil, but a know lots of Firefox users who do

1 comment:

  1. All you god damn shitty fucking spammers. You will now stop.

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