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What's the point in Opera, or, What's the model behind it?

  • So, this is what I've been wondering. I know that Chrome is means to an end with Google, for people integrating their browser with their services, Firefox is selling the free web story, but what's Opera's point? Is the browser here only as means to sell us ads? Is that a thing that should realistically be an objection with someone using it (with basically any company trying to sell us ads these days...)?

    Kind regards,

  • At root, Opera's 'point' is to ultimately make money for Opera ASA, its parent company. And consideration of its success in making money has to reckon with all the other Opera products and services whose revenue contributions may be enhanced by a similarly-functioning desktop browser.

    When a browser is available for 'free', it means only that you don't pay cash directly for it. Fine enough, but how does any 'free' browser recoup its costs, particularly if its not a 'labor-of-love' or charitable endeavor? There are ONLY several options available for a 'free' browser maker to choose from: favorable placing of branded browser features (speed dials, search engines, pre-loaded bookmarks, etc), injecting ads directly into the browser pages or function panels, bundling adware with the browser downloads, or pipelining user data in one form or another to marketers. Once again: TANSTAAFL applies. A 'free' web browser is something of an illusion: the development and maintenance costs are significant, and they WILL be recovered somewhere or another. Personally, I'd rather pay for a browser; but barring that choice, I'd rather have some up-front preferred placements or ads in the browser than have my user data being siphoned off.

  • I agree, blackbird71. I paid for Opera years ago, when it was first starting up. I remember when a phone company tech was helping me set up DSL (yeah) and I loaded a site in Opera, he was really impressed with the speed. I'd gladly pay for Opera now. But when Microsoft, making tons of money elsewhere, started bundling IE with Windows, that was the end of paid browsers. People will not pay for quality if they can get mediocrity for free. I'll try not to go off on that rant.

    So, if it has to be free 😛 , my first choice is that Warren Buffett or George Soros pay for the development costs. Descending to the realm of reality, paid placements are far preferable to losing my user data.

    But I don't see a lot of paid placements in Opera 32 either. It comes with some preloaded speed dials, but they can be (and have been, by me) deleted. Google is the only search engine allowed in the Start Page, but so what? I designated DuckDuckGo as my search engine, and don't search from the Start Page. (Did DDG pay for that little button to the right of the search+address bar?)

    So frankly, I don't know how it works, but the way it works isn't interfering with my use or taking my data. I'm good.

  • I understand the question in a way that a good enterprise must have something ideological behind the profits. Fire in the furnace.
    Otherwise it's simply a cold-hearted business, not much of a value - unless it's just a routine thing like paying bills and everyday food on your table: a baker or a gas supplier might have an edge too, but the idea is to bake and supply rather than having a funny topping on your bread or an aromatic substance in your oil...

    Well, what might be the edge of a baker still?
    The produce's quality? The wide offer? The price?

    As well as for the oil company: good quality, precise timing in shipping, nice terms in business...

  • I would also prefer to pay for my browser rather than have my data siphoned off as it were. However, paying for one's browser is a 90's idea that we will not see repeated in these times.

  • I'm pretty sure the point of modern Opera is to piggy-back on Google's work and hope that the old Opera name can distinguish it from the thousands of other generic Chrome flavors. The only thing keeping Opera going is Opera-Mini. Which is pre-Chrome-piggy-back work. Their Chrome piggy-backing has been pretty unsuccessful. If I want Chrome, may as well get the real thing. I have no real desire for Chrome's twin brother, attempting to cross-dress as Opera. I see your soft-ball sized bulge, and burly, hairy arms... you're not fooling anyone and it's actually just sad.

    Maybe Vivaldi will be a pay browser ;p They're the original Opera people. Though that browser also feels an awful lot like Chrome, even if it isn't based off of it.

  • ...
    Maybe Vivaldi will be a pay browser ;p They're the original Opera people. Though that browser also feels an awful lot like Chrome, even if it isn't based off of it.

    Uhmm... but Vivaldi IS based 'off of' Chrome, in that it uses the chromium rendering engine.