Do more on the web, with a fast and secure browser!

Download Opera browser with:

  • built-in ad blocker
  • battery saver
  • free VPN
Download Opera

Opera Sold

  • Leo, have you read this report: http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/19/key-opera-software-employees-quit/

    Here is an excerpt from it:

    by Martin Brinkmann on November 19, 2016 in Opera - Last Update:November 19, 2016 53
    If you are following members of Opera Software's Developer Relations team on Twitter or elsewhere, you may have noticed that most announced that they left the company recently or are about to leave it.

    Bruce Lawson, Andreas Bovens, Shwetank Dixit and Vadim Makeev all announced in the past couple of days that they have parted ways with Opera Software or are about to.

    In fact, the only DevReal member left standing is Mathias Bynens who joined Opera Software in January 2014.

    Bruce Lawson was Opera Software's Deputy Chief Technology Officer and worked at the company since 2008.
    Andreas Bovens was Opera Software's Android Product Manager and Dev Relations Lead. He worked at the company since 2007.
    Shwetank Dixit was Opera Software's Extensions Program Manager and Web Evangelist. He worked at Opera since 2007.
    Vadim Makeev worked as a Web Evangelist at Opera Software since 2009.

    Are there any indicators why the team left? Three of the four posted the information on Twitter. They did not reveal why they are leaving or left Opera Software, only that they did and that they are looking for new job opportunities.

    This, and the fact that they have all quit at around the same time, suggests that the decisions have been recent and not planned for a long time.

    There was one major change recently, the acquisition of Opera Software's browser and Opera Max by a Chinese consortium.

    Bruce Lawson more of less confirms that the acquisition has something to do with him leaving the company in a blog post on his personal blog.

    After Opera’s consumer products (browsers and Opera Max) were taken over by a Chinese consortium on 4 November, Opera and I are parting ways by mutual agreement. I’m no longer a representative or spokesman for Opera products, or the Opera brand.

    It seems likely that the other team members of Opera's DevRel team based their decision on that as well but this has not been confirmed by the team members leaving or by Opera Software.

    All quitting team members are looking for new jobs. All four are highly experienced with lots of expertise and knowledge. While there should be plenty of opportunities for each of them, it would not be much of a surprise if they ended up working for another "web browser" producing company.

    (You can read the entire report at the link above)

    For all of these engineers to quit at the same time suggests there is something wrong. Until we know exactly why all of them would quit, it seems prudent (at least to me) to hold back on adopting Opera as my default browser. I need to know more.

  • have you read this report

    I remember have taken a look on the article a while ago.

    Although it may be kinda sad that they had to leave at the same time, it's something that may happen when there is an acquisition either because of changes or because of disagreements.

  • If you take a look at Bruce Lawson's blog you'll see that he suggested that disagreements rather than changes were at the heart of it. And it's the "disagreements" that I continue to wonder about. This was an entire team that walked so it has to give you pause to wonder - why? And all of them are looking for work so it's not as though they simply decided to go into retirement or try something else. Of course they're under a non-disclosure policy so for the time being we won't know the real reasons for their departure. Lawson was a great Opera advocate and one who frequently entered the forums to explain Opera's directions. If you use a search engine you'll see him quite recently giving a talk about Opera and how he became involved with the company (via his MS disease). I miss good men like this.

  • @sleepymonk Perhaps you miss Per Hedbor too, in this case it's a heavy miss.

  • Thanks for reminding me... yes, I do. A nice tribute to him here:

    http://www.opera.com/blogs/news/2016/07/in-memory-opera-pioneer-per-hedbor/

  • And it's the "disagreements" that I continue to wonder about

    Probably disagreements on (the) changes.

    This was an entire team that walked so it has to give you pause to wonder - why?

    Maybe some restructuring? Acquisitions usually lead to that.

  • I think I'm asking the impossible of you, Leo. It's not up to you to have to convince me of anything and yet it seems to me that this is precisely what I'm doing (i.e. convince me that the new ownership will not allow spyware to be inserted into the coding). There is no way you can give me this assurance nor is it even fair of me to ask it of you. I've probably spent too much time on this issue and wasted yours when you could be helping others. I've made a decision to remain on the sidelines and watch from a distance. We'll see how things iron out before I decide to give up completely or jump in with both feet. Thanks for the discussion.

  • I don't get it how Opera could become a spyware? Anyone can see, what is being sent over network from his/her computer, so someone would certainly notice if Opera collected any bank details or whatever you are afraid of.

  • I don't get it how Opera could become a spyware? Anyone can see, what is being sent over network from his/her computer, so someone would certainly notice if Opera collected any bank details or whatever you are afraid of.

    I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship. Moreover, in a world where computers are under potential attack from nation-state hackers, the integrity of those making 'ordinary' software that's being downloaded and auto-updated on user systems can be critically important because the user trusts each iteration of the software to be free of deliberately-planted spying exploits.

    I note this not to reinforce doubts about Opera under its new owners, but to highlight where user concerns may be 'coming from'. At this point, I'm still counting on the integrity of Opera developers and others 'in the know' to raise red flags in whatever venue should the day ever come when/if user trust in the Opera browser should be reconsidered.

  • Blackbird

    Have you speculated on why all of these Opera developers left in November?

  • btw: I've downloaded and installed Vivaldi just to see what all the fuss is about. I go back quite a ways with Opera (late 90's when I paid for the browser but can't remember the version now). Vivaldi has some real promise and its development team is a collection of the former Opera employees. If you haven't looked at it, you might give it a try. It's peppy and highly configurable. We'll see how things go over the next week.

  • I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship

    If I am not mistaken, the other Opera would need to agree with that for this to happen since Surfeasy belongs to them.

  • I would think the greater privacy risk is what might be exploited from the data sent over Opera's Sync or VPN servers, especially the latter since VPNs are often used specifically to avoid surveillance or censorship

    If I am not mistaken, the other Opera would need to agree with that for this to happen since Surfeasy belongs to them.

    A good point... and compromise within that organization would be extremely unlikely.

  • Blackbird
    Have you speculated on why all of these Opera developers left in November?

    I'm probably able to speculate as well as the next person, but I choose to keep my speculations to myself on something like this, since speculations are often just that: uninformed or partially-informed guesswork mixed with a measure of preconception and packaged in the smart-sounding term: "speculation". If the developers left over a concern about user privacy, I strongly believe that reason would have already been 'leaked' in public venues. Most of the time, staff changes unfolding in this way involve employee perceptions regarding job terms/conditions, compensation mechanisms, and potential for growth/advancement under new ownership.

  • Indeed. Good points to keep in mind. Thanks for the input.

  • I just found out that opera sold a portion of its product to qihoo 360 search and security. For me this is a little concerning given qihoo 360's shady business. What does this mean for opera? Will opera users security and privacy now be at risk?

  • It might be worth your while to go back and read through the thread. The bottom line seems to be: we don't know. To date there is no indication that our security is at risk but there are many (like myself) who are waiting on the sidelines for things to develop. I refuse to use Opera as my default browser (i.e. meaning financial transactions) until I have more evidence that things are secure. As I've been discussing with Leo and others, there is no way to determine this other than to take them at their word at this juncture. It's really too early in the game to make a definitive decision. I'm currently using Vivaldi for all of my needs and actually finding it reminiscent of the older Opera. Time will tell.

  • I just found out that opera sold a portion of its product to qihoo 360 search and security.

    Not exactly. The part of Opera that makes the browser was acquired by a fund/consortium in which Qihoo partcipates.

    What does this mean for opera? Will opera users security and privacy now be at risk?

    This have been discussed since the beginning of this thread, maybe you should read it from the start if you haven't done yet.

    Like was said, it's would be very difficult - not to say impossible - for Opera or any browser to include some kind of spying code without being noticed. However there isn't any (easy) way to prove it so it would depend on you to believe on it or not.

    I personally believe that it may be more easy to put a back-door in some hardware to spy on people.

  • You know, Leo, you just got me thinking. I have a Lenovo Carbon X1 ThinkPad made in... uh... China! LOL

    And here I am worried that Opera may be spying on me when in fact it would be easier to insert the code into the hardware I'm using. It seems a little ironic, doesn't it.

  • And here I am worried that Opera may be spying on me when in fact it would be easier to insert the code into the hardware

    And they don't even need to do it with a hardware in our computer or in our home, they can just do it with a hardaware used by our ISP like a router and capture everyone's traffic.

Log in to reply