Does Opera Software aim for simplicity, or functionality?

  • I believe, Opera 12.X is no longer supported, but still Opera 21 looks like a draft to me.
    I wonder, where is it going.

    Don't take me wrong: I believe Opera Software is able to make a good browser, as they did before.
    I just want to know, what Opera Software wants to achieve.

    What I really miss in new Opera is bunch of personalisation options, that were available in Opera 12. User experience was good, because we could configure interface as we wanted. On the other hand, in Opera 21 we cannot even change keyboard shortcuts, or configure UI elements. What I really want is more options. This is why I ask the question:

    Does Opera Software aim for simplicity, or functionality?

  • Simplicity and essential functionality. As for extensive customization, under the model in Opera 20/Blink, you are to get that through extensions. Opera has shifted to a new model, one where the basic browser is lean, fast, and attractive, and the customization is to generally come via extensions. You can use either the Opera store or the Chrome store for that. If you want to change keyboard shortcuts for Opera blink, take a look at the Vimium extension in the Chrome store. Now if you don't want to deal with extensions, in general, or to take the time to do some work and to look for them, AND are unhappy with what is in the basic Opera 20 model, then you ought to consider using Opera 12.17 or switch to another browser.

  • Does Opera Software aim for simplicity, or functionality?
    I'd answer "both". I mean, I think any software developers would aim on balancing these two things when making a product for lots of different people. Adding features and making them simple to use - they aren't mutually exclusive.

    Settings/customization is in a separated category.

    Maybe you should say why do you need such things. What tasks are you trying to accomplish that you can't do satisfactorily now? How could the option X make task Y easier/simpler/faster? How would you convince Opera to spend their resources implementing and maintaining the options you miss? There are cases where adapting to do something in a different way or with an add-on should be trivial to the user compared to the weight of work the devs would have to take.

  • I think the developers saw what was the right thing to do, what is the point of keep a browser with a bunch of features that are not used by everyone? Look Chrome which is most used browser, Chrome does not have a single feature that Opera Presto had and everyone uses. Why? People wants simplicity with only essencial functionality.

  • Thank you all for great answers.

    Do you think, Opera can compete Chrome, with being similar?
    I'm thinking: this is a big change of target group. It looks like Opera resign from their existing users (strange guys, who want something different), and looks for typical users.
    I'm not saying it's bad. Obviously there are more typical users, than strange users, but it means greater competition as well. It may be cost-effective, but Opera must fight with other similar browsers.

    How can Opera beat Chrome? Do you think, Opera Software has an ace up its sleeve?

    PS I'm a big fan of Opera. This is why I'm concerned.

  • I think a lot of users will stay with Opera. They will find that they will be able to customize sufficiently through the extensions, or otherwise. Some will leave, but new users will replace them. Time will tell how many. Opera 20 does have some good things going for it. First it has some distinguishing differences in features from Chrome, a spectacular speed dial, totally unique, where you can put folders of links in each speed dial position (I would contend, by far the best one on the internet) (not surprising since Opera invented the Speed Dial), Stash, Discover, Off-Road Mode (catering to people with limited computer resources, or with slow wifi). People often root for the underdog, and would love not to support the big boy on the block, who to many, often may seem like a bully, with all of the casual treatment of one's personal data, particularly when the not-unworthy opponent, Opera, has been for years, sort of a David against the Goliaths of the browsing world, and has given us so many unique, innovative browsing wonders -- tabbed browsing (Opera popularized it), the magic wand for passwords, the trash to recover closed tabs, the notepad, the speed dial, now the speed dial with folders and all of the other innovations in Opera 20, etc. Also Opera is making major inroads in the mobile and tablet market. Coast as a browser for the IOS operating system, is totally dazzling and of a highly creative design. Mobile users of Coast for the Ipad or Ipod, and the new Opera for Android, if they like what they see, may suddenly be drawn to Opera, and could well want to give the new desktop Opera a try. The success of Desktop Opera is not unrelated to its progress in the mobile and tablet world. Since you can have -- with desktop Opera -- almost all of the Chrome apps, as well as apps unique to Opera, many a user could, I believe, easily prefer Opera to big bad (smile) Google's Chrome. So there is reason to believe Opera can do well, and, yes, compete.

  • Simplicity and essential functionality. As for extensive customization, under the model in Opera 20/Blink, you are to get that through extensions. Opera has shifted to a new model, one where the basic browser is lean, fast, and attractive, and the customization is to generally come via extensions.

    @lem729: Do you work for Opera? I ask because you sound like you have some inside knowledge on their product strategy. Or are you speaking authoritatively but actually just expressing your own take on the situation?

  • Haha, just my own take, Staiger, but it would make no sense for Opera to open itself up to all of the huge universe of extensions, and then to put tons of customization and features in the browser, the way it did with Opera Presto. I'd be shocked if they did. It would make no sense. As to Opera's ability to compete with Chrome, it is my personal view, but I have many years experience with Opera products. I use Coast on my Ipad, so I know from daily use how unique and creative it is. Whether Opera will have a great success with it in terms of browser share, I can't say. But believe me -- and I've tried all of the browser-competitors-- they should. It's that good! Now I love the Opera 20 speed dial, and I have been an Opera user from that time when we had to pay to buy the product, so I have enjoyed the many renditions of the product -- from its highly creative Presto days to the new Opera Blink browser. On the underdog idea, I rooted for Netscape against Internet Explorer, and then for Opera and even Firefox against IE, so I have a sense that there are many like me who do the same. I see a lot of ways Opera can compete with Chrome. Because I have Opera on my IPad, and on my android tablet, I see what the company is doing in all area. People who dismiss them as essentially giving up (with what they have done with Desktop Opera) are, I believe, not seeing the forest for the trees, and way off the mark. Of course, Opera doesn't have the big money for advertising (and they have to husband their resources and staff between their different browsing endeavors) and that may hurt. But otherwise, they have a lot going for them.

  • The vision behind Opera 15 and beyond

    How can Opera beat Chrome? Do you think, Opera Software has an ace up its sleeve?
    Not a long time ago I posted a comparison between the two. I think that there are enough differences to attract many kinds of users.

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