How to win big market share for Opera Windows desktop browser (bookmarks, sync)

  • I think the new Blink-based browser is very promising. Of the major browsers, I love the combination of user interface, speed, and speed dial. I get the best readability of all browsers (with extension "Opera Font Rendering by thunder13"). I haven't embraced Aura yet (I'm a version 20 hold-out at present as version 21 seemed glitchy). But Aura may be a good thing too.

    I believe the Chromium underpinnings provide more speed and security than Firefox can provide, and Opera seems just as responsive as Chrome with superior settings and settings menus and possibly better privacy (though I tweak Chrome for better security too). In short, I think the new Opera is very nearly a KILLER BROWSER, fully deserving of big market share gains, EXCEPT... it needs to add full bookmark support and sync. Sync could at first be just between Windows desktop installations. Later, of course, it would be nice to expand sync to cross-platform. I can't recommend Opera to any friends in its current state. It's not capable of being one's only browser.

    When it has bookmark support and sync (at least among Windows desktop installations), I believe it can enjoy significant market share growth. Would that cause friction with Google? Perhaps... but that's a GOOD problem to have, right?

    I suspect I'm a mainstream browser user. I've been curious about Opera through the years and have downloaded and tried it from time to time and then headed back to Firefox as it's flexible and solid and reliable. I love the competition that has developed in browsers though and the resulting enhancements in speed and refined interface. I keep looking because I'm hopeful that I'll find the perfect browser. The new Opera is close. I hope it gets there. If it doesn't add bookmarks and sync though, I'll finally give up and go back to Chrome or Firefox.

  • Well, so as there is no confusion here, you're saying you want Opera to add bookmarks. Pulllleasee :)))) Opera 21 has tons of bookmark support via Speed Dial (with folders), the personal bookmarks toolbar, bookmark manager extensions via the Chrome Store and the Opera store, as well as Stash. Opera 21 has more capacity for bookmarking than any other browser on the market (particularly because it's Speed Dial with folders makes it unique. (And believe me, I have Firefox, Chrome, and IE 11 on my computer, and I do know how to bookmark in them too). You can bookmark in Opera 21 until you're ready to drop and still not scratch the surface of its near infinite capacity (and different modes of accomplishing it) (I would add, though, the Opera extension, "Add Bookmark" as it makes it more elegant and easier to do).

    What Opera 21 could use is an import/export bookmarks manager, built into the basic browser, particularly one that can deal with importing from other browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Yes, there are workarounds, and people in those other browsers can easily enough get their bookmarks to Opera 21, but it ought to be made simpler, and all there in the browser interface.

    As for sync, I agree with you that it would be nice to be able to Sync between Windows desktop installations (or maybe at least from its speed dial with folders) to that of the speed dial (with folders) in the similar Android application), though really, it's no big deal to copy a profile folder to the other Windows desktop location. It's like, rather simple (copy/paste). If that's a deal-breaker, I'm at a loss. So I would have no problem at all recommending Opera 21 to any friends. Now Firefox, I can't tolerate it. :)) It's overcomplicated, gives me constant technical problems, flash causing faults every third website I browse on, going back years, even when I have the latest Flash updates.. No other browser does that. I had to disable flash's protected mode, (modify files in notepad) to get the incredible nuisance of the constant faults and crashes to stop coming. And really, the convoluted and overcomplicated Firefox just doesn't look in the same ballpark to Opera, when the later is set up right. Because Opera 21 is a lean, mean, beautiful browsing machine 🙂

  • @lem729
    I agree that extension "Add Bookmark" is a nice add (I almost mentioned that in the original post).
    I also agree that there are ways to move bookmarks in and access them via extensions. I've done that with Xmarks, but that extension hasn't been totally reliable for syncing. I've also copied and pasted speed dial and bookmark entries from one computer to the next. But these are geek activities I don't mind playing around with (like playing with Linux distros). Almost NONE of my family and friends want to do these things. And I don't want to be caught in perpetual IT support for them.

    For the vast majority of potential converts, bookmark import, hierarchy, access, export should be integrated into the main browser like they are in Firefox IF Opera is ever to achieve other than a hobbyist following. And, by the way, the Speed Dial hierarchy should be visible within the full bookmark hierarchy too (at least in read/click-only mode)

    With these two additions (full bookmark support and sync), I think Opera could have a solid showing in mainstream browser comparisons and win converts.

    I know there are hobbyists out there who are perfectly comfortable with Opera as it stands. But mainstream users will miss full bookmark support and sync.

  • "Pulllleasee :)))) Opera 21 has tons of bookmark support via "

    Pulllleasee :)))) Opera has currently primitive and limited bookmark support (without a possibility to export or import them) via bookmarks toolbar. It also has other interesting, well-designed and worth appreciating functions like improved speed-dial and stash which all can complement bookmarks and make a web-browser better but cannot completely replace bookmarks.

  • Huge support for making bookmarks. And the ability to organize them is now there. Don't distort what I said.
    The bookmarking possibilities are GREATER than any other browser on the internet. Speed dial and Stash are forms of bookmarking. You may not be used to it, but with this browser, Opera is thinking outside of the box. 🙂 To which, I say, three cheers!

  • Part of organizing bookmarks is the ability to have them available for quick Access. A simple Opera extension I like -- find really useful -- is "quickiepages. https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/quickiepages/?display=en

    This extension gives you the ability to open multiple links with a single click of the icon on the toolbar. I have it set up for five now in a subject area that changes throughout the day. One click opens all five. I then pin them, so I have plenty of space on the tab bar, and I have them available for checking throughout the day.

    And since I'm posting that, I wanted to add -- first, something about the the new Opera Speed Dial, I see it as -- for sure -- a complementary method of bookmarking. In a way it's making use of almost a different medium. You know how you can watch a movie on a 14 inch TV or on the 46 incher. It's not quite the same experience on the small screen :). Accessing bookmarks on the personal toolbar can be fine -- and Opera has that -- that is, folders within folders of all the minutiae that one has saved. But the Speed Dial is there (for how you want to use it, of course,). But it can truly be -- as it was originally (when Opera invented it) -- for showcasing your big-timefavorites, only more fulfilled now in promise with the folders of items that can be created for each speed dial position (and where you can continue to see thumbnails too). For example, you can showecase, instead of 10 or 15 sites, in half the space on the screen (compared to what you were using with the old Speed Dial) maybe 90 or 100 (and still have gorgeous wallpaper to make of your browser home something special.

    And since we're in a thread on market share and the browser in general, I had a thought more about the Discover function in Opera 21. I don't think it's adequately appreciated. Look, we have people in the forum complaining that they're lost an RSS feed in moving from Opera Presto. (Now of course, you can get RSS feed extensions, or Feedly, which is wonderful. But I want think Opera with its Discover feature has put in something that is RSS-like to the Nth degree. We have fourteen subject areas, covering 35 countries, and multiple language. It can be a feast to explore. You're looking for stories in your own country, well, let's say the US, and you wonder what people in South Africa, or the United Kingdom, or India, or elsewhere are thinking about. Just click on the cogwheel in the Discover setting, and you can see the subject areas covered for that other country or countries. And if you are multi-lingual, it can be more than a treasure. So many people in the world speak two or three languages, or more. Here you can switch languages instantly and get your news not only from the perspective of another country, but another language.

  • Chrome is "promoted" (forced, bonded) with Adobe products and other widely used installation packages. It's difficult to compete with Chrome for Opera this way.

    I agree, that without some native ground function (e.g. bookmark) Opera is suppressed by Chrome, although I think, Opera is better than Chrome, IE or FF. But Opera can win customers only with special features. (e.g. Speed Dial)

  • Opera has native ground function (eg bookmarks)! There is no issue there. Look for people who say, Opera lacks bookmarks, it's the emperor without any clothes. It's simply not true. The bookmarking within Opera (taking bookmarks, organizing them, is superb). On a bookmark inport-export manager, that's something that, when added to the browser, would help in the future.

  • I'm not sure I can get used to the Speed Dial as my main source of bookmarks. It takes an extra mouse action or two to click what could easily be on the bookmarks bar, which is what I use. Ninety percent of the bookmarks I use are in the bookmarks bar, which is made of categorised folders that each contain the relevant bookmarks for each category. No need to open a new tab, everything is right there all the time, quick and easy.

    A bookmarks bar can hold hundreds of bookmarks, organised in a way that makes any website easily accessible within a couple of mouse clicks. A Speed Dial can hold how many bookmarks, even with its folder-like ability? And how long would it take to drill down to the link you want? Even if none of that was a problem, I can't justify opening a new tab just for the sake of getting to my bookmarks.

    I rarely ever used the bookmarks menu in any browser, it's always been the bookmarks bar. So I don't miss the menu, except for the bookmark management links they contained. At this point, Opera has no manager, which is annoying but not a deal breaker.

    Having said all that, I still need to test the Speed Dial find its limits, if it has any. I just find it clunky to open a new tab for it.

  • Just did some testing. One downside is I can't create folders within a folder. I really need that functionality.

  • You can create folders within folders in your personal bookmarks bar, not the Speed Dial. There you can only create one folder for each speed dial position. Personally, I only use the Speed dial to showcase for myself heavily used links, a limited number -- the stuff I come come back to all the time, or maybe some live content -- like a changing astronomy picture, rss feed, changing Stumble Upon website. I don't want to destoy the ambiance of wallpaper and setting of the speed Dial page by putting too much there, though you can have much more than in an old-fashioned speed dial. That's the beauty of it. You can show a lot more (maybe I would have 60-70 sites to showcase, instead of 10-12 in a traditional Speed dial, and it still feels beautiful, because with the folders, it may take up only 1/2 a page. The personal bookmarks is, in my personal view, best for the vast bulk of the bookmarks. And there you can have the folders within folders, ad infinitum.. It's near unlimited. And of course the storage space in Stash too is also near unlimited. Of course you can have tons and tons in the speed dial, but I think it would ruin it for me. Like overcrowding a house, and making it junk.

  • I believe Opera is going to the right direction, the new Opera is awesome, I have never seen such a good browser, and I post this using Opera browser for android!

  • @lem729: Yes, I knew about folders within folders on the bookmarks bar; that's where I work from the most. But now you mention it, using Speed Dial for most-used bookmarks could work. I certainly like the concept. In fact, a few years ago I used a Speed Dial extension on Firefox that was quite useful, and more customisable than Opera's new one. I'll keep track of what Opera does with it, because they could very well improve on it over time.

  • @islander5460

    I'm not sure what you mean by the Firefox speed dial that you looked at in the past being more customizable than Opera's. I've looked at Firefox on and off for years (as my no. 2 or 3, or 4 browser) and still can't find a speed dial I really think much of in Firefox and its extensions. Having a folder (if you choose), as Opera 21 for each speed dial position (with as many links as you want there) (and thumbnails) and the ability to keep adding speed dial positions is the ultimate in flexibility. Some of the Speed Dial extensions for other browsers offer you extra pages. For a while, I thought extra pages were the answer, but the more I look at Opera, it doesn't seem needed. On one Opera speed dial page, you can showcase more links than you can on ten speed dial pages in another browser's conventional speed dial (and with Opera you can at the end of a page, keep adding extensions and scroll down) (you then end up with a scrolling bar on the right hand side of the browser). It seems like you could keep going and going with the links and speed dial positions. No end to it? Now on customization with Opera you can adjust the number of columns, as well as the size of the thumbnails. If the thumbnails are smaller, you can get more of them in a limited area of space. In Opera, you can rearrange your speed dial links within a speed dial folder by dragging the thumbnail into the position that you want. You can move the speed dial folders around by dragging. You create a folder by dragging the thumbnail of a link on top of another. You can drag a link from the speed dial to the personal toolbar, and from the personal toolbar you can drag a bookmark to the speed dial and make a position there. And then with Opera, you have a slew of customization possibilities with wallpaper, using your own, taking Opera's, adding wallpaper from the internet with a right click. Initially, I hadn't fully digested the Opera Speed Dial (with folders). Upon reflection, I believe it is a "killer" feature, hugely customizable, and I don't think any competitor browser or extension to a browser right now is in the same ballpark.

  • lem729 you have no idea about bookmarks, which is why I am still using Opera 12 & not these newer nonfunctional versions of Opera.

    Opera 12 has proper bookmarks, along with speed dial & Sessions which allow you to save & store multiple open tabs. I have about 50 different Sessions stored, each contain multiple bookmarks that open in their own tab with the click of the mouse on the individual Session name & create when saved. I also have about 4000 bookmarks, Firefox & IE can both handle that volume of bookmarks, the newer versions of Opera can't.

    The new Opera is focused on "users" who social network to sites like Facebook & really know nothing about security & personal privacy or even care. If they did they wouldn't be using Facebook & linking everything they do online. Opera shifted to this newer no-bookmark browser for a reason "profits"!

  • You can try Session Buddy if you move to Opera 20. You can also save and store multiple open tabs.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/session-buddy/edacconmaakjimmfgnblocblbcdcpbko?hl=en

    That's how you would save and store new sessions in Opera 21. I am not saying those old sessions would transfer over, and that seems to be a major problem.

    When you say, Opera 21 cannot handle 4000 bookmarks, I don't think that is at all accurate. It can! What you are really saying, I think, is that it cannot handle what you have in Opera 12 -- 4000 bookmarks plus 50 saved sessions, without being a colossal headache for you. As for importing, I made clear in my initial post in this thread: "What Opera 21 could use is an import/export bookmarks manager, built into the basic browser." Now, I do understand that 4000 bookmarks is a huge undertaking. And because of your multiple sessions that you have saved, you are in a highly uncommon category. Is any product that doesn't not meet a near totally unusual need, such as yours, nonfunctional. I don't think so! And let me make clear, Opera 21 is not nonfunctional. It just may not be able to adequately deal -- for you -- with your rather unique 🙂 issue.

    If you want to transfer the bookmarks WITHOUT the sessions, I believe you could make the transfer, activating the Personal Bookmarks bar in Opera 20, getting a good bookmarks manager extension, like Neater Bookmarks in the Chrome store, using the Bookmarks Importer in Opera 21, and making full use of near infinite space in the Speed Dial, the bookmarks toolbar and Stash for storage and organization. I don't know how well organized your bookmarks are in folders, so it may not be easy. I'll be honest with you. I've never tried to import anywhere near that number of bookmarks.

    AS for Opera now being focused on Social Networks and Facebook, that's alot of hooey :))))) And let me make very clear: it's not at all what you aburdly call it, "a no-bookmarks browser." That's a duck, sir, that will not fly, a dog that will not hunt . . . Why, it's the emperor without any clothes. You can repeat something over and over again, and it doesn't make it truth. I can understand your rather unique situation. Best of luck to you!

  • Saving & storing a few urls in a Session isn't the issue. Sessions are just a nice way of saving things you are working on. Such as when you are researching a subject or issue & have 10 tabs open but need to go to work or bed. Then you just save those open tabs to a new session so you can open that Session again later. Sessions have no other purpose than that.

    Opera 12 like Firfox & IE can handle massive amounts of bookmarks without any problems at all. They do so because bookmarks are simple a saved url. I have never tried but imagine in Opera 12, Firefox & IE, one could have 1 million or more bookmarks without it causing any problems. Bookmarks are little more than a text file, each line being a single url.

    Opera 21 or any version of Opera after Opera 12 can't handle bookmarks. Opera doesn't want their web browser to handle bookmarks anymore & I told you why "Profits".

    Opera is making a great deal of money by forcing thier users to use search engines to reach websites. It's all about big data, getting people to rely on others rather than themselves. Everyone today is using search engines, linking all their social networking sites, having someone else remember their login credentials.

    Some of us are not interested in sharing our lives with the Googles of the world, we prefer anonimity. My personal privacy is critically important to me, I don't link anything, I don't have anyone else remember my login credentials.

    Funny thing is IE is the most anonymous browser. When I install Opera, Firefox & Chrome I have to spend hours running wireshark & netcat to capture all the IP addresses those browsers are "phoning home to" IE doesn't do that but the others all do. After installing Firefox a week ago I ended up adding over 200 IP addresses to my host file, to block my Internet connection from contacting those IP addresses. Those are IP addresses Firefox tries to connect to just by opening the program & without ever connecting to a website. Opera & Chrome do the same thing. Not just when you start the web browsers, even while surfing from website to website those browers are still phoning home.

    But you wouldn't know anything about that because you are just a user. Who like most everyone else is oblivous to just how much tracking & monitoring of our surfing habits are taking place & by who. And I won't even tell you about extensions, addons & those toolbars people keep installing on their computers & cell phones.

    Before you say I am being paranoid get yourself Wireshark & run it, see for yourself. Start Wireshark then open Opera without connecting to any websites & watch how many IP adresses Opera connects to before you ever do anything. Then if you want to do something about you need to learn how to use your host file, mine is blocking my computer from connecting to over 18,000 IP addresses. The host file is actually the only way to block connections to & from your computer. Web browser addons & adblocking software only block the display of ads, the connections to & from your computer still take place!

  • @islander5460
    I'm not sure what you mean by the Firefox speed dial that you looked at in the past being more customizable than Opera's. I've looked at Firefox on and off for years (as my no. 2 or 3, or 4 browser) and still can't find a speed dial I really think much of in Firefox and its extensions. Having a folder (if you choose), as Opera 21 for each speed dial position (with as many links as you want there) (and thumbnails) and the ability to keep adding speed dial positions is the ultimate in flexibility. Some of the Speed Dial extensions for other browsers offer you extra pages. For a while, I thought extra pages were the answer, but the more I look at Opera, it doesn't seem needed. On one Opera speed dial page, you can showcase more links than you can on ten speed dial pages in another browser's conventional speed dial (and with Opera you can at the end of a page, keep adding extensions and scroll down) (you then end up with a scrolling bar on the right hand side of the browser). It seems like you could keep going and going with the links and speed dial positions. No end to it? Now on customization with Opera you can adjust the number of columns, as well as the size of the thumbnails. If the thumbnails are smaller, you can get more of them in a limited area of space. In Opera, you can rearrange your speed dial links within a speed dial folder by dragging the thumbnail into the position that you want. You can move the speed dial folders around by dragging. You create a folder by dragging the thumbnail of a link on top of another. You can drag a link from the speed dial to the personal toolbar, and from the personal toolbar you can drag a bookmark to the speed dial and make a position there. And then with Opera, you have a slew of customization possibilities with wallpaper, using your own, taking Opera's, adding wallpaper from the internet with a right click. Initially, I hadn't fully digested the Opera Speed Dial (with folders). Upon reflection, I believe it is a "killer" feature, hugely customizable, and I don't think any competitor browser or extension to a browser right now is in the same ballpark.

    @lem729

    It's been some time since I used the FF extension, but I do remember it being very flexible, and could do everything you stated about Opera's speed dial. The best feature I liked was the speed dial page could have tabs, so opening a new tab for speed dial didn't feel like a wasted move. In effect, the speed dial page became a visual version of the bookmarks bar. I'm hoping Opera does the same thing someday, because speed dial tabs are very useful. But if not, if they could support folders within folders, I'd be more likely to use speed dial.

  • @lem729
    It's been some time since I used the FF extension, but I do remember it being very flexible, and could do everything you stated about Opera's speed dial.

    I'm sure it could not create a folder for each speed dial position -- if wanted. It's at least my understanding that that's a unique Opera breakthrough. 🙂 In Opera if you drag one speed dial thumbnail over another you have a folder of two for one position on the dial. And you can keep dragging and end up with a folder of 10 or more for ever position. I don't know if there's a limit. Also Opera's speed dial keeps going down (with a scrolling bar set up on the right, after a full page. You're right, though, the Opera speed dial doesn't go the extra step -- give you folders within folders. That you can get with the personal tool bar. But they complement each other. It doesn't have to be a choice -- the Speed Dial, or the bookmarks bar. The Speed Dial can be used for certain kinds of links -- the most used, the ones you want to highlight, etc. I'm not sure what you mean by a new tab for speed dial. Opera seems to do that, I can have speed dial going in any tab I want.

  • @lem729 I can drag one thumbnail over another to make a folder in FF using Superstart. It also allows one to customise the speeddial so you have transparent backgrounds with images (logos) of your choice if that's what you like, plus a few more options.

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