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Business Saavy Opera
About a year ago, I had tested all the major browsers for suitability to replace IE as our preferred corporate browser. I was just about to make the recommendation when it was announced that Opera Software was replacing Presto with Blink so I waited.
Now that the number of Opera browser versions has doubled and none of the features of Opera 12 that made it suitable have come through, I'd like to take some time to ask for them nicely.
- Change Application/Handler based on MIME type. In Opera 12 I can go to preferences -> advanced -> downloads and search for a MIME type then click "Edit" and tell Opera what to do when it gets one. The very handiest option for a business is the "Open with other application" option and then I could check "Pass web address directly to application". This alone is significant enough to phase out IE. Especially in Opera 24 since many sites don't complain about the browser version not being supported.
- Browser Identification. Speaking of, several sites for banking, reporting, inventory, etc require IE of some version or another. Sometimes you can get a way with Firefox. In Opera 12, you could click on the page of such a site and "Edit site preferences" then you'd have a network tab which would have a "Browser Identification" drop-down. Masking as IE or FF allowed Opera 12 to side-step and display these sites.
- Java. For many sites, they require that your Java version not be higher than some very old version. Opera 24 appears to not be able to use the system's JRE, and tries to use it own, which results in any manner of usability and stability issues. If Opera could just use the system JRE rather than try and reinvent the wheel, that'd be of great help.
Opera 12.17 is an amazing browser and I was so excited to be able to finally throw away IE with it's updates that regularly break sites for users. Everyone else would have been excited about it too because whenever they ask me, "why are we using IE anyway?" I tell them about this company that made this browser until they stopped. Opera 12.17 had a very impressive feature set and was amazingly configurable until Blink came along and instead of putting Blink inside the lovely Opera, we just got a re-branded Google Chrome.
If Opera 24/25/26 could gain these features, it could replace IE at my organization and many others.
Well '2' can already be done by the use of an extension.