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Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's founder and former CEO spoke to The Register

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Has it occurred to you that all major desktop browsers except Opera Blink have bookmarks, with managers and menus?

    Has it occurred to you that this doesn't say how many people actually use them and how many wouldn't have any problems using Speed Dial folder(s) or Stash, oh and the bookmarks bar?

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    Your assumption seems to be that lacking them somehow constitutes a unique selling point, if not an advantage.

    Where did I say that?

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    Take a deep breath... breathe in s-l-o-w-l-y and breathe out. No need to use vulgar words, Mr. Cee. You've whined from day one in the forums. You've never sought out help but simply decided that you were not subject to the terms of service and used the forums to whine and complain. Now here's the thing (which you consistently fail to grasp). Are you ready for it? All of your complaints don't amount to a hill of beans as far as Opera is concerned. Over a year ago the decision was made to drop Presto. The team that developed it is essentially gone. There is NO turning back now and no matter how many threads are begun stating the disenchantment with the new browser or bemoaning the loss of features of the former, Opera Next is the new browser and the only browser that will be developed... period. If there are features you would like to see added back, be respectful (something that appears very difficult for you) and state them in the developers' blogs where they will have a better chance of being noticed. In the meantime, you can easily continue using a Presto version alongside the newer Blink version "if" you want to see how Opera Next is developing. If that is not satisfactory and does not meet your needs, then use another browser. In all of this, whining, complaining, swearing, threatening, bullying, labeling etc etc etc are both counter-productive and somewhat indicative of "other" problems (which I will mercifully leave unsaid).

    And you still don't get it, because instead of ever paying the slightest attention to what I've said, you have it already set in your tiny, tiny mind. I never once, ever, said a word about Blink or Pesto or preferring Opera 12, or anything you just rattled off.... but then that has never stopped you from your judgmental, wrong-headed, and inaccurate characterizations before, either.

    You believe you are so knowledgeable & and armchair psychologist as well, that you ignore in yourself, all the exact same behavior you deride in others, which a contemporary of Freud's calls out in this quite apropos depiction of you:
    "The best political, social and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.” . . . – Carl Jung

  • And yet "I" have the tiny, tiny mind. :whistle:

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    330 million is the total number of users, there's no way 300 million people use Opera 12 as the total number of desktop users is 51 million and mobile consists mostly of Mini.

    Uhm ...
    from German Wikipedia

    Laut Opera ist der Opera Mini der „weltweit beliebteste Browser mit über 30 Millionen Benutzern“.
    Opera Mobile wurden nach Angaben von Opera seit 2004 auf über 125 Millionen Geräten installiert.

    30 million Opera Mini users, 125 million Opera Mobile installations according to Opera. Only 51 million desktop users of Opera can't be correct.

  • Originally posted by missingno:

    30 million Opera Mini users, 125 million Opera Mobile installations according to Opera. Only 51 million desktop users of Opera can't be correct.

    Or maybe Wikipedia is incorrect or outdated?

    "In December 2013, there were over 270 million Opera mobile browsers users. Out of this number, 248 million were Opera Mini users and the rest were Opera for Android, Mobile Classic and Skyfire users globally." (Source.)

    About Opera desktop: they have 51 million users currently (flat with previous quarter) and "Major part of user base is now on the new product" (PDF of Q4 2013 presentation.)

    270+51 = 321 ~ but let's say 330 million users like Jon said.
    Let's take out all the Opera Mini users: 330-248 = 82.
    Jon's claim that 300 million users are on Opera 12 is completely false, it's impossible. (Or you can blame the tech journalist who wrote the interview, whatever.)

  • To be honest, neither numbers sum up to me. Why is a Skyfire user an Opera mobile browser user?

    Plus I barely know anyone using something else than the stock browser if he or she doesn't know about Opera desktop browser in the first place. While certainly not every Opera Mini user also uses Opera on desktop, I am quite positive there are Opera desktop users not using Opera Mini as well. My assumption would be, there is a more or less equal number of Opera users on mobile and desktop.

    Going from the number of the presentation, which is marked "unaudited" and a Opera market share of 2%, that would mean 2.5 billion people. If under these conditions the number of 330 million is true, that would mean a market share of 13.2%, which undoubtly it a bit too high to be real. 😉

    Just thinking.

  • Opera's latest official usage figures from http://www.operasoftware.com/press/facts

    Number of users using Opera
    Mobile users: More than 264 million.
    Desktop users: 52 million.
    Devices shipped: More than 25 million.
    Total users: More than 350 million.

    Numbers as of August 2013. Updated monthly.

    No updates since August, one month after Opera 15 was officially released?

    Makes you wonder why…

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Opera's latest official usage figures from http://www.operasoftware.com/press/facts

    Number of users using Opera
    Mobile users: More than 264 million.
    Desktop users: 52 million.
    Devices shipped: More than 25 million.
    Total users: More than 350 million.

    Numbers as of August 2013. Updated monthly.

    No updates since August, one month after Opera 15 was officially released?Makes you wonder why…

    The updated official numbers are in the financial quarterly reports, I posted the links in a post just above. The web designers must have forgotten about this page since the redesign of opera.com.

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    ]The updated official numbers are in the financial quarterly reports, I posted the links in a post just above. The web designers must have forgotten about this page since the redesign of opera.com.
    About Opera desktop: they have 51 million users currently (flat with previous quarter) and "Major part of user base is now on the new product"

    52 million in August, 51 million by December.

    "Major part of user base is now on the new product"

    Like many other users on these forums, I keep downloading, installing, and trying out every new release of Opera Blink - in the vain hope of seeing it develop into something worth using. So far, no joy. Opera 12.16 is better in every respect but site compatibility, for a handful of cases. And in unfortunate fact, every other Chrome Clone on the market is better than Opera Blink, too.

    For the company it seems every download and install is counted as "users being on the new product".

    Not so. I just haven't given up on Opera yet. But if the new browser remains so woefully uncompetitive, I may have to.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Opera 12.16 is better in every respect but site compatibility, for a handful of cases.

    You may want to try Opera 12.14, it has been proven to be more compatible with sites than 12.16, especially with one's that don't work in 12.16. And there is no security differences between 12.14 and 12.16 as far as i and some other users can tell.

  • Hi,

    Some clarifications on numbers and Jon leaving Opera below.

    Originally posted by Krake:

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    Another interview with Jon von Tetzchner, which appeared today in the German magazine c't'.

    It contains some information about the changes at the company, and the switch to Opera 15.

    It is in German, so you may need to use a web translator.

    Google translate isn't so bad:

    Jon von Tetzchner was co-founder and CEO until early 2010 the Norwegian company Opera Software, which develops the same browser. Mid-2012, he retired from the strife of his company, which since then drives a significantly different course. With Vivaldi.net now reports from Tetzchner back from his Icelandic home. The first goal of startups: building an online community with blogs, forums and mail services, offering the users of the soon closing service My Opera a new home.

    In an interview with c't tells of Tetzchner of his plans with Vivaldi and keep his opinions about the new Opera strategy is not behind the mountain.

    c't: you have left about two and a half years ago Opera. What did you do in the meantime?

    Jon von Tetzchner: I have a little invested in startups, about ten companies, most in Iceland. I founded a startup center in Seltjarnarnes in Reykjavik, where I lived as a child. Here now work 18 companies - the Startup Center was full in a week.

    Then I asked myself: Do I want to now only work as a consultant? After a while I thought: No, I must be doing something yourself. In a way, I served the Opera idea by hiring My Opera. I thought for some time, it would be interesting to start a community: a difficult competition, a crazy idea - okay, let's do it.

    c't: Is Vivaldi.net planned as a pure My-Opera-clone? It's a bold idea of ??building a community in the age of Facebook ...

    of Tetzchner: We think a lot about innovations. We have compiled a comprehensive starter kit, but it will definitely be more. We still are but in an early stage. We have launched a month ago.

    From Tetzchners Vivaldi.net to the My Opera community, which is closed in three weeks, which give a new home.
    We focus not so obvious to attract users. I think there is room for a site like this. We have always tried in Opera, to be the good guys, and so it is with Vivaldi. There are many former Opera-people, also a few Icelanders. We are a small team, about 20 people, more than half of technicians. The money comes from me, there are no other investors.

    c't: Where is the business model?

    of Tetzchner: We have experience with affiliate deals in Opera, something in the way we could make at Vivaldi. I think there are some ways to make money, without sacrificing the user. We try to focus on privacy and security: It's all encrypted, we play no advertising in the mails. We host in Iceland, only for the delivery of the websites we use Content Delivery Networks.
    "There are some ways to earn money without having it at the expense of users."

    We did not want to spy on our users. Check out our EULA at times, sure, I'm actually proud of. It is not so full of legalese as usual. We try to give the company a human face - as we have done in Opera, and I hope we can do it again here. We want to build something for geeks, make a group of happy people who demand a lot - the target group are the Opera-users.

    c't: How big is the My Opera community?

    of Tetzchner: There are, I believe, registered more than 10 million, but the number of active participants is much smaller. There were over 35 million visitors per month - I do not understand why Opera closes.

    That said, I understand it already, because I know the people who run the company now: look at the revenue and expenditure of My Opera separately, and there was never at Opera efforts to make money - it was something that what we did for our users. But the community has played a central role in building operators, since people all came through word of mouth.

    c't: Have you spoken with Opera on the acquisition of My Opera? The founders of Fast Mail've got you down even bought back.

    of Tetzchner: One can, I think, to say that the relationship is not optimal. I have a few people over concerns that I would like to take over the community, but they did not give me.

    Up to and including version 12 Opera was packed with functions, features and configuration options.

    Opera 15 had the flashing engine not much to add except a nice user interface with "Discovery" and "Stash".

    c't: What browser do you use anyway?

    of Tetzchner: Still Opera 12

    c't: Am I doing even occasionally, but he is aging fast ...

    of Tetzchner: Yes, it's a bit like a burning ship - at some point you have to stop the machine. The interesting thing is: Of the approximately 330 million Opera users still use the 300 million Opera 12

    ***Clarification on the numbers:
    Opera has somewhere north of 330 million users. Of these users:

    - 248 million are using Mini.
    - 22 million are using Mobile.
    - 51 million are using Desktop.
    - 30 million are using Opera on Wii, DS and other devices. I think that number sounds high, but lets go with it. These are all Opera numbers.

    Out of these, all Mini users are using Presto. More than half of the desktop users are using Presto, using 3rd party stats. All Wii, DS and other device users are using Presto. Mobile, I am not sure, but I would expect a significant number of the 22 million are using Presto.

    Out of these, all Mini users are using Presto. More than half of the desktop users are using Presto, using 3rd party stats. All Wii, DS and other
    device users are using Presto. Mobile, I am not sure, but I would expect a significant number of the 22 million areusing Presto.

    Adding this all together, it is clear that about 300 millon of the 330 or 350 million users are using Presto, the browser engine powering Opera 12***

    c't: That would not bode well for Opera's move to WebKit.

    of Tetzchner: It was the wrong move. It has apparently taken the decision at the beginning of 2010, when I stopped - at least you heard back then on to invest in the development team. You have people no longer replaced, who have left, gradually the code was less competitive. And we all know that you have to give everything when you compete against Google, Apple and Mozilla.
    "A lot of smart people have left Opera."

    Clarification: Jon quit Opera in June 2011 after leaving the position of CEO in January 2010.

    c't: Many Opera users were shocked when they saw Opera 15.

    of Tetzchner: We could have said: Okay, let's take WebKit, we use our resources to build a great UI. But in reality, there were the people for not, because the had ceased or been fired.

    A lot of smart people have left Opera. When I stopped, about 750 people worked at Opera. Now while there are more, but over 300 people have since ceased, especially from the core team. The focus is now more on advertising and on the financial side, not in the products - and Opera was a product company.

    c't: Did you then actually voluntarily ceased as CEO?

    of Tetzchner: It was my decision, but it was a long, long struggle preceded, and I was really exhausted. I hoped with Lars Boilesen there would be continuity, because he had worked as my Head of Sales, but I should find out quickly that this would not be so.

    The investors wanted the company in a different direction when I draw - rather in the holding of the financial market is right, instead of trying to make the end user happy. I have seven years fought against, to sell the company or to neglect the desktop browser.

    I left the company in a very good condition. We had doubled our user base of 50 to 100 million and continued to grow, even without new features. I left the company with 100 million U.S. dollars in the bank. This money is spent obviously, because they had a new round of financing. You have company bought, which is expensive.

    The financial market seems to be very happy with how the company is run. I am sad when I see what has happened with my company. It goes completely in the opposite direction from the one where I was going. This change in direction was the reason that I no more than a kind of spirit was standing in the background and Opera in 2012 finally left. Then perhaps accelerated the development, but the real break was already done.

    Sentimental farewell gesture: As a kind of Easter Egg developers smuggled in Opera 12 a letter to her retired founder of the company a.

    c't: Do you feel that you have destroyed your life's work?

    of Tetzchner: I think Opera could have achieved much more. For 2013, we had 500 million users as the target. Had we continued on our way, we would have, I think, done. The two features that have been added since my departure, are Discovery and Stash. On the other hand a lot of things have disappeared.

    And Coast, the new tablet browser, I see myself more as a cool prototypes. Previously, we have implemented projects such as Turbo or Unite, which was a major innovation. Unite matches the direction in which the Internet developed more peer-to-peer, not everything in the cloud.
    "When you're in an area pioneer, one comes in a very good position when one catches up after a while the trend."

    c't: Unite was, I believe, the first thing that Opera has adjusted after your departure. I always had the impression that the users have not understood then what you could do with it.

    of Tetzchner: I had the idea that we can improve further Unite - that was only version 1.0. Peer-to-Peer is now a big trend, as the Internet of Things. We have started doing in 2005. That was very early, as much of what we did.

    We started with mobile browsers in 1999. At that time, people said that mobile browsers do not make sense, one should take WAP. I believe that if one is a pioneer in a field and continue working on it, you get into a very good position when one catches up after a while the trend. Therefore we need long-term investments.

    Now Opera invested more in the purchase of other companies - as Skyfire, what ever did not make sense to me. Of course I'm sad that she threw away Unite, but I'm also sad that she threw away bookmarks and a lot of other things that use the people.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    52 million in August, 51 million by December.

    It's easy to play that game. You should have checked the data relating to desktop Opera Presto (11~12) before. :rolleyes: 60 million in 1st quarter of 2012, 52 in 2nd quarter of 2013 - that was with Opera PRESTO. 😉
    http://www.operasoftware.com/company/investors/finance

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    For the company it seems every download and install is counted as "users being on the new product".

    Nope, I remember they saying they count active users. Opera phones home at least for BrowserJS so they know it.
    Also, worth mentioning other bit of info in the 4Q2013 presentation that is "Cuts churn by more than 25%", Haavard explains this in Twitter as "(more users are sticking with the new version than the old one)".

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    "Major part of user base is now on the new product"

    Like many other users on these forums, I keep downloading, installing, and trying out every new release of Opera Blink - in the vain hope of seeing it develop into something worth using. So far, no joy. Opera 12.16 is better in every respect but site compatibility, for a handful of cases. And in unfortunate fact, every other Chrome Clone on the market is better than Opera Blink, too.

    Major part of the user base still disagrees with you... Just saying.

  • Originally posted by cdysthe:

    Clarification on the numbers:
    Opera has somewhere north of 330 million users. Of these users:

    - 248 million are using Mini.
    - 22 million are using Mobile.
    - 51 million are using Desktop.
    - 30 million are using Opera on Wii, DS and other devices. I think that number sounds high, but lets go with it. These are all Opera numbers.

    Out of these, all Mini users are using Presto. More than half of the desktop users are using Presto, using 3rd party stats. All Wii, DS and other device users are using Presto. Mobile, I am not sure, but I would expect a significant number of the 22 million are using Presto.

    Out of these, all Mini users are using Presto. More than half of the desktop users are using Presto, using 3rd party stats. All Wii, DS and other
    device users are using Presto. Mobile, I am not sure, but I would expect a significant number of the 22 million areusing Presto.

    Adding this all together, it is clear that about 300 millon of the 330 or 350 million users are using Presto, the browser engine powering Opera 12

    It makes sense, it's misleading in the interview as it says "Opera 12".
    Still, I think he tries to convince us of the statement following it ("It was the wrong move.") by saying those kinds of things, but another points to pay attention to are:
    - Of course Mini users are still on Presto, there's no Mini-Blink. Until a new Mini product or version not based on Presto is released there's no way to measure success using the number of Mini users.
    - Opera 12 users still haven't received any auto-update notification so many don't even know a new version exists.

    Regarding the third-party statistics, there's no point on relying on them as Opera already publicly stated >50% of the desktop user base is on the new Opera 15+.

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Nope, I remember they saying they count active users. Opera phones home at least for BrowserJS so they know it.

    Opera defines who an "active user" is, by what criteria we don't know.

    As for browser.js, in both versions 12 & 15+, it is downloaded & installed automatically, unless updates are manually turned off:

    Opera automatically checks for updates to Browser JavaScript once every week. Any updates will be automatically downloaded and applied the next time a page is loaded in Opera. http://www.opera.com/docs/browserjs/

    So merely trying out Opera Blink can be enough to get it download, if that should be what constitutes an "active user",

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Major part of the user base still disagrees with you... Just saying.

    Just saying you are a major part of the user base, together with leushino?

    Sure, there have been positive opinions on Opera 15+ in these forums - I remember them from about 3-4 different accounts.
    There have also been unfavorable ones, from a lot more than that, but of course there are all "whiners" and don't count.

    P.S.

    in 2nd quarter of 2013 - that was with Opera PRESTO

    The switch to Blink was announced in February of 2013, the version 15 beta was published in May.

  • Opium still uses browser.js? Wasn't the purpose of it to "hack" site compatibility with Presto and the purpose of the switch to Blink to have this site compatibility out of the box and therefor save the hassle of having (to maintain) a browser.js?

  • Originally posted by missingno:

    Opium still uses browser.js? Wasn't the purpose of it to "hack" site compatibility with Presto and the purpose of the switch to Blink to have this site compatibility out of the box and therefor save the hassle of having (to maintain) a browser.js?

    http://blogs.opera.com/desktop/2013/12/youtube-is-back/

  • Originally posted by missingno:

    Opium still uses browser.js? Wasn't the purpose of it to "hack" site compatibility with Presto and the purpose of the switch to Blink to have this site compatibility out of the box and therefor save the hassle of having (to maintain) a browser.js?

    Yes it does, strangely enough. Visit http://www.opera.com/docs/browserjs/ with any version of Opera Blink and check for yourself:

    Current browser.js status: enabled. 
    Target version and time stamp of the active browser.js file is 
    Opera OPRDesktop 15.00 core 1326.63, 
    February 7, 2014. Active patches: 15 .
    

    To see the current source code of the surprisingly persistent browser.js, go to this URL:

    https://github.com/operasoftware/browserjs/blob/master/OPRdesktop/browserjs-15.0.js

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    The team that developed it is essentially gone.

    But wait, doesn't that contradict the claim that everyone who worked on Presto is still working there? Funny, I thought everything was ice cream in rainbows in the wonderful world of Opera.

    Originally posted by leushino:

    There is NO turning back now and no matter how many threads are begun stating the disenchantment with the new browser or bemoaning the loss of features of the former, Opera Next is the new browser and the only browser that will be developed... period. If there are features you would like to see added back, be respectful (something that appears very difficult for you) and state them in the developers' blogs where they will have a better chance of being noticed. In the meantime, you can easily continue using a Presto version alongside the newer Blink version "if" you want to see how Opera Next is developing. If that is not satisfactory and does not meet your needs, then use another browser. In all of this, whining, complaining, swearing, threatening, bullying, labelling etc etc etc are both counter-productive and somewhat indicative of "other" problems (which I will mercifully leave unsaid).

    And if you don't like people complaining about how badly ChrOpera sucks, stop acting like a paid shill and b*tching about everyone who b*tches about Opera.

  • Originally posted by Tradeofjane:

    And if you don't like people complaining about how badly ChrOpera sucks, stop acting like a paid shill and b*tching about everyone who b*tches about Opera.

    Take a deep breath. No need to show your true colors with vulgar language. :whistle:

    The forums are intended for members HELPING members. Really, that is the long and short of it. I know you believe it helps your cause (and that of the other complainers) by labelling others, using foul language, threatening, bullying and generally disrupting but that is against the tos. Please abide by them.

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    The forums are intended for members HELPING members. Really, that is the long and short of it. I know you believe it helps your cause (and that of the other complainers) by labelling others, using foul language, threatening, bullying and generally disrupting but that is against the tos. Please abide by them.

    And who the hell have you helped? You're only here to do damage control for Opera.

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