I've read through most of this thread, and may other - similar - threads here. What this all comes down to - to me at least - is Opera -as we KNEW it - is essentially dead. Build 12.16 is the last GOOD browser Opera put out. Anything - A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G put out after is merely a "one off" of Chrome.
All this talk of marketing, competition, etc. is moot. Opera has decided to follow the leader and try to gain market share by being the same but with a different name and color scheme. Why use the Google engine for the browser? It's cheaper than continuing to support your OWN engine/kernel. Opera came about as an answer to what it has now become. It WAS the best, most customizable, USEFUL browser out. I liken this all to the old WinDOS v. OS/2 war some years ago. OS/2 was a MUCH better OS. Better in EVERY way - except that the masses want simplicity. They don't want REAL power or control. OS/2 forced M$ to change many things to keep up, but in the end killed itself by being so robust. Opera has done the same thing. It forced tabbed browsing to other browsers,
The entire reason Opera came about was to give a DIFFERENT experience to the user. Taking on the Chrome engine, by default, killed that IMHO. Sure, we've been told many of the things we loved about the original Opera may come back, but when? It's been how many months now since the "new and improved" Opera has been out? Where is the customization? Where is session browsing? For all I care now, I might as WELL use Safari on my Macs. Who needs Opera in its' current form? It doesn't give me ANY advantage over what Apple already sends with the computer. I still use Opera 12.16 because I LIKE it better. I do not use the new version because I don't LIKE Chrome. If I did, I would use IT to begin with.
Someone - someone with real knowledge and understanding - tell me WHY I should choose Opera over Chrome, or even Firefox as an "alternate" browser. Where is the advantage? WHAT is the advantage to Opera now?