Opera 9 Released

And you just won’t find me using it, other than for a bit of testing. It is a shame, I can remember a couple of years ago when Opera was the best thing since bread. Not just sliced bread, bread. A wonderful thing. It genuinely did change the way I browsed, introduced me to keeping masses of tabs open all the time, all sorts of things.

However, it just didn’t move on. I hadn’t used it in ages, and so I came back to it to try out the beta. It runs like a dog, in terms of loading pages. I keep hearing how it is fast, well, it just isn’t firefox. It just doesn’t load a page as fast for me. I do use Fasterfox and Adblock, which may be a part of it, but I got really bored waiting.

It is utterly true that many of Firefox’s best features have come from or borrowed from Opera, however they are in my browser of choice now, and work better. That is the advantage that the development work done en masse on Firefox has brought. Opera stuck to its old business model for far too long, and fell far far behind. It is, on the desktop, a dying browser. I’ve seen usage drop from almost 10% to well below 1%, whilst Firefox has gone exactly the other way. It is the best on mobiles at the moment (and I use it there), but Mozilla has a mobile browser on the way, and their brand alone could cause Opera big problems in that market as well.

So much as I would like to like Opera, it isn’t going to happen.

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4 Comments

  1. I hate to have to say this but I do think Opera have taken their eye off the ball and allowed Mozilla to take the lead. Which is sad, because (as you said) Opera introduced me to so many things that I could never live without (tabs and so on)

    There are ways of speeding up browsing in Opera, in fact from personal experience I’ve found it faster than Firefox but that may have something to do with the extensions you use.

    The only thing that stops from moving over myself is the fact that I’m so used to where everything is in Opera. Until Opera becomes really, REALLY broken then I can’t see any reason to move.

  2. What I would worry about myself would be missing out on the development that is going on in Firefox now. It is still moving forwards, with all sorts of extensions being built, whereas Opera is kinda solely relying on its own dev team. That isn’t quite true, but the bulk of the work in the browser community is being doing on Firefox.

  3. But how many of those extensions actually have a practical use.

    It’s like Konfabulator widgets; there are alot of them but take away all the clocks and the RSS feeds, how many of them are actually needed. Apart from a few essentials, alot of them are ultimately pointless. and that’s how I see alot of the Firefox extensions. Apart from the one you lovingly created, obviously 😉

    I use Firefox (as well you know) and I can understand why so many people use it but I can’t see any “killer” reason for switching to it on a permanent basis.

  4. depends on what you are doing. Adblock, Google Suggest, Bloglines, Delicious, all-in-one gestures, sessionsaver 2 get used daily by me. I also have a few web developeresque ones that I use slightly less frequently, then a few more that I use on occasion. Greasemonkey is a wonderful one that sits in the background, and solves faults or adds functionality to sites I use regularly. It is the flexibility of being able to solve problems and meet requirements of issues that have arisen in days rather than years that puts Firefox ahead of the game for me.

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