Sunday 25 Sep 2011

Why people don't use the best browser, Opera?

OperaA surprising thing in the world of the Web browsers is the bad place occupied by Opera. Present since the beginning of the browsers, in 1994 Opera appeared at the same time as Nescape, before Internet Explorer (chronology).

Opera is classified for years by Secunia like the surest of the browsers, the one where the security breaches are rarest and corrected most quickly!

It contains an e-mail client, BitTorrent downloading, and yet it does not take more space in memory than the others and starts much more quickly than Firefox. Moreover, Opera exists for Windows, Linux, MacOS...


Almost each innovation in the world of the browsers was invented by Opera: the tabs, the fact of putting them in the title bar (thing I hate, but finally all the others copied it), the fact of putting the address bar in lower part, the more advanced address bar which also searches in the bookmarks and the titles of the visited pages... and also in the contents of the pages on Opera! Which is very practical, the next functionality copied by the others? :-p


Browsers statistics 2011
Source DigitalVersus: Web browsers: Internet Explorer a leader on borrowed time? (fr)

So what lacks in Opera to come become a leader? Why does it remain confined to its 1 or 2% of users?

  • Internet Explorer was always supported by its inclusion in Windows,
  • Firefox is helped by its "free" ideology and the number of its extensions,
  • Chrome by the millions $ of advertising Google pays...
  • Opera never really had a boost to help it.


But Firefox was able to become famous even to the non-initiated people. Most its users today don't even know that it's free and that there are a lot of extensions. Why Opera can't get known in the same way?

Fortunately for the Norwegian company, Opera is largely used on mobile devices where its lightness and its speed have convinced more users. :-)

cafĂ© Did this article help you? 
Buy me a coffee!

9 answers at “Why people don't use the best browser, Opera?”

  1. 1
    Daniel15 ( said:

    I wonder the same thing! I've been using Opera since version 5 or 6 came out, and I love it. And it's got extensions in Opera 11 as well.

  2. 2
    Dreyeth said:

    I have no trust for a browser that isn't open, and
    will not use one.

    I think there is a lot of that, the other major browsers are open, opera is not.

  3. 3
    David ( said:

    To be open does not guaranty the quality.

    In the last vulnerabilities report by Secunia, even IE has "only" 126 security holes, against 270 for Firefox and 245 for Chrome!!!
    Opera is still the best with 11. :-)

  4. 4
    Daniel15 ( said:

    Woah, I totally forgot about this post until I got an email notification for that comment. I ended up switching from Opera to Chrome when they announced they were replacing their engine with the one from Chrome. Most of the good features of Opera no longer exist in its current versions :(

  5. 5
    David ( said:

    I still use the last one with old engine (version 12.17) + Firefox.
    But we can understand the Opera team, working for so few people, they needed to reduce the cost. :-|

  6. 6
    Dreyeth said:

    Quality isn't the issue, anything that isn't transparent, I suspect goverment internal tampering of a any non-transparent binary.

    I suspect it in all BIOS and firmware, especially since my goverment reserves the right to have products I order online shipped to them first before me so they can bug the BIOS in it before I get my hands on it.

    More and more I suspect they have their hands in anything that I cannot review.

    If its not transparent I don't communicate over it,
    quality is irrelevant.

    People that produce software and don't bug it, as well as don't have government employees working for them (that they know of), will still take a hit
    because of the damage the US goverment has done
    to trust, by trying to bug everything, including
    your router.

    Mostly because of reasons like this especially a lot the technically literate, just don't have a use for a non-open browser.

    Even USB devices have been shown to be capable of delivering a virus undetectably embedded in the firmware.

    I also suspect another hidden mole in the room, there is no access controls against binaries
    causing firmware modification, and no anti-virus
    scanners that detect much or any firmware malware.
    but binaries have open season if they're programmed to do it, and its almost impossible to remove.

    Nobody receives any faith, only transparentcy has my

    A binary is a non-transparent packaged blob that is
    only internally reviewed, that has open season
    on your hardware.

    Yes this is paranoid, but it doesn't mean they're not after us, I've come to this opinion reading security websites.

  7. 7
    Dreyeth said:

    Yeah I like chrome but its not entirely open, and chrome rather then chromium (the open source version),
    does have stuff in it that monitors your surfing.

    So even with the bugs I'm still using firefox. =/

    If your going to stick with it though, go find a place that packages the Chromium nightlies, or go
    compile it from source yourself unfortunately.

    To be fair every time I've used opera I've liked everything about it, though I've never used the chrome based version, the older operas have always
    had a polish everything else lacks, I just don't
    need to add another object of trust (which I have none of) to my communication systems.

    But yeah I think this is what really bit opera,
    intermediate+ users when switching to a browser from IE knew enough to pick the open one.

  8. 8
    Dreyeth said:

    Give me https everywhere, and click to play all plugins, VimFX style keybinds, chromium style handling of disabled javascript and cookies whitelisting, on the browser Qupzilla and I'd probable switch and not look back.

    I love the captcha on your blog, and the fact that
    when I forget to enter it, it doesn't scrap my post. xD

  9. 9
    David ( said:

    I think you are too paranoid! :D Opera is a nice Norwegian company and it's easy to see if a navigator sends information: just look at the established connections (netstat -ano with Windows and maybe on Linux too).
    -> I can assure you that Opera does not send anything.

    Chrome and even Chromium do because they are always connected to Google. (Other browsers also send to Google if you choose it as search engine.)

    I didn't know Qupzilla, I will have a look, even if I need several extensions for my work, that's why I'm still using Firefox.

Leave a comment (all comments are moderated, don't waste time with spam)

Azure Dev