Saturday, March 15, 2008

End of Browser War?

So Opera browser long had been a powerful challenger to Microsoft's IE. But Opera quickly fade into the
3rd (or 4th I doubt) after Firefox (or Marathon). I tried Opera recently on both Vista and Ubuntu as well as my Dell Axim PDA running Windows Mobile 5. Overall, the experience is just so so. Most surprisingly, Opera on Ubuntu (Linux) does not support Google Docs well. 
So Google Docs is displaying warning that "this browser is not supported by Google Docs" so just a basic version of Google Docs is available.
Wondering at this G-time, is it a suicide for Opera lacking of the necessary support for Google Docs? Also I found out I cannot upload files to Scribd via Opera nor insert URL link at this ZOHO writer app while writing this blog...

I hope it's not too early to say but are we loosing one once-powerful alternative browser? Then if taking into account the fact Facebook had acquired another web browser startup in 2007. Where Opera will be?

Since Opera browser doesn't support insert links at ZOHO, so this will be  pure link-free post.

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4 comments:

Chuso said...

I don't know Zoho, but it's not Opera's fault if Google Docs is not working with Opera since Google's code breaks the standard and they only care to optimize their pages for MSIE and Firefox.

If you want Google Docs support for Opera take a look at http://chuso.1.vg/?id=68.

I'm using Google Docs with Opera with the fix posted above and have no problem to edit and share documents.

Also, it seems that it works fine with Opera 9.5 Beta and no fix is needed: http://mepislovers.org/forums/showpost.php?p=106997&postcount=11

li said...

Chuso,

Thanks for providing a solution here. Your point is well taken.

But from a business point of view, Opera has not been a technology leader for quite some time. That's really, why I come up with that title of this blog.

I like there are multiple competitors in any space but if Opera cannot give Internet users a sound answer about the question:

Why should I switch from Firefox to Opera browser?

I am afraid the time left for Opera to win the battle is quite short.


Li

Greg said...

I find there are several reasons for choosing Opera over Firefox. First the memory handling. I know Firefox has improved on this recently, but sorry, I'm converted.

The features - Speed Dial, the trash can, saved sessions - I use them all. Customized search is also a big one for me.

It took me some time to adjust to Opera (about one week), but now that I have I can't go back to Firefox. I'd have to track down far too many extensions just to get the basic functionality Opera provides.

Ultimately, it's easier for me to use Opera because it has everything I need in one package.

I respect the point that they lag in market share, but I want something that works for me. I don't think the browser war is over by a long shot. Opera 9.5 will arrive in final form soon. Not to mention that Opera has a lot of strength in the mobile space.

li said...

Greg,

I am totally with you. Firefox has a serious memory leak in my vista installation. This memory leak and the maturity of virtualization software on Linux such as innoTek's virtualbox led my fully abandon of Windows.

Opera may still have a chance but those features you mentioned may not be appealing enough for normal Internet users. Brand is a big thing for non-sophisticated user and Opera may have the biggest weakness here.


I wish Opera could make a major leap in terms of technology or functionality break through to make the browser space more diversified.


Li