Blogger kills Opera support; power play from Google/Chrome? [Update]

While Opera is not as popular as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox for web browsing, it is still used by a little less than two percent of web browser users around the world, depending on which company's web stats you believe. Now it appears that Google may be trying to force some of Opera's users to get rid of it in favor of Google's own Chrome browser.

People who use Google's free Blogger web blogging service with Opera now see the message above, stating that Opera "is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems." The message ends with Blogger suggesting that Opera users try, naturally, Chrome instead.

This issue came to light via a blog post by Bob Leggitt (via ZDNet) where it started appearing last week. We have also independently confirmed that the message is there (see the above screenshot). Blogger offers no explanation on why they decided to dump Opera support beyond the above message. Ironically, it's also not mentioned on Blogger's official blog.

As Leggitt points out, Opera is a modern web browser, with most, if not all, of the important features in Chrome. There is speculation that this is simply a power move by Google to keep Opera support out of its many web projects in favor of Chrome. We have emailed Google for comment.

Update: Blogger actually announced they would only support Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari back in July 2011, but this new message that pops up for Opera users just started coming up last week.

Via: ZDNet.net
Source: Bob Leggitt | Image via Google

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37 Comments

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Too bad for blogger. or whats left of them. I use Opera for browsing and more and more for shopping. Chrome is just too buggy to use.

Prefer Opera to Chrome, but still using Firefrox as default browser with Windows OS's as well on 'nix boxes. Hope Google doesn't get so big regulators start trying to break it up...after all these years Google is still my homepage. Don't use blogger here, never have, but I don't twit or Like either...

Has any one of you even used Opera? It's a great browser which supports HTML5/CSS3 very good. And it has some of the best dev tools available (Dragonfly).
And they provide good information about what they support: http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/productspecs/. You really should check http://www.opera.com/developer/.

And just all the built-in functions; it's a way more complete browser than what's on the market (I just don't like Chrome... don't ask me why.). And the built-in mail application is awesome... I have been searching from something like that for both Firefox and Chrome, but couldn't find one. The idea is simply genious.. my browser is always open, and so is my email client. I reply almost instantly thanks to Opera.

And Opera 12 has (experimental) HW acceleration that doesn't only accelerate the browsing but also draws the UI. When I enable that, it's way faster than Chrome.

Plus I like the fact that I can sync everything (was possible way before other browsers could do that).

I develop my sites in Opera, never had any problem with Chrome or Firefox. In fact, most of the times, Opera does it better...

One thing you really shouldn't forget: since the beginning, Opera has been one of the most innovative browsers. Check who had tabbed browsing first (and we can't live without that now, can we), a pop-up blocker: http://www.slashgeek.net/2012/...es-opera-browser-did-first/.

You'd be surprised.

Oh, and in Ukraine, Opera is the most popular browser.

But don't worry, Blogger will work. It's just another 'way/ad' to convert people to Chrome.

"not supported" != "won't work". All that I interpret from this is that if you use Opera to access blogger, and something doesn't work, tough. Safari has more of a market share than Opera, plus it's the only browser available for your iDevice. IE has 29% of the market share, Chrome has 28%, and Firefox 23%. THIS IS A GOOD THING. It means competition.

Z'Loth said,
"not supported" != "won't work". All that I interpret from this is that if you use Opera to access blogger, and something doesn't work, tough.

Yes... we know that...

Brian Miller said,
Good! I hope more companies start adopting zero support for bad wannabe browsers.
You should be hoping for adopting standards rather than adopting support for specific browsers.

Why blame Google/blogger? Shouldn't the browser attempt to support the websites? IE still have a lot of work to do.

Gaffney said,
Why blame Google/blogger? Shouldn't the browser attempt to support the websites? IE still have a lot of work to do.
Considering there are millions of websites, are you actually suggesting that a single browser should check every single site on the web to make sure it is displayed correctly? Delusional much?

Gaffney said,
Why blame Google/blogger? Shouldn't the browser attempt to support the websites? IE still have a lot of work to do.

How did this become about IE?
Based on what we are experiancing on the corporate world, support Chrome is a lot more pain than IE or Firefox

Given some of my experiences developing for Opera, this could be a perfectly valid warning. One that I experienced recently is Opera ignoring the "onbeforeunload" trigger, which Google commonly uses on Gmail to warn users that they may lose data if they close the browser window while a background AJAX call is still running. I've never used Blogger so I don't know if there is similar use of that trigger there. Another Google "practice" that Opera may have issues with is image sprites - Google uses them quite extensively, but when I last did some spriting (was probably around v9), Opera had issues with large background images.

So given some of Opera's peculiarities, I wouldn't rule out there actually being a technical reason for them not supporting it, especially given the tiny user base.

Fourjays said,
Given some of my experiences developing for Opera, this could be a perfectly valid warning. One that I experienced recently is Opera ignoring the "onbeforeunload" trigger, which Google commonly uses on Gmail to warn users that they may lose data if they close the browser window while a background AJAX call is still running.
`onbeforeunload` is a non-standard, Microsoft event. It is only guaranteed to work in Windows Internet Explorer. There is no guarantee that it will work in other browsers.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/DOM/window.onbeforeunload

http://reference.sitepoint.com...t-attributes/onbeforeunload

Smart Opera users will just put an entry into their browser that tells it to report as "some other browser" when hitting blogger.com

So the top four browsers (and engines) are (and not in order)
Chrome (webkit)
Safari (webkit)
Firefox (gekco)
Internet Explorer (trident)

So really it's just three different engines even if Chrome and Safari are on different branches of WebKit.

Opera being in Norway will probably bring this up with the EU.

webdev511 said,
Smart Opera users will just put an entry into their browser that tells it to report as "some other browser" when hitting blogger.com

What the hell would be the point of that?? It's not going to change how the site is rendered... lol.

mikeyx12 said,

What the hell would be the point of that?? It's not going to change how the site is rendered... lol.

It's not the first time browsers reporting with the Opera user-agent string get dished out custom/non-working code. Many sites that refuse to work on Opera or tend to have random issues work just fine when masquerading as a different browser.

As an Opera user, i don't blame them for not supporting a browser that never quite worked in their site and that has less than 2% of market share. Besides, you can still navigate blogger if you want but you're on your own.

They just added a warning sign.

Pink Floyd said,
whos next to be unsupported? Safari?

Safari is WebKit based, just like Chrome.. so I wouldn't count on it.

Can't blame Google for not adding support for Opera as they may not want to invest more development time in supporting it. Also, Opera has to find why their browser is not compatible with some popular sites in order to convince users to use their software. Why Google has to be blamed for something Opera is not offering in their browser?

MWKZ said,
Can't blame Google for not adding support for Opera as they may not want to invest more development time in supporting it. Also, Opera has to find why their browser is not compatible with some popular sites in order to convince users to use their software. Why Google has to be blamed for something Opera is not offering in their browser?

I've been developing websites/applications since the beginning of the Internet... never had an issue with Opera. If my code runs in Firefox/Safari/Chrome, it will probably runs in Opera too... unless you are using some obscure extensions that only work on your browser and/or you are doing browser sniffing (to replace that proprietary extension with another proprietary extension...)

I'm sorry I didnt know Google was some small startup that didnt have the money for devs.

MWKZ said,
Can't blame Google for not adding support for Opera as they may not want to invest more development time in supporting it. Also, Opera has to find why their browser is not compatible with some popular sites in order to convince users to use their software. Why Google has to be blamed for something Opera is not offering in their browser?

Josh_LosAltosHills said,
I'm sorry I didnt know Google was some small startup that didnt have the money for devs.

money doesn't come free.. if a business think its not worth supporting for a smaller audience which dont support some code its nature of any business to not develop.
why is MS laying off employees?? MS has ton of money!!!

CheloXL said,

I've been developing websites/applications since the beginning of the Internet... never had an issue with Opera. If my code runs in Firefox/Safari/Chrome, it will probably runs in Opera too... unless you are using some obscure extensions that only work on your browser and/or you are doing browser sniffing (to replace that proprietary extension with another proprietary extension...)

I was thinking this too. Opera is one of the most standards-compliant browsers and to some extent even interprets other engine's custom properties. It's sites that use workarounds and other non-standard methods to publish their content that have problems supporting Opera.
I've made a handful of sites in the past and I've never had to do anything special to get them working in Opera. Only two browsers I've ever had issues were IE and Chrome (no idea why Chrome randomly has problems rendering floating DIVs)

I don't approve of this title..

Nothing has been killed. All that Google has done is put up a warning bar stating that some parts may not function as intended.

For all we know, it never was tested/supported Opera.. they just now are announcing the fact..

Personally I don't care. It's their service and they can support whatever they want.
I for one would much rather having a warning saying it may not work as intended, than what most sites do, just serve the same content and you have no idea if it's not working cause of your browser, or just because it's a crap site..

Also, I love how Opera always goes nuts over this stuff.. Like the big bad browsers are trying to keep them down and if it wasn't for them Opera would be the world leader..

W3CSchools browser stats show Operas highest marketshare ever was 2.6%.. And it's hovered around that for years.. I remember Opera from back in the 90's.. It was a small base then, and it still is now.

It's a Niche browser that has a loud, but very very tiny userbase.. I can't blame any site for not bothering to support it..

Ryoken said,
I don't approve of this title..

Nothing has been killed. All that Google has done is put up a warning bar stating that some parts may not function as intended.

For all we know, it never was tested/supported Opera.. they just now are announcing the fact..


The title is accurate. All you need to do is read.

The notice clearly says "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger".

That would indicate that it was previously supported. Now that support has been dropped, it can be said to have been killed.

Considering that the web is supposed to be an open standard, this is starting to sound anti-competitive. Do no evil Google? Yeah right...

greenwizard88 said,
Considering that the web is supposed to be an open standard, this is starting to sound anti-competitive. Do no evil Google? Yeah right...
How so ? No functionalitly has been removed, and even if it was, it's a Google product.. they could easily say that it will only would in Chrome and everyone else gtfo..
They didn't..

And as for standards.. go be a web developer and come back and talk about them. EVERY browser has it's quirks.. The more complex the code, the harder it is to get it to work and look the same across all browsers.. if you try too, then you ignore the browsers that are not important, which means bye bye Opera.. There are more IE6 users out there than Opera..

greenwizard88 said,
Considering that the web is supposed to be an open standard, this is starting to sound anti-competitive. Do no evil Google? Yeah right...

what?? nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Microsoft is the only company that is anti-competitive

Studio384 said,
Opera is the 5th most used webbrowser...

What web browser is in 6th place? Neoplanet? Netscape? Mosaic? Nexus?

Seriously though, if your point is that it's still 5th, that doesn't matter, what does matter is how much it is used. Two percent is pretty small. In fact IE 6.0 has about 2 percent worldwide depending on who you believe and that shouldn't be supported at all IMO.

I'm not saying banning Opera is the right move as that web browser is/was the first to incorporate web "standards", so it should work with modern websites really well.

Maybe Blogger isn't updating their legacy code and Opera users are having issues because the browser won't support that legacy code. So instead of updating that code, they're cutting off Opera.

jamesyfx said,
I wouldn't officially support a web browser with the smallest market share either, to be honest.

There will always be one with the smallest market share of the Blogger users. So they stopped supporting Opera. Now there is a new browser, Safari, that has the fewest users, should they get rid of support for that one also? After that, then FireFox has the fewest users. Using your guidelines, FF support has to go. After that, Chrome has the fewest users, so get rid of support for that. All that is left is IE, and it has the most and least users for Blogger, so I guess that IE should go also.

For as much as these companies like to bash one specific company for their lack of standards support, they really don't care all that much about supporting all software that implements those standards. It is a blog site, you have text, some images, and links to other sites - not cutting edge HTML requirements. If you can't get those right, then how good is your site?

nohone said,

There will always be one with the smallest market share of the Blogger users. So they stopped supporting Opera. Now there is a new browser, Safari, that has the fewest users, should they get rid of support for that one also? After that, then FireFox has the fewest users. Using your guidelines, FF support has to go. After that, Chrome has the fewest users, so get rid of support for that. All that is left is IE, and it has the most and least users for Blogger, so I guess that IE should go also.

For as much as these companies like to bash one specific company for their lack of standards support, they really don't care all that much about supporting all software that implements those standards. It is a blog site, you have text, some images, and links to other sites - not cutting edge HTML requirements. If you can't get those right, then how good is your site?

No, my 'guidelines' never say I completely remove the web browser from existence. Opera will always be the browser with the smallest market share in this case, whether I support it or not.