Opera to be Free


Recommended Posts

Pallab
In an effort to gain a bigger foothold in the desktop market, Opera will announce an alternative business model for its desktop browser.

Opera's main strength is in the mobile browser where it saw a profit in the last fiscal quarter. The desktop browser revenue, however, was down from last year.

One Opera employee said that the place is buzzing in Opera (the company) over this announcement. "You have something good to look forward to".

There is a lot of speculation as to what this announcement entails.

Could it be that Opera will remove its advertisements from the browser in an effort gain a greater foothold in other markets which are much more profitable?

I don't want to over analyze this, but at a recent shareholders meeting the CEO of Opera said in reference to the desktop browser "we are finding ways to monetize our user base a lot better than before, but licensing revenue is not part of that." Is he implying that licensing revenue is not in the future of the desktop browser (i.e. it would remove the ads from the browser)?

Until version 5, Opera didn't have a free version of its desktop browser. In the year 2000, however, it introduced the free version with ads.

Here is what Opera said at that time: "Before this release [version 5], between 1 and 1.5 million people worldwide used Opera. A sizeable number, but we were dwarfed in comparison to our competitors. Finding one's niche and prospering can be good for many companies, but for us it posed a particular problem. A lot of sites were being constructed just to work with one browser, in effect shutting Opera users out. Therefore we felt the time had come to let Opera out in a free version, so that millions more could enjoy Opera's Internet experience. Opera 5.0 for Windows was 'set free' in December of 2000, and during the first month 2 million users downloaded the browser."

Removing the ads would have an even greater effect on the number of Opera users. The rest of the Opera products would also benefit from such a change.

http://operawatch.blogspot.com/

Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange Battery

Its strange, I was listening to a TWiT podcast from a while back about Opera so decided to give it another go literally a few minutes ago. Be very intresting to see if this happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
vcv

Doubtful, considering they were talking about their sales for desktop being DOWN and wanting a new business model for more revenue.

Link to post
Share on other sites
syntheticcheese

if it became free, i would defiantly consider ditching firefox/thunderbird

Link to post
Share on other sites
Neyht

[edit] RTFPC [edit] Ah, didn't get to that last sentence....hmm.

Nope, wouldn't switch.

Edited by Ned
Link to post
Share on other sites
megamanXplosion

Of course desktop sales are low compared to previous versions, Opera 8 was a free upgrade for licensed Opera 7 users and they were offering an affiliate program that allowed people to get a licensed copy of Opera in return for a bit of advertising (free.) They knew that the sales would be low this time around. I highly doubt their new business model decisions are related to license sales problems.

Judging by how they have been expanding their business lately, it would not surprise me in the least if they went ad-free or started offering the browser so it was ad-free for a trial time period. They have recently expanded their reach in the mobile market (their primary source of income), have become a reseller for internet acceleration services, have become licensed partners with Adobe (judging from the post, partnerships will be one of the biggest focuses of their new business model,) etc. The future looks bright for Opera, and I believe that this will help them transition their browser away from being sponsored by ads.

This would give them a definitive advantage in the desktop browser market (possibly the best browser ever conceived - for free.) Opera has always been serious about standardizing web technologies (writing and rendering CSS/XHTML, web applications, etc.) and extending their reach on the desktop browser market would help them achieve this.

Note: I am not saying they will or won't go ad-free, I'm just saying that it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

Link to post
Share on other sites
jp10558

So, what is the incentive to buy Opera? Or are they going to stop selling it? Better yet, what do the already paying customers get?

I can't see how they could go totally ad free - because then they basically can't sell the browser. And why would various companies pay them to work on the browser when it's free? We see how well Netscape did when they tried the whole sell related technologies to companies, give away the browser...

Now, a time limited ad free trial and then a choice to see ads or buy Opera is something I've suggested for a long time. 14-30 days would be a good idea.

Or, as horrible (To Opera for some reason) as this sounds, a setup like Eudora - the functionally limited fully freeware version, the adware full featured version and the paid full version.

But the function limited version could not be just the browser, it would have to be less. Maybe no MDI support/tabs in the freeware one. Possibly no mouse guestures or fast forward/rewind functions. Zoom disabled. No Fullscreen. Because there has to be features for *browsing* that are compelling and unlocked by either viewing ads or paying.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Galley

They should drop the price to $19 for all the "cheap bass-turds" out there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Pallab

Oli from Operas QnA department said

Guys, I am not at liberty to tell you what is happening, but the

place is buzzing. You have something good to look forward to... ;-)

jax said

I'll leave you to your speculations (and olli to take over the thread tease role), but just to nip this one in the bud because we've been there before:

The desktop Opera is crucial to what we do (and profitable, incidentally), there is no benefit in leaving it. We were not, are not, will not merely be a phone browser. Don't worry about it, no point in suggesting it either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+unabatedshagie

As you may or may not know this August Opera celebrates it's 10th birthday. To celebrate opera is holding an online virtual party.

Date: 3 p.m. CET, Tuesday 30, August 2005

Where: my.opera.com/community/party

What: Music, games, prizes, photos and a HUGE surprise!

Who: EVERYONE is welcome.

See you there!

Times for people around the world:

2pm in UK

3pm in France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Norway...

10am New York (NY-USA)

6am San Francisco (CA-USA)

10pm Japan

9pm to 11pm in Australia

So what does everyone think the surprise will be?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Danny Weed

Online party? Thas a bit geeky :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
Louis

Are Firefox browsers invited? :shifty:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Commodore Max

I wish it'd become free ! Opera is already a kick-ass browser, with the only flaw of being ad-supported.

Long live Opera !

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johnston

opera 8.10 2morro then

Link to post
Share on other sites
Doli

6am San Francisco (and all of cali) party?

just thinking of the people in hawaii...4am

Link to post
Share on other sites
Crazysah

What is the time in IST? PLease.. I would reall like to know nad to be there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Code.Red

The surprise will be free opera browser for everyone that attends!

We can hope? :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
Zxian

I think that it would be great if they provided the browser itself free of charge, but to get the extra features (such as mail, perhaps wand), you would need to pay for the full version.

Before anyone complains about releasing a "crippled" or stripped-down version, what I'm describing is sufficient for most people out there in the first place.

It's been mentioned before about a 14-30 day trial version. Perhaps they could do something similar to what Kerio does with their firewall - provide the full features for a trial period (30 days, I think) and after that point, the program automatically reverts to the freeware version (in Kerio, you loose the ad-blocking features).

Link to post
Share on other sites
madnuke

how geeky but it works on Firefox :laugh:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Daviesbad04

They forgot to add in "No Firefox fanboys allowed". Theyll prob. install something to check your browser, and if it isnt Opera, be gone! :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
pyehac
6am San Francisco (and all of cali) party?

just thinking of the people in hawaii...4am

586449053[/snapback]

Yeah, that sucks for me, but I'm usually up in about 40 minutes because of school.

Link to post
Share on other sites
SergeantNoob

I don't know which one is worse - Firefox fanboys trying to ruin something again or having an online party

Link to post
Share on other sites
Denis W.
Are Firefox browsers invited?  :shifty:

586448652[/snapback]

Opera users weren't invited to the real life Firefox launch party. :whistle:

Link to post
Share on other sites
madnuke

Well us firefox users can gate crash :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.