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.