The new Opera is sexy. Why isn’t it more popular?

Opera 11 was released last year (新年快乐啊!), but I haven’t had time to get my hands on it until now. Only after I played around a little did I realize that there is pure awesomeness in this browser. With the sounds of raging war between Google, Mozilla, Apple and Microsoft echoing in the background, you sure have to wonder: why isn’t this slick browser more popular? Here are my thoughts.

The new Opera is sexy

I’ve never been a diehard Opera fan, so the reason why I have Opera installed is simply for testing cross-browser consistency. Never have I used it for over forty seconds. Now that I’ve tried to use it as my temporary ‘default’ browser, I blame myself for not having tried it sooner. Opera has some great features that exceed all the other mainstream browsers.

Nothing is perfect; neither is Opera

Despite the obvious amount of work put into this awesome browser, there are several rough parts around the edges that could be more polished.

Why isn’t it more popular?

Opera does have its share of imperfections, but in the end, it’s a great browser. (It’s indeed the most popular browser in some countries such as Ukraine.) However, it only has a global market share of around 2%, and we don’t see many web developers optimizing their web applications/websites towards Opera. What are the reasons behind this? My guesses are following.

Conclusion

Opera is an innovative and powerful browser, although it’s not without its problems. Once the above issues are properly taken care of, I’m sure it will have a bright future. As for now - will I switch from Chrome to Opera? The answer is no. Before Opera changes a little more, Chrome still fits my tastes better. It’s important to realize that the browser is becoming more of a universal application platform, a simple, unobtrusive base to build stuff upon, instead of a complex mind-clogging all-in-one application suite. In this aspect of the problem, Opera still has a long way to go. 加油, Opera!

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