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Opera brings home the browser battle

Posted by Parth Barot on June 21, 2006

By TODD BISHOP
P-I REPORTER

The release of Opera 9 is the company’s latest effort to gain market share against Microsoft’s dominant Internet Explorer for desktop PCs. In that regard, the Firefox browser has made more headway the past two years.

Some market studies have put Firefox’s market share above 10 percent worldwide, and Opera’s share below 1 percent.

Opera has sought to differentiate itself on the technological front. For example, the new browser incorporates BitTorrent, file-sharing software that has drawn fire for enabling fast distribution of pirated materials, but has been embraced by some companies for legal downloads.

BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen said at the Opera that his company has been talking with people at Microsoft, but it’s not clear whether the Redmond company would similarly include the BitTorrent software in Windows or Internet Explorer.

In another respect, Opera 9 shows how Web browsers are replacing some of the functions of operating systems by serving as platforms for small programs. Opera has special-purpose “widgets” that run on top of the browser. Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista operating system offers similar “gadgets,” and Apple’s OS X has widgets.

Features aside, the primary improvement in the Opera 9 browser is improved compatibility with different types of Web sites, said Daniel Goldman of Baltimore, who runs the Opera Watch online site.

Apart from its PC-based browsers, Opera offers browsers for mobile devices, and it has made deals to provide browsers for Nintendo’s DS game device and its upcoming Wii console.

In the PC browser market, Microsoft’s inclusion of Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system was a primary element of the U.S. government’s antitrust case against the company, which was ultimately settled without precluding that practice.

But Tetzchner said Opera has no plans to take antitrust action against Microsoft.

Source: @ seattlepi

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No Responses Yet to “Opera brings home the browser battle”

  1. Ankit said

    Adding support for bitTorent will surly attract other users, as not need to depend on seperate software!

    Hey Parth, have u tried OperaMini developed in J2ME for java enabled cell phones.

    ~ Ankit

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