Opera sets its browser free
By Alun Williams
Posted on 20 Sep 2005 at 12:46
Opera loves its browser so much it is setting it free. The Norwegian company has decided to abandon its previous policy of incorporating an ad-banner into the free version, with users having to pay a licensing fee to remove the advertising and receive support.
The move is clearly intended to increase Opera's share of the highly competitive browser market, but at what cost to the company? Not a lot, it claims, as its focus is now on garnering new users rather than extracting revenues directly from them. A spokesperson told us that 45 per cent of the company's desktop revenues now come from search tie-ups (integrated searching of eBay and Amazon is part of Opera, as well as Google's AdSense programme), and what this means is that the more people Opera can get on board the more its search revenues will increase...
The spokesperson also admitted the number of people taking up the licensing option was never very significant.
Note that the premium support package, consisting of one year's email support, is now available for 24 euros. The previous package, including an ad-free registered version of the browser, cost 39 euros.
'As we grow our userbase,' said Opera Software's CEO, Jon S. von Tetzchner, 'our mission and our promise remain steadfast: we will always offer the best Internet experience to our users - on any device. Today this mission gains new ground.'
Once the most beloved browser of techies before the rise of Mozilla and Firefox - due to its standard compliance and configurability - Opera is currently at version 8.50. There are versions for Windows, OS X, Linux, Solaris, QNX and other platforms.
The 4MB download is available from www.opera.com.
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