When Opera Software announced that it would change the Opera browser significantly by using Chromium as its core, it was not really clear to many what this meant.
It meant that Opera Software would start all over with a new browser. Hopes that the Chromium-based Opera would support all the features of the previous Presto-based Opera were crushed by the first releases that Opera put out, and while the company is working on integrating additional features to the browser, it lacks so many that it is easier to list the ones that are already supported.
Anyway, the move was not the only change that Opera Software announced. It also announced the closure of My Opera, a community-based hub for all things Opera and beyond.
My Opera was a strong part of the Opera community. It was one of the things that bonded the community together, that allowed communication, the sharing of tips and information, and to keep in touch.
My Opera will be closed down on March 1, 2014 and there is no going back afterwards. The company has published migration information that explain how to move the My Opera blog to other blogging platforms, and also how to download the contents created over the years.
Not mentioned is Vivaldi.net, but that is to be expected as the site went up after Opera published the notification of closure on the Opera website.
Vivaldi is special on the other hand when you compare it to other migration options such as WordPress or Drupal. There are two core reasons for it. First, if you are a long-standing Opera user, you may know some of the people behind the site. There is Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner for example, founder of Opera Software and former CEO of said company who left Opera Software in 2011, and Tatsuki Tumita, former Senior Vice President TV Products & Services, and General Manager North America and Japan of Opera Software.
What sets Vivaldi apart from that, is that it offers more than just a blog. While it is still a work in progress, I was told that the company has big plans not only for the community hub but also beyond, it is already offering forums, ad-free mail, photo sharing, chat, and of course the opportunity to create your own blog.
So what are the future plans of the Vivaldi team? I could not get a clear answer out of Tatsuki at this point in time, but that is to be expected. If I had to guess, I'd say that Jon, Tatsuki and the team are planning to release a web browser as well.
There is no indicator for that right now, but if you consider My Opera / Vivaldi the foundation, then the next logical step after that is to release a browser to fill the gap that Opera Software left behind.
This is just speculation on my part though. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.