Martinâ€™s post about upcoming browser releases was something I had also been thinking about.
I canâ€™t see Internet Explorer gaining any significant market share any time soon, but I can see, as Martin said, a solid, secure release stabilizing the downward trend somewhat.
I have done my own extensive research on the topic of mainstream consumer browser adoption (also known as having a conversation with my girlfriend) and discovered that browser she preferred most of all was Opera.
Now my gf didnâ€™t even know what Firefox was and she couldnâ€™t care less what she used to surf the net. However she was sick of using Internet Explorer as it kept crashing on her. I told her to download Opera and give it a try, which she did.
She instantly loved it largely because of itâ€™s simplicity and Speed Dial. Yep, Iâ€™m pretty sure that that one feature is worth more to her then every other amazing feature any other browser could think of. She also finds the Wand passwords really handy as well.
From this I think that yes, Opera really does have potential to increase itâ€™s market shareâ€¦ but only if it can somehow increase awareness. Most consumers donâ€™t need a browser that is infinitely customizable like Firefox, they simply need one that is fast, safe and easy to use. This is what IE should be, but instead itâ€™s Opera which provides it.
Update: The browser landscape has changed significantly ever since the article was published here on the site. Microsoft managed to stabilize Internet Explorer's downward trend marketing-wise with new versions, especially IE9 and IE10. Google launched the Chrome web browser which is now the second most used browser in the world, Firefox declined somewhat but is still a force that plays a major role on the Internet, and Opera, well, it stagnated on the desktop and did not manage to catch market share.
My wife loves Opera as well. Speed dial is a favorite for her, but I think browser speed is the overall factor in her decision. I notice that more women use Opera over Firefox, has anyone else noticed this? I think if Opera had better support for the Google Applications and more Widgets closely associated to it’s Firefox cousins we’d all be fans. At the moment I transfer back and forth using all 3 browsers to test websites and such but the new Opera is lightning fast and this is one of the first reason’s I open it first.
I actually think Opera is right in not adopting the Firefox addons system. As soon as it does, I think a lot of people will be upset that Opera is somehow “copying” features that Firefox put out first.
I view the ‘widgets’ the same as ‘addons.’
I like Firefox. But I really could do without the performance hit their add-on strategy causes. An integrated code base will always outperform an application that uses program hooks. I gave up on most add-ons about a year ago for performance reasons. All I run now are the basic booster/security favs (i.e. FasterFox, NoScript, AdBlock Plus, and KeyScrambler).
I’ve recently installed Opera and find myself using it more and more frequently.
What does that mean? ;-)
I use both Firefox and opera. But Opera only for financial stuff. Like internet banking and stuff like that. For the rest its Firefox.
But indeed the Speed dial is really a lovely tool Opera has. I wish FF3 will include that, or that there will be another add in for this function. I just love it, but still Firefox is my main browser, because several reasons.
-I am used to it
-I can’t miss all the add ins
-I have all my bookmarks in Firefox, none in Opera (exept some in Speed dial)
I agree Angelo… the fact is no one will ever be able to compete with Firefox for such a wealth of add-ons or community support, so other browsers will need to work out other ways to compete.
Opera has always had the name for speed and performance and innovation. At first glance it seems Firefox has hammered Opera for speed with Firefox 3, but many people are complaining about memory leaks etc etc. Opera still maintains it’s edge in performance…
Also @ rruben… there are a couple of Speed Dial addons, but they really don’t compare to the proper Opera feature.
The performance hits with FF are terrible. If this doesn’t improve drastically in FF3 then I’ll probably say hi to Opera although it always seems to me that using Opera is like going out with a plain, simple country girl while FF is this sexy glamorous movie star full of surprises and possibilities…
I was an avid Firefox user until the last update. Firefox began crashing all the time “Firefox has experienced a problem and must shut down.” Finally Firefox reset itself and I lost my homepage, all my bookmarks and all my saved passwords! I figured if I must start all over again I would try a different browser. I have begun using Opera 9.5 (2 days)and I like the voice commands and the expanded (and very useful) mouse commands. I hold the right mouse button and move the mouse for additional controls. Opera has a community like Firefox and we are the only reason that it isn’t as big as Firefox’s … we can get involved and change that.