An Interview with Vivaldi's CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner
We had a chance to ask Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO of Vivaldi Technologies AS, some questions about the current state of the company and the browser, and its future.
It was clear quickly that the company tried to set Vivaldi apart from other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera, by giving users more options and features, and not less.
Read on to find out how Vivaldi Technologies AS is doing, and what you can expect from future versions of the browser and the company.
How are you?
Doing great, thank you! We just had the Vivaldi June gathering, which is always a great time for the team to spend time together, move projects forward and discuss future features and ideas.
How is Vivaldi Technologies AS doing?
We are doing great! We are working hard on some of the major features people are waiting for and we
are making great progress! This includes things like Sync, that will be launched soon, email client and the mobile version.
Is there anything that you would have done different in regards to launching Vivaldi if you'd have the knowledge of today?
Not really. There are always things to learn, but overall I am really happy with our progress.
How tough is it to compete with billion Dollar companies like Google or Microsoft?
Clearly it is tough to compete with large companies like Google and Microsoft. Not so much
because they are large, but rather because they own the platforms we compete on and they
are not adverse to using anti-competitive measures. At the same time we have been doing
this for a long time, first at Opera and now at Vivaldi and thus this is the world we know and
we enjoy it a lot.
Is Vivaldi's user base / revenue growing?
Yes, the user base and revenue continues to grow nicely.
Do you use Vivaldi as your main browser?
Of course! :)
Which browser do you use on mobile?
Early Vivaldi version.
Speaking of mobile browsing, is there a chance that we will get a preview of Vivaldi's mobile version this year?
That would be nice, but we will only show it when it is a shape to be shown. It would be nice if that is this year.
Is the mobile version of Vivaldi based on Chromium?
How will it distinguish itself from other mobile browsers?
Our aim is to be richer in features and better support the needs of the user, just like the desktop
version, but we do not want to say to much at this time as the browser is still in the works.
Any upcoming major (or minor) features that you could tell us about?
The big features coming up are sync, mail and mobile, but there are a lot of other ideas
that we are working on, but those we want to keep more under wraps.
Mail appears to be a feature that many users are looking forward for, any ETA on that?
It is getting closer. Many of us have been using it for quite some time now, but it still
requires some TLC. We are quite close, though.
Tell us about the features that users love most about Vivaldi.
It really depends on the user. Some love our tab handling, tab stacks, tab tiling and the like. Others love the web panels. Many love the screen capture and notes functionality. Generally people like the fact that Vivaldi is very flexible.
Is there anything that users dislike or that you found need improvement?
Every feature can be improved and we will continue to improve each and every feature, often by providing new ways to do things, without removing the old ways and we all have our preferences.
We continue to improve even our most popular features and there are a few nice improvements in our
next Vivaldi version when it comes to tab handling (resizeable tiles), panels (floating panels) and more.
Other browser companies tell us that too many options and features confuse users, and they remove or limit functionality based on that claim. Is that true in your opinion?
No. It is all a question of how you do it. Clearly it is easy to remove functionality. What is hard is to make a flexible product that can feel optimal for every user.
We do that by providing an easy to use browser that can grow with your needs. As your needs increase, Vivaldi has what you need, often behind some option or you learn a new trick that saves you time and just feels right for your use.
Today in two years, where would you like to see Vivaldi?
By that time I want us to have released all the features we are working on and a lot more. Our goal is to continue building a better browserÂ and hopefully gain a nice user base through doing that. We are well on the way!