How can Opera Software ASA make the browser available for free and still survive?

The press release and media reports don't exactly go into details about how the free Opera is a good thing for Opera Software ASA. And it is.

To learn more about why we actually think we will make a lot more money from the desktop by doing this, read Opera Software ASA's announcement on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Basically, desktop revenues were about a third of our total revenues, and we have now given up on some desktop revenue in the long term, which we will make up by seeing more and more people starting to use Opera and related services. It seems clear from the great success that the free license giveaway a while ago that we will quickly see a lot more Opera users all over the world, so any losses we may take right now as a result of lost sales and advertising revenue will soon be made up for.

With this, yet another barrier is broken down, and we are already working hard on addressing other issues that may prevent people from using Opera. In his blog, Olli gives a few examples, such as the well known problem with iframes always appearing on top of other elements, rich text editing for Web pages, which is used by a lot of content management systems and webmail providers, and so on.

If it looks like we haven't been doing much lately it's because we've been working on "Merlin" behind the scenes. There's always something going on here at Opera Software ASA, and making Opera free opens new opportunities for growth and further success.

Opera has been for ten years, and we intend to stick around for many more. Opera for desktop is still very important to us, and you will all find out in the near future just how committed we are to continue delivering the best desktop browser.

And no, we haven't forgotten about the e-mail client either 🙂


12 thoughts on “How can Opera Software ASA make the browser available for free and still survive?

  1. this is just great news. but i was wondering, since so many more people are going to use opera now: why still not "identify as opera" as default? i use opera exclusively for surfing, mail and rss – and i have encountered VERY few pages that render correctly or are available when identified as IE and do not render correctly/are not available when identified as opera.

  2. i understand :), tarquinwj. i think that's very professional of opera to put user experience of those few sites in front of IDing as opera and all that comes with it. thanks for your reply.i wish you all best 🙂

  3. As we demonstrated with the 8.10 preview, we are evaluating the possibility of a change to IDing as Opera by default. Obviously, we must do that without breaking Web sites for our users. We have a few methods at our disposal, mainly ua.ini and browserjs.Obviously we have a lot of pride in our products, and we want to ID as ourselves, but doing so will break a few sites. We must make sure we have a solution to these problems before we can change to IDing as Opera by default, so that our users get a seamless experience.

  4. thanks for the explanation. best of luck. opera has always been a brilliant browser and always will be. cheers

  5. I gasped and said 'oh my god' when I saw is free. Wow, excellent counter move to Microsoft pushing up their release of Internet Explorer, as I understand, they had planned on waiting till Vista was released. Good move on Opera's part in establishing themselves.On another note. I think Opera would make more friends by extending the refund time to 90 days. I purchased Opera 8.0 long ago and am quite pleased with my purchases but I can easily see someone who has purchased it in the past 3 months saying, "Damn, I just bought it and they do this!" I doubt many would take advantage of it but it would have the advantage of appearing fair and putting the customer first.Just my two cents, let the roller coaster ride begin!

  6. Amazing. I actually had to read to the page again! The best browser in the world has just become… THE best browser in the world.

  7. Haavard, you have to write this kind of information at Why Free page, I think. There is no such informations over there, which make some people puzzle.We, earnest Opera lovers, read your blog daily, but general public need detailed comments. Because it's a huge surprise for them. 🙂

  8. Opera for desktop is still very important to us…

    It's more important imho. If Opera ASA play its cards well there are really big opportunities here. Just think – when Opera cover some real deal market share (which is totally possible having in mind erosed trust in IE and cost equaling with FF) and if it takes the FF place in google arms (which is also very possible, because "Opera spirit" is more closer to "google spirit" – inspiration, innovation, perfection and good intentions than this of FF), things are becoming serious. New times are coming and the face of FF is too egoistic, commercial and corrupt to be the star in it. But there is always a star, so why not Opera!?

  9. I think selavi's absolutely correct when saying that Opera's spirit is closer to Google's than Firefox's. Opera has to keep its eyes where always have been: in improving itself even more every single day.

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