18 years of Opera

We turn 18 years old today.

Opera started in 1994 as a research project in Telenor, a Norwegian telecommunications company. A year later, on August 30, 1995, the project branched out as a separate company. Today, Opera continues to improve the way we access the web.

A lot has happened this year.
We began with our fast release cycle for our desktop browser. At the start of the summer we put out Opera 15, and have now moved to Opera 16. The start of our Developer stream has also made it possible for users to have a closer look on our development cycle. We've also released a brand new browser for Android. In addition, 2013 marks the beginning of Internet.org, a partnership between Opera and other technology leaders aiming to connect the next 5 billion people around the world.

Since the very beginning, we've worked in shaping an open, connected world. We serve over 350 million users, the majority of which enjoying cheaper and faster internet access with Opera Mini's unique data compression technology.

This is a milestone we share with you. We want to thank you all for the support.

  • Virbius_OP

    What a way to celebrate an 18th anniversary, by dumping a much loved version of your product (v1 to v12) with one without most of the features that product contained!

  • LamiaLove

    Great!
    Change from the awesome teenager with five hobbies, three favorite sports, 20 favorite bands and an almost unnatural fascination for the skies to the boring grown-up which only knows his boring job things and crappy evening shows and always wants to be in line with all the others like him.
    Yay!

  • James

    Congratulations (and ignore the trolls and whiners). I’m excited about the awesome changes. Keep ‘em coming.

    • tteksystems

      Really? If you were as dysfunctional in life as this browser is on the web, you would lose your job, your friends, and no one would have anything nice to say about you. It really must be lonely at the top.

      • James

        Not true. I’m sorry the browser doesn’t work for you but I love it. I’ve arranged all my bookmarks in folders on the QAB and if need be I’ll nest others within those folders. I now find that former sites that gave me problems loading are no longer a problem. I’m also aware that it is constantly being developed so that new features will be introduced in good time. Really… if the browser doesn’t suit you why don’t you just go away and find something that does?

        • tteksystems

          James, have you ever used the original opera version 12.16 and all the functions? If you were one who browsed the web like most of those who followed earlier versions of Opera leading to version 12.16 and utilized all it’s potential, then you would realize what is missing. Frankly, I could load every page on any browser you put on my systems. I can arrange bookmarks exactly the same as your new Opera on at least a dozen other browsers that are out there. Many problems with page loads are related to issues that can be resolved by knowledgeable end users who know alot more than average end users. But had Opera paid attention to the veteran followers when we reported bugs and issues, and had they did something to correct it, you would never have any problems with this. But you are right about some of those issues but to abandon a renowned user interface? This is not working for the majority of the users who utilized all of the great features in Opera 12.16

          Nobody questions the fact that new Opera has a problem integrating with the WWW. But they do not have a user interface at all when compared to version 12.16, or any other web browser out there with the exception of Chrome. Opera now uses webkit and Chromium. Chromium browsers are known for their speed. But they are also known for raping you of all privacy and security. Oh they have security. They have privacy. But not many read the fine print we see when adding extensions, or installing features to make your browser more functional. We put the check mark in the box to use the browser and it’s extensions or features. An example found on almost all extensions is: You agree to give permission for this program or extension to access or use or change ALL data on your system. Is there anything worst than giving your browser access to every stitch of data on your computer? Maybe the next step is power of attorney of my estate.

          There are 2 perspectives when looking at the functionality of a browser
          1] from the developer’s perspective
          2] from the perspective of the end user

          There are also many opinions from the perspective of end users because so many have different needs. The versatility of a browser from the perspective of end user’s is key. Which is why a good browser becomes KNOWN as a good browser in the first place. If you look at the problems from the perspective of the developer, you will know they must make it a priority to handle the problem that ensure your pages will load. When you look at things from the perspective of the end user, you of course want pages to load but this is not supposed to be our problem if the developer does his job. End user’s want functionality with the use of a versatile user interface. James if you think there is any versatility in the user interface on the new Opera you are lying to yourself. You cannot possible make a claim like that unless you have nothing else to compare to. Opera 12.16 has the most incredible versatility for making your browsing experience simple and some people, like me, can even jump around and even manage some input, by using the mouse only.

          If the world were perfect, Opera would integrate a user interface with functions from version 12.16. At least give the option for the end user o be able to load a scheme that gives us the original user interface. Microsoft has changed the user interface many times and whenever a drastic change was made, you would eventually be able to get it back because so many people demanded it, that Microsoft would provide some sort of option or someone would develop a program to do things like “get back the start menu from window 7 on your windows 8 system” . The importance of a good user interface with options to customize, are just as important as page loads.

          I do not want to blast you. I would rather all of the veteran supporters of Opera who despise the fact that we have lost almost everything we loved most, to merge and make a joint effort to petition Opera to give back functionality of the User Interface. When I told you Opera is dysfunctional, I was not being clear. I do make it seem like the browser does not work. But in fact, it does work. But as far as the User Interface, there is good reason for criticism. I have hundreds of bookmarks. I can easily configure my bookmarks in the new Opera. But to manually type them, or cut and paste them is not an option. I cannot find the time or patience to do such a painstaking task. The portal was given to s as an option. Use Opera Syn they told us. And had it been possible to drag the folder from the OPERA SYNC page and place it on the bookmarks bar on the new Opera, I would be happier than a pig in slop. When i tried this, it created the folder, and put in on the bookmarks bar, and then I wanted to see the pull down menu when selecting the folder. However, it just opens a page and shows ALL my bookmarks from the folder, overlapping each other in a big clump. If I click on the clump of bookmarks, it opens all of them. All 50 of them.

          Now, when you and I create a new Folder on the Bookmark bar in new Opera, and then we add a bookmark to this folder, it works fine. But you can only add each bookmark 1 at a time. So, this process does not work for me. I have not only 50 or more bookmarks in this folder, but I also have about 50 folders. Some with less than 50 bookmarks. Some folders have more than 100. Some people who use the web for hundreds of tasks per day will make a folder with 50 or so bookmarks that are specifically pertaining to the work being done. We can just select the option to open all bookmarks from a specific folder.

          Do you know hat happens in Chromium based browsers? Look in Windows task manager when yo have several tabs opened in the new Opera. You will see a separate instance of the Opera browser running for every tab. Not to mention more instances running wen you load extensions. Are you aware how this affects the memory pull? I have 16GB of high quality memory and an 8 core CPU in a very high end custom built computer. Never should this computer give me out of memory messages. Only chromium based browsers do it because of how they manage tabs and memory. You will learn about those who work around this. Some tell you to make use of the built in task manager available in chrome. Others say to use yet another extension in order to tame all the extensions and tabs being used. Grouping Tabs and such.

          These issues might not be something you ave to deal with. Your needs might be very different so I will not say Opera is not worthy for you. It might be all you need. But Opera is pretty heartless to abandon version 12.16 and just force us to tag along while they continue to blow smoke up our ass. The old Opera had menus that loaded during a session and the page you were viewing was still visible underneath. We always like having the option to have a menu bar across the top with the typical “File, Edit, View, Tools.Help, etc…” but all of those options and the ability to customize them are gone. When loading settings in the new Opera, you directed away from the current page you are viewing and the entire page is being used to display settings. How could this possibly be something people like? I know for a fact that loads of people are complaining about this on a daily basis. Small pull down menus similar to all good browsers is much more classy and it’s more preferred.

          The debate is not whether the New Opera is functional when using it to access the web. But they stripped features that give the user control of the appearance and accessibility of data, such as Notes & Input Personal by clicking right mouse button. The maneuverability is lacking.

          To make the Web browser better in one way and making it worst in another way is basically what they did. And adapting to change is one thing. But arrogance is the only way to describe how they have handled the ability to manage bookmarks from the previous version 12.16. I can understand if a different browser other than Opera does not accept the importation of the Opera format when using the export function from version 12.16. But the fact is, Opera 12.16 offers the ability to export in HTML and even Chrome will let me import bookmarks that are in the HTML format. So Opera preventing us to have the ability to import the bookmarks from version 12.16 is inexcusable. It’s just a mind boggling thing since the code for chrome allows for importation of bookmarks. And all people want from Opera is to integrate with a little more focus on end user demands since we made the Opera Browser popular in the first place. We who have used Opera for many years instead of any other browser are being ignored. It’s arrogant.

          Opera needs to integrate a few features that many depended on. If they do not want to show some loyalty by doing this, it is because they are selfish, arrogant, and probably unable to do so because of another unknown agenda that is likely geared towards financial gain. They developed a very refined browser that evolved into the version we all know as 12.16 and in the end, abandoned those who were loyal to them for many years by leaving out such important features from 12.16 that could not possible cause any problems if they were to include these features in the new version. There’s no excuse for the lack of willingness to help those who helped them.

          James, you have certainly found a browser that works for you. And this is not about trying to be critical for no good reason. The problems with Opera and the new version are surrounded by alot of contention between users and developers. But in the end, the fact remains, that the new Opera and the User Interface it contains has nothing on the User interface in version 12.16. Once you can fully grasp this fact and understand the reasoning behind it, you will not disagree when someone says that the User interface in the new Opera when compared to 12.16 is in a sense, non existent and that’s pretty sad.

          New opera is going to have to change. Users of Chromium based browsers in the know will always use third party programs to maintain security and privacy. I advise you do the same. Also, make sure to read all policies when integrating extensions. Memory management while using a web browser should not be the responsibility of the end user. And if someone give your new Opera a chance, and always has to revert back to using version 12.16, that should tell you something. It means they are not able to get work done with the new Opera because it lack functionality within the U. I.

          To Opera: If you decide to wake up from this PipeDream, maybe there will be hope for a well balanced browser that will be efficient. Bringing back the experience given by the 12.16 version should be mandatory. We do not mind change. But I think I can speak for many by telling opera we do not like it when they insult our intelligence… especially when it is the intelligence of your development team that is being questioned

          To James: Good luck.

          • James

            I’ve used Opera since 1999 so yes… I’ve used v.12.16 (which had many issues). I’ve paid for some of the versions I used back in the day so I’m very familiar with it. However, it appears I’m either more adaptable than you or my needs are not as great. I don’t require panels. I do not want an integrated email client. I don’t need the menu. The way the new browser handles tabs is perfect for my needs. Granted, I don’t even use the new browser’s speed dial since the QAB does what I require. I never bothered with skins the way some do. To me a browser should get me from A to B… period. I do not require 100 open tabs during each session. As I said… my needs are simple and the new browser is perfect. Granted, I look forward to whatever innovations the devs come up with and I’ll determine at that time whether or not to use them.

            There are not more than a few hundred complainers on these forums whereas the tens of millions of users simply adapt as did I. Opera has a chance to move forward instead of jealously guarding its less than 3% of market share so I applaud its efforts. If it loses you and a few hundred like you, it will more than make up for it with new users who don’t have such high needs, don’t trust Google because of its cavalier attitude towards privacy and don’t’ want a bloat browser like FF. I’ve no worries about Opera’s bright future.

          • tteksystems

            Yea, that’s actually the one thing I do agree with. Google does not give me the same optimism as Opera using chromium. Really, I do not like my first impressions when all the changes were announced. And I was reading alot about web browser development. Opera is more popular with the new desktop platform according to all of the well known sites promoting them. It’s Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. I really hope Opera will triumph over Google Chrome. I know it does not seem like I care about Opera, but I realy do. I want them to become a force to be reckoned with. But the truth about my feelings is geared around one or two very specific features. It does seem a bit selfish but if there is any truth to the saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” then maybe a number of users would help push to get more work done on the user interface. I have to admit my real hope is that this new browser will implement the user interface from 12. I don’t use the email client. It is going to sound rather silly if I mention the only feature i want that will satisfy me. I want the right click “Input Personal” option. I’ve seen extensions that use forms and some browsers have this integrated. Opera never had anything elaborate regarding this. They had that simple option for those who use notes, and others who like using right click input personal. I configured all the fields with the most frequently entered personal information. And that was the single most used feature of ALL things in 12.16. So, can you believe all of my words and feelings are a result of losing that? Yep, that is it. I do like some of the other options in 12 but i think Opera is going to end up with alot of these things. If anyone can do it, it’s Opera. yes a big attitude reversal on my part. My opening comments at the onset of these message exchanges were just my way of using sarcasm to respond to your strong enthusiasm in favor of Stable Opera. I am also using Stable too. I am not using regularly though. Some options I have in 12 help me get my work done. Well, i should say, these options help me remain lazy because it helps me do things with mouse only. I like laying in bed browsing ebay without typing. Configre the fields in “Personal Input” to have a dozen items I search for, and each day I can evaluate the lowest prices on the competition. I sell items and try to make sure i am the best price on Ebay so this option helps me do it rather effortlessly. But I think visual basic and a few other tools can give me the ability to make a web browser. You ever see the 17 steps to making a web browser in wikipedia? It is really so simple really. I caught on to a few tips and then I saw we can download the open source for chromium. Them i got the idea of making an extension using the tools available on the web. I did not realize I can follow some simple instructions and possible make a simple extension that allows me to use “right click” on the mous, and give me a small form with fields that I could in effect do the same exact thing as Opera 12.16.
            Sorry for all the hassle man. I did not particularly like debating . I know Opera is a strong option. And as far as mobile browsing they are #1 and have been for quite some time. This was something I was not aware of until recently. But they do have more mobile users using their browser than any other from what I read.Not sure how old that article was but there mobile browser is the best I have seen. And I use that too. I’m just an end user of Opera who got stuck on an old feature and did not realize until last night and today just how much is really going on that caused them to pursue this new version. Actually, they will be focusing on the User Interface soon and to make their platforms compatible across the board from mobile, desktop etc… is a smart move. I respect someone who does not want to give props to Google. I guess this was my chance to vent and if nothing else, I am now back to looking at everything as a whole instead of just focusing on what is going on right at this very moment. I believe they have a bright future too. They are making their job easier so all of the things to come will probably be worthwhile for everyone.
            I’m going to go look into making my own little mod or extension with right click input personal. That’s all I need to use Stable Opera without constantly going back to 12.16.
            Sorry for all the hassle

          • James

            Thanks for explaining your needs. It helped me better understand where you’re coming from and your request is perfectly logical. Hopefully Opera will address the personal input feature soon. I can see how helpful that would be for someone who spends time on ebay. It’s all good, tteksystems. Best regards.

        • tteksystems

          And i read your last comment again . And I just feel like being as arrogant as you are when telling someone to go somewhere else if the browser doesn’t suit me. Pretty arrogant. What do you think you even know about Opera? I doubt you know very much. If you knew, then you would know there are so many reasons to criticize issues from software developent to poor decisions on the part of management to even pursue this idea of using a chromium based browser and abandoning faithful users who are now stuck using 12.16 with no support. Stop trying to act as if you even know anything about the issues at hand. When people have to resort to making comments to tell someone “Dont like it? Get lost”, it’s usually because they have absolutely no knowledge. You could not possible begin to understand the frustration of others who continue to depend on version 12.16 because you are likely trying Opera for the first time. If I am wrong, then let me hear you tell me why important features the user interface from version 12.16 are not being implemented? If you even knew what the user interface is on 12.16, you would know there is no way to win this debate.

          I doubt there is a good argument here. At least not with you. Someone needs to come armed when they want to have a battle and you’ve obviously forgot your weapon. Oh wait, you have ChrApera stable as your weapon of choice right? Same thing as coming to a battle unarmed, and at this point, i do not want to have a battle of wits with an unarmed …… boy right?

          • James

            Look… I’ve been using Opera for fifteen years. Don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. You say you’re frustrated? Then use v.12.16 and wait until the new browser meets your requirements.

  • tteksystems

    Many were greatly affected in a negative way due to shortcomings of Opera’s new development plans. Just because you are not one of these people does not mean you should go around making arrogant statements telling someone to get lost. You show the same lack of consideration and understanding as the Opera development team. But that’s OK, it shows that 15 years of using Opera did not really teach you much about the etiquette of GOOD companies providing solutions. When a known good company wants to take a new course, at least show a little consideration to your clientele. The offer little to no migration/integration support. Just because you did not feel the brunt of it does not mean you know any better.
    You will never win any popularity awards for your attitude and your positive remarks about Opera will not likely benefit anyone including Opera. But my consideration towards others will be noted and my efforts to get a response will always be successful and in the end, if i could accomplish 10% of what my goal consists of, I will have achieved 1000 times more success than you ever will. 15 years of using Opera and still you don’t have a shred of compassion for those who are greatly affected by this new movement.
    We Opera users only occupied 1.5%-2% of the internet browsers being used. Meaning only about 2% of all internet users were using Opera. They gave up and admitted defeat and then we find out that all of the original member of Opera who were there since the beginning were pretty much gone and even the founder and creator himself sold out all shares and left. This left the company with a bunch of new people that sold out because of money and if you knew anything about Opera, this would also be a part of your knowledge thus affecting your perspective about the whole ChrOpera decision. Everyone knows Webkit will make life easier for developers. If you had a glimpse of understanding you would see clearly that we have been pushed aside as second class citizens now and if you think you matter, then you are just another drone that has bought into hype with the notion that they care about you. If anyone needs to get lost it is certainly not me. And you do not have to get lost. You already reached that intersection. Which way to go now?
    You should want more control of your web experience. You are a great person to reply to man. Because you end up causing people like me to go so deep into the issues that I end up re-affirming how right I am. Do yourself a favor, and try not to be so transparent. And look up the REAL fact about Opera, the original source Presto, and how they were truly a remarkable company that could have excelled with their original agenda but the original creator and many developers of the Presto source are no longer in the fold. And the new teams are basically a being managed by executive decisions geared around doing the same thing you do. The are followers. But they do it because they know it will create a more uniform web for all of the solutions they use from desktop and mobile markets. Having a uniform web will make it much easier for them and they will see greater profits. This is what fuels their motivation now. Not you. When you don’t make choices based on principal, you can be easily convinced to follow anything. If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. I expect you are at least 30 years old. It’s time all end users take control of their web experience. Use a browser because you KNOW it’s good not because someone said it is. And don’t let fast page loads convince you the browser is great. And bookmark organization is no excuse to claim a browser is great. Know the browser on a deeper level an you might find out your current choice is raping you in ways that might make you want to have them arrested.
    You can say it again. But I will NEVER get lost. I am going to be the biggest thorn this internet has ever seen when it comes to the facts. You are not wrong to say you like Opera. But you are not right to defend Opera with arrogance, making comments like “Get Lost”

  • Ibrahimoulili
  • gentu

    hey i like where this is going for those young people who think that opera is boring they have something coming our way & if you watch these video’s & that’s what i am talking about ( goodies ).