Opera and the future shape of the web

I’ve just heard a very interesting seminar from Jon Tetzchner, one of the founders of the Opera browser.  After talking about the desktop browser, the focus was very much on the mobile version of the application.  The company is very focused on speed and the ability to run on older phones – they seem to understand the reality of worldwide internet access and the limitations that can bring for the majority of web users.

Seeing the range of devices that the browser works on is impressive.  The idea of “One web, everywhere” seems to run in their veins – they see it as the only way of easily producing content that will run on a variety of platforms.  Another facet of their thinking is that once our current fascination with all things centralised in the Cloud has peaked,  things will return to the more traditional peer-to-peer infrastructure that the internet itself is based on – and this is the idea behind the Opera Unite features.

I’ve used Opera in the past on the Mac when I needed a browser to go full screen.  It doesn’t sound like much but it is the only browser that does it.  On a PC, the latest version of Opera is very fast, and feels polished and solid.  Despite my usual preference for Firefox, Opera will now be set as my default browser to give it a good run.  The company deserves the support.  Their clear thinking and obvious belief in what they are doing is very refreshing.

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