Feeds

Linux is 'big part of Opera's future'

CEO speaks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Opera Software CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner says the ratio of Windows to Linux Opera downloads is eight to one. This either means Linux is on 12.5% of computer desktops (unlikely) or that Linux users are far more likely than Windows users to download Opera.

Note that in absolute numbers Windows is still more important than Linux from Opera's viewpoint. This may change over time, especially now that Opera is releasing its Windows and Linux versions at the same time instead of allowing Linux releases to lag.

"What we've done in Opera 7 is make the code a lot more cross-platform," von Tetzchner says. "That's why the releases are in synch. Now we hope to add other platforms as well -- FreeBSD, Solaris, and the Mac over time."

Von Tetzchner has not noticed any resistance from Linux users to the concept of paying for software. He says, "I think there's not a significant difference in the number of Linux and Windows users who pay. People want choice, and most people are willing to pay for good software. Most of the current Linux users are programmers, and they can appreciate when good programming is being done."

He adds, "I also believe that if Linux is going to be a significant success on the desktop you need applications," and points out that he means both commercial and free software, not just one or the other.

Beyond the browser

Opera and IBM have been working jointly on voice recognition and synthesis. Soon, von Tetzchner believes, we'll be able to fill out Web forms and order goods online with voice technology. But he sees far more than commercial possibilities here. Indeed, the original reason Opera started working with voice recognition was to help people with disabilities get better access to the Internet, not to make money.

"Our focus on people with handicaps is a personal thing of mine that we built into the company. My father is a psychiatrist with a focus on children with handicaps," says von Tetzchner.

Opera is making some of its voice tools available for free download here: http://www.opera.com/products/verticals/multimodal/

Follow the money

Opera Software has swung into profitability several times since the company was founded in 1994. Its current new product push is keeping it from being profitable at the moment but, von Tetzchner says, "We hope to strive for the black this year. We have definitely been increasing our revenues. Overall, last year we doubled our sales."

In descending order, Opera has seen its largest recent revenue growth in the embedded, desktop, mobile, and IT vertical markets. The embedded and mobile markets are the newest on Opera's agenda, and may hold the most future promise, since Opera can now provide decent HTML rendering on small screens, which most browsers can't.

"We can make [a Web page] fit in a meaningful way on a small screen without horizontal scrolling," says von Tetzchner. "People really like it. You don't need WAP or anything like that. It's all client-side, so people doing [Web] content don't need to do extra work."

More Linux in Opera's future?

"What we've been seeing, especially in the embedded space, is a lot of movement in Linux," von Tetzchner says. "We see it from IBM, Motorola, Lineo... We have a strong belief in Linux. Also on the desktop. We hope it takes off there, too."

But, he warns, "At least in Europe, so far we see more Linux desktop talk than action."

In other words, much though von Tetzchner and his coworkers may like and support Linux, don't expect Opera to stop developing Windows products any time in the near future.

© 0

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.