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Opera Browser Creators Planning IPO 368

Posted by simoniker
from the great-googly-moogly dept.
Iphtashu Fitz writes "Norwegian web browser developer Opera Software is reportedly planning an Initial Public Offering on the Oslo Stock Exchange next month. According to a press release issued today, Opera's revenue for the last quarter grew 108.7% and CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner stated that 'After developing and refining the technology and commercial side for nine years, Opera Software is now ready for public listing.' Opera has, according to CNET News, gained popularity in the past few months thanks, in part, to having ported their well-known browser to smartphones."
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Opera Browser Creators Planning IPO

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Good luck to Opera on their IPO. Just remember, it isn't over till the fat lady sings!
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'd buy that for a kroner.
  • Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MysteriousMystery (708469) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:52PM (#8230675)
    Opera is a nice browser, but honestly how many people do you know that actually regged it? Most people are using the ad supported version. With the company going public it makes me wonder about how many ads and to what level the ads will be showing up in future releases. Instead of just a banner at the top maybe pop ups FROM Opera? Perhaps I'm just seeing things negatively but this certainly makes me wonder about the product. I will say it is nice to use on a Zaurus though.
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:58PM (#8230795) Homepage Journal
      why does 'going public' always equate into 'after this they must try to bring in all the cash they can in and sell their souls to the devil too!'? you know they don't have to have a businessplan like that!

      the more intresting news is that they made profit..

      seriously, they're doing this to get some financial flexibility afaik, you can be more stiffed for maximum profit with private investors..
      • Here's Why... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:20PM (#8231106) Homepage
        why does 'going public' always equate into 'after this they must try to bring in all the cash they can in and sell their souls to the devil too!'? you know they don't have to have a businessplan like that!

        Because by "going public" their corporate offices sole responsibility becomes maximizing dividends for the stockholders. I don't agree with this formula, but it's as simple as that.

        • Re:Here's Why... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lrichardson (220639)
          Puh-leese!

          '...sole OFFICIAL responsibility ...'

          There's a vast difference between what they are supposed to do, and what they actually do. Enron, WorldCom being perfect examples.

          And what time frame are we talking about? The best way to maximize future dividends is to minimize those paid out now, leaving plenty of cash for growth/development. It's a fine line to walk, keeping investors happy and still maintaining future profitability.

          Looting a good company is another consequence of IPOs (thankfully s

      • why does 'going public' always equate into 'after this they must try to bring in all the cash they can

        A public corperation is obligated (by law even I believe) to maximize profits for its shareholders, by pretty much any means they can. Trust me, if the majority interests think that that can make more money by using pop-up ads, not only *will* they, but if the current CEO doesn't aree with it, they will fire him.

        That is the reality of going public; the original owners no longer have control of the compa

    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Beolach (518512) <{beolach} {at} {juno.com}> on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:03PM (#8230861) Homepage Journal
      Instead of just a banner at the top maybe pop ups FROM Opera?
      I doubt it. One of the selling points for Opera (like Mozilla) is built-in pop-up blocking. If Opera started making their own pop-up ads from the browser that would presumably bypass the built-in pop-up blocker, it would completly negate the benefit of that feature. And I think the people at Opera, like most reasonably intellagent people, realize that end users hate pop-up ads so much that they are not a reasonable form of marketing.
    • I am happy to say that I registered it. Granted, I only had to pay $20 because I am a student, but the browser it absolutly amazing. I have had a few problems with crashing every once in a while (no more than IE), but the browser saves your every move in each tab so that if it does crash, you come right back up where you were. Also, their small screen versions are amazing. Pretty much any page, no matter what, will fit on your screen with no horizonal scrolling (like the stupid PocketIE). If only they
    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gregory S Patterson (567055) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:17PM (#8231071)
      For what it's worth, I've been using Opera exclusively since version 3.something in 1998. When they switched to ads, I used a cracked version for a couple months, but then regged it after the guilt got to me. Considering that (excluding operating systems) I use this piece of software more than any other, I probably owed them a lot more than it cost. Though I must admit that I'm the only person I know who gave them any money, and I know about a half dozen other people who use it regularly. I assume most of their revenue comes from licensing deals w/ mobile phone makers.

      If you're willing to learn the interface and customize it to your liking, there's no doubt in my mind that there's nothing faster. Most importantly, you can use it with either the mouse OR the keyboard without any loss of efficiency. From my experiences, most other browsers have functions that can only be done with one or the other.

      just my $.02
    • The big revenue stream for Opera is in the mobile/embedded space. They sell the browser to Nokia, etc. and make money there. The desktop space is probably a lot smaller in terms of market size for them.
    • Opera is a nice browser, but honestly how many people do you know that actually regged it?

      Add me to the pile of people who answered your rhetorical question. I registered Opera after using it for a few weeks. I get so much mileage out of it, if they asked me to register again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. My recommendation, and this even extends to Firebird/Fox users, is to try the browser for 30 days. It takes about that long to see all of the nuances that will knock your socks off. There's a great intr

    • Re:Opera (Score:5, Informative)

      by zxSpectrum (129457) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:41PM (#8231403) Homepage Journal

      Opera is a nice browser, but honestly how many people do you know that actually regged it?

      Well. Let's see. [opera.com]. Opera is the standard browser on:

      • All Sendo X phones
      • Nokia 7700
      • Nokia 6600
      • Sony Ericsson P900
      • Sony Ericsson P800
      • BenQ P30
      • Motorola A920
      • Nokia 9210i
      • Psion Revo+
      • Sharp Zaurus

      in addition to being available as perhaps the only real browser for Nokia 3650/7650, Nokia N-Gage and Siemens SX1, and Opera also has partnerships with several companies [opera.com]

    • by emarkp (67813)
      Apparently enough to grow their revenue by 108.7%. Well, registrations plus embedded sales.

      I have registered version 6 and 7. See, I'm supporting software I use and love. My only complaint is that they don't have a port to PocketPC.

  • Sounds interesting. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:53PM (#8230691) Homepage Journal
    Are there any special fees or complications in buying stocks from Sweden, or is this something that's completely unavailable to people out of the country?

    I'm sure there are quite a few people that'd like to get in on this, but not if it's prohibitively expensive.

    • by El (94934) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:06PM (#8230917)
      Opera is located in Norway, not Sweden -- two neighboring but very different countries. (The Norwegians feel about the Swedes much the same way the Americans feel about Canadians.)
      • So you're saying Norwegians never think about Swedes at all?

        • by El (94934) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:19PM (#8231104)
          No, they make jokes like "Why do Volvos have windshield wipers on the inside of the windsheild? Because Swedes all drive like this (makes raspberry noise)" Personally, I've never understood that joke either...
          • Yep, and Swedes make exactly the same jokes about Norwegians.

            Shamelessly copied from http://braathens.com :

            Do you know...

            * Why the Norwegian laughed on Wednesday?
            - He was told a joke on Monday!

            * Why Norwegians bring ladders to the stores?
            - Because of the high prices!

            * Why Norwegians walk in the middle of the road?
            - Because they are afraid of the wild flowers at the roadside!

            * Why Norwegians keep their hands in their pockets?
            - They're afra
      • The Norwegians feel about the Swedes much the same way the Americans feel about Canadians.

        Given that Norway is smaller in population but richer in resources (ie. North Sea oil & gas) than Sweden, I'd say it's more like the way Canadians feel about the Americans.

        Although it could be construed as insulting to any one nationality, the fact is that to the rest of the world, there's little distinction between Canadians/USAmericans and Norwegians/Swedes.

    • by bitva (206067)
      Yes you can. Read this:

      http://www.thestreet.com/pf/markets/asktheexpert /1 0121118.html

      I guess you can buy direct into foreign markets, or you can buy ADR's, which are some sort of vouchers.
  • I hope some other multinational conglomeration doesn't steamroll over them and buy them out.

    I fear the day when google goes public. It will be the end of usable websearching as we know it. (Hides from the corporate whores jumping up and down and foaming at the mouth)
  • Amazing ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by midspot (750702) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:54PM (#8230708) Homepage
    amazing how 2 free to use apps can be both offering stocks in 2004. Do i see a bubble rising in the tech sector again??? I better get back to buying domains for selling cat skinners, corn row straighteners, and board stretchers!!!
  • Crashes... (Score:4, Informative)

    by npistentis (694431) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:55PM (#8230724)
    I know I'm not the only person who experienced dozens upon dozens of spontaneous crashes when I was using Opera... I switched to Firebird, excuse me, FireFOX, and with the addition of one extension have mouse gestures, tabs, built-in google search... all of the "features" with a fraction of the crashes. What makes Opera so appealing, and are they ready to go public?
    • Re:Crashes... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bronz (429622) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:05PM (#8230895)
      This could be completely OS dependent, but Opera on Win32 is a dream. (And to be honest, I don't recall it ever having a problem for me on suse or debian either).

      Opera is appealing because it's not just a viable replacement for IE or Mozilla, but it's actually an alternative. It's code base is unique in that it has no common ties to the gecko browsers. It's fast. Really fast.

      Mouse gestures in Mozilla and IE are (literally) an after thought add-on. Due to Mozilla's design, I'm not sure that a mouse gesture can even register while a page is loading. Little things that destroy the UI if they aren't done right.
      • here here brother!

        I used to use linux and freebsd. I still use windows at work. Guess what? perfect/seamless dreamy cross platform-ness. the skins, config files, everything, just work exactly the same all across the three OS. (they have native version for freebsd too) I just copied the whole config directory from home to work. (I'm a big fan of the beos skin)

        I've been using opera since opera 4/5 days and only recently given it up because I use mac os x now. I use safari and waiting for opera 7 for mac.
    • by tipiyano (709370) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:09PM (#8230976)
      For me it's only one reason for opera: mouse gestures

      Yes, I have the tried the mouse gestures in mozilla. They are not at all consistent. You have to "draw" the gesture exactly with sharp edges or it failes to recongnize. With Opera it is very robust. And yes, mouse gestures is important to me.

      This one might be my ignorance, but I can't get the tabbed browsing to work right on Mozilla. Most of the time it opens new tab for new window but sometimes it will open a new window. Not to mention that the download window always opens a new window. Opera always keeps everything in the same window.

      And finally, I love that I can close opera and start it later and have all my open webpages restored. No need to temporary bookmarks. Couldn't find this mozilla.

      So until mozilla gets these right (specially mouse gestures), I will stick to opera. Although one thing I miss that mozilla has is the google toolbar. Hopefully, opera will pick it up soon.

      • Answers (Score:3, Informative)

        by MachDelta (704883)

        Yes, I have the tried the mouse gestures in mozilla. They are not at all consistent. You have to "draw" the gesture exactly with sharp edges or it failes to recongnize

        Depends on the gesture extension you use. I've found that the "All-in-One" mouse gestures are pretty good. No need for right angles or straight lines, as it bases gestures off of the most prominent movement. So for example, for Down-Right you could draw an "L", or you could draw a curve (like the lower half of a "C") and it would recognize

        • TBE makes my FireFox crash (FireBird too back in 0.7) when I try to use it. Firefox doesn't have the keyboard shortcuts Opera has. Firefox doesn't have half as customizable toolbars as Opera. Firefox doesn't have tooltips showing URLs, so I need to keep the status bar on hogging space (not to mention the menu bar when running Windows). FireFox doesn't have The Wand. FireFox doesn't have bookmark Nicknames. Firefox' inline find doesn't find more than the first result. I won't comment on the crappy tabs supp
      • Well, the thing about Mozilla jestures (from Optimoz) is that they don't care about the shape per se, but that you've gone far enough in a certain direction. E.G. to close a window, it's right-left-right. Provided I go more than a certain number of pixels in the direction (which you can set), you only have to do the RLR thing. I don't remember any of the default gestures, at least, using anything diagonal. So you have to think in those terms rather than in terms of "shapes." Also, it shows you the cur
    • Re:Crashes... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dixie_Flatline (5077)
      I used to have crashes here and there, but I found I didn't care very much, since Opera is good about knowing what sites you were visiting when the browser crashed. So, I can always restore my state to the last thing that was going on when it died on me.

      Opera's crashes are very much version dependent. Some are much worse than others.

      Personally, I could never get used to the way that Mozilla did ANYTHING. Without Multizilla, I was forever opening new Windows instead of new Tabs. For my browsing needs, I ne
    • "What makes Opera so appealing, and are they ready to go public?"

      Not everybody has those stability issues. I'm running Opera on 3 different machines and do not have the instabilities anybody is mentioning. A friend of mine has a computer virtually identical to my own, and Opera frequently crashed on him.

      So, to answer your question, not everybody is sharing your experience. When Opera is stable, you get a hell of a browser. When it's unstable, then Mozilla is a far better choice. I just wish I knew w
  • I Was Getting Afraid (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:55PM (#8230730)
    Phew, I was afraid Opera was in trouble. They haven't released a new version in a long time (at one point it was every 2 weeks or maybe a month). Then again, Opera has been pretty rock solid on my systems, with the only crashes occuring during an occassional FLASH ad on tvguide.com/listings.

    I'm glad the company is still going strong, as Opera is my browser of choice. While I like Mozilla and it's brother FireBird, I still think Opera is the finest browser available. People may laugh at me for buying licenses, but the overall experience has been great.
    • by Dan-DAFC (545776)

      They haven't released a new version in a long time

      They are busy working on 7.50, which has some failry major changes to the layout of the GUI. A preview version was made available a few weeks ago (search the opera.beta and opera.linux newsgroup archives for a link). The new version includes an RSS reader, a spell-checker, a cookie editor, an IRC client, the much-requested ability to apply their small screen rendering to hotlist panels to make just about any web-page a side-bar panel and lots of fixes a

  • by pla (258480) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:55PM (#8230732) Journal
    Can someone explain why companies love going public so damn much?

    They already have a product (so no money needed to front the development). They alreay show a profit. Wouldn't an IPO just mean they need to share their profit, in exchange for a wad of cash that they don't really need for anything, and that will actually cost them, in the long term?

    Same idea applies to Google. Single most successful search engine in history, and they want to share their profits by going public?

    I just don't get it...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:04PM (#8230877)
      It's an easy way to 1) raise capital 2) spread risk around.

      Imagine you are in your kitchen baking cookies, and you sense that your cookie-baking will make you rich someday. You just need some money for advertising and a bigger kitchen. How can you do it? You can try and grow slowly, but you might never succeed. You can take out a loan, but what if you can't pay it back? You're screwed. So you can try and convince people that your business is growing, big time, and you will offer to sell pieces of the business for a high price (higher than the value of all your equipment at least). You take this big mass of cash, grow your business, and everybody gets rich as your income grows and the value of your stock goes up accordingly. And your company is in neat little pieces that can be bought and sold as needed. Instead of just you owning your business, all these people own little pieces of it.

      And if the business flops, you don't owe these buyers anything, because they assumed the risk when they buy.

      Pretty simple really...there's also seconday benefits like exposure and PR but the basic point is to raise capital.
    • by Jaywalk (94910) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:15PM (#8231038) Homepage
      Can someone explain why companies love going public so damn much?
      Because it makes money for those who own the company and/or finances further development. If I have a company worth a million dollars that I own privately, I can sell it in an IPO and have the million cash. Or I can sell some fraction of it, retain some control and put most of the money into development. Just because I have a product doesn't mean I don't need funds to develop a second or improve the first to keep it competitive.

      Besides, a lot of times the company is not really owned by the person who came up with the original product, but by that person's investors. And the reason investors invest is that they think it will make them money.

    • An IPO is a quick way to get a lot of money, which can be used to "take it to the next level".

      It also converts the "value" of the company from being measured in terms of payables, receivables, and assets, to being measured in terms of stock price, which the owners (who end up holding a bunch of this new stock) might find more favorable.

    • "Can someone explain why companies love going public so damn much?"

      Golden parachute?
    • Your looking at it all wrong. The things you don't like are not a product of public companies, but a product of big companies. There are a lot of little companies that are both public and innovative, but because they are small you haven't heard of them. Some will never be big, others will become big, some will be bought out by bigger companies, and some will go bankrupt, but it has nothing to do with being public.

      If you own a company, you can only sell your entire part. A public company divides your

    • They already have a product (so no money needed to front the development).

      According to this page on the Opera site [opera.com], the product was, in fact, self-financed until 1999, when the company borrowed $15 million, perhaps to finance the phone browser, perhaps to compete more aggressively on the desktop. The company says the money was borrowed from "financial investors," which could mean a bank, venture fund, private "angel" investors, relatives or personal credit cards.

      All of these investors have one thing in
  • by hcetSJ (672210) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:57PM (#8230754)
    95% of nerds: If I've never had any inclination to buy the Opera web browser, why would I bother to buy their stock?

    95% of others: Ooooh! Tech stocks! It's the next '90's!

    • The other 5% of nerds: I bought the Opera web browser just because they support may favourite OS, so I might as well buy stock!

      Personally, the small ad banner never really annoyed me, I'm currently using Operare for Solaris with ads. I did pay for my copy of Opera for FreeBSD though, not because of the ad, but because I thought it was great that they chose to support FreeBSD, and that it would be important for FreeBSD to have an example of a commercial software firm supporting it for pure profit reasons.

  • worthy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segment (695309) <sil @ p o l i t rix.org> on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:57PM (#8230756) Homepage Journal
    For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Opera earned 1.3 million kroner ($190,000), compared with a loss of 21.4 million kroner ($3.1 million) in the same period a year ago.

    Not to bang the drum slowly here but if Netscape which was already paired with a money maker (or loser depending on your view) such as AOL, and it's pretty much a dead product nowadays, I wonder what Opera is thinking aside from making a quick dollar. Even if they made a measly $190k they lost $3.1 that will eventually have to be paid back if not done already.

    Now, Opera is alright as a browser, but as it stands the majority of `quickie' users tend to be - dare I say it? - IE (l)users, and with Microsoft making it pretty much the first thing a new computer user sees, I wonder what is making Opera think they can compete with the (s/^/crooked/g) Microsoft 400lb Gorilla.

    • Re:worthy? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830)
      Well for one thing, people are actualy working on Opera and have been since the start. Netscape died becuase the devlopers gave up on it long before the soruce was released. This is why Opera is a good product and Netscape started to suck long before they started going out of business.
      • Re:worthy? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by segment (695309)
        Netscape crashed and burned following Sun's lead and spending millions chasing dreams in a court of law against Microsoft. Not because they gave up so get your info straight. They lost because they decided to focus their resources on fighting that same 400lb gorilla I just mentioned.

        Personally I use Lynx most of the time or Firebird for my personal use, but as for work I use Windows IE. So here is just another little quip, the majority of corporations (big money spenders) have (or at least should have) pol

        • " They lost because they decided to focus their resources on fighting that same 400lb gorilla I just mentioned."

          Yes. They should have spent their time writing software. They chose to litigate rather then develop their product and as such I have no sympathy for them at all. Especially given the amount of money the got for "failing". I hope every day that I get to fail like they did.

    • Insightful my arse (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:29PM (#8231242) Homepage Journal
      Look in mobile phone and embedded space. This is the growth market for web browsers and also happens to be where Opera is kicking major arse and Microsofts lockin on the desktop counts for very little (and in some ways even helps Opera, as many phone companies are naturally fearful of letting MS own the platform).
    • Re:worthy? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248)
      I wonder what Opera is thinking aside from making a quick dollar. Even if they made a measly $190k they lost $3.1 that will eventually have to be paid back if not done already.

      It might be the creditors who gave them the 3.1 million in the first place might be the ones pushing for the IPO to get their money back. AKA venture capitalists. To them, it doesn't matter whether the business floats or sinks afterward, they just need to get their investment out of it anyway possible.

  • not a good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:57PM (#8230763)
    This is not good...the only way the net has survived so far is that very key, very identifiable PRIVATE companies have been involved. They might as well sell it to the highest bidder right now and save the trouble of the IPO. Perhaps they could get IBM to pick them up, or maybe Google! ...as a best case...

    Their board will get slammed by the "big kids" trying to get a piece...the directors will get sick of it quickly and quit within a year...Either way the "standards compliance" will be the first thing to go when the corps take over...and that is Opera's only "killer" feature...If the directors want their money, sell it to somebody like google, or OSDN or IBM...somebody that's big enough and "in tune" enough to appreciate it....unlike the whole AOL/Netscape thing.

  • It's about time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tipiyano (709370) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:57PM (#8230765)
    Opera gets some more recognition. I love the mouse gestures, image off browsing, autosave links for when you need to reboot the system but don't want to bookmark all the open pages and lots of other cool features.

    Now only if they could get a search keyword highlight (like the google toolbar), I will stop using mozilla (which has a google toolbar lookalike).

  • 4.2 Million USD (Score:5, Informative)

    by mhesseltine (541806) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:58PM (#8230779) Homepage Journal

    For the currency impaired, that's the revenue for this year. Last year was 2.0 million USD

    On a similar note, 108% revenue growth isn't that impressive when you're talking about this small of an amount. Now if IBM showed 108% revenue growth, then there'd be something to talk about.

    Sorry, but color me unimpressed.

  • by D-Cypell (446534) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:58PM (#8230794)
    Take your 108.7% increase, give the staff a nice bonus, and keep on developing.

    Why is it that every tech firm thinks that making a profit means sell up as fast as possible? Why put yourselves in the hand of people that have no idea about your technology, company culture or internal standards and just expect you to keep turning profits at all costs?

    Keep the money, keep your company and keep inovating.
    • Why is it that every tech firm thinks that making a profit means sell up as fast as possible? Why put yourselves in the hand of people that have no idea about your technology, company culture or internal standards and just expect you to keep turning profits at all costs?

      Keep the money, keep your company and keep inovating.


      This is something that I, too, am having a problem understanding.

      Maybe I just don't know of any tech companies that went IPO and did well, or maybe I don't understand what an IPO bring
      • Well my understanding is this... (IANA number junkie)..

        An IPO provides an oppurtunity for a company to make serious money real fast, which is great, except the second the bad news rolls in (a drop in profits for example) its sell sell sell!

        The stock price drops, more people sell, so it drops some more etc etc.

        Pretty soon you are cleaning out your desk and switching off the lights. The winners are those that played the stock correctly and managed to make a profit, the losers are those interested in tech a
      • Maybe I just don't know of any tech companies that went IPO and did well, or maybe I don't understand what an IPO brings to the table. Anybody?

        In theory (that is, in a purely technical, unpolitical or uninterested world) an IPO would be an alternative source of capital, just like going to a bank and asking them to lend you some money. Well, if they are equivalent which one would you chose ? One pecking order, ranked by cost-of-capital (lower cost on top, meaning if all you need is the money, get it there
    • Take your 108.7% increase, give the staff a nice bonus, and keep on developing. Why is it that every tech firm thinks that making a profit means sell up as fast as possible?

      I think they must see Mozilla/Lesszilla/whatever coming and they realize that it's a good time to cash out. Their market is going to be eaten away by big-F Free software. Surely they realize this. They were counting on Mozilla not going anywhere.
  • by prostoalex (308614) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:01PM (#8230826) Homepage Journal
    This browser IPO is going to be huge! It will turn Microsoft Windows into pile of poorly debugged device drivers and everything will be run from the Web browser!

    You simply cannot lose launching a Web browser company!
  • Bad timing (Score:2, Informative)

    by AhBeeDoi (686955)
    The timing for an IPO is bad. Now that they appear to be turning an operating profit, protential investors can only see the limitations of Opera's profit potential. When Opera was still sustaining losses, investors could (unrealistically) fill in the blanks on Opera's potential. I suspect that many investors are savvy about a company whose chief competitor is the 800 lb gorilla of the industry and whose major competing products are free of charge.
  • by Delusional (574271) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:28PM (#8231233)
    I've been using Opera as my primary browser since about version 4. Besides "supporting the little guy" I get a much smaller footprint and better resource consumption than either Exploder (when forced to use windex) or any of the Mozilla variants.

    Not to mention all of the stuff that comes in the nice tight package - tabbed browsing, popup blocking (including "block all but requested" - there are legitimate uses for popups, you know), mouse gestures, keyboard browsing, etc with no extra setup or packages required.

    Then there's the stuff that's really making them money now - stuff like small-screen rendering, which makes smartphones and the like reasonably useful without requiring the entire contents of the web to be rewritten.

    And yes, I like it so much I paid for it (several times by now), knowing that there are plenty of viable free alternatives. It's just that good.

  • They need the money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khendron (225184) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:50PM (#8231541) Homepage
    That's the only reason I can think of for why they would be going public. When you are public, one of the big rules is get as much money as you can when you have the chance. Right when you cross over to break-even is that chance. Before break-even is silly (we've been through that bubble and are not buying it anymore) and if you leave it too long you might dip below break-even again which would tarnish your image (from the investment point of view).

    In my opinion, going public is both the best and the worst thing that can happen to a company, from the employee perspective. I've worked for a private company, a public company, and a private company that went public. In a public company you can make a lot of money off your stock options (assuming you have some). But the atmosphere in a private company is much more agreeable, with the lines of communications much more open. When my last company went public, it was like a door slammed and all information about how the company was doing, and what potential customers we were talking to, disappeared. We essentially woke up after the party, feeling rich, and realized nobody would talk to us anymore.
  • Smart Cell Phones (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tin Foil Hat (705308) on Monday February 09, 2004 @07:02PM (#8231692)
    The big deal here is the embedded space, as mentioned in the last article. Opera has been making a lot of deals in the embedded markets and that is primarily what is driving their growth. Opera spotted a niche that FOSS browsers were not filling and that IE was not filling well. They worked hard on their browser to make it a good fit for small platforms and now that hard work is paying off.

    Whether Opera is popular on PCs is entirely beside the point. Opera's public mind share may be in PCs, but it's market share is in embedded devices and that is what is driving their performance. It's also what makes it a good IPO candidate.

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