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Chrome Helping Other Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO 187

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the chrome-outnumbers-opera-on-slashdot dept.
Pablo Martinez-Almeida writes "Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner confirms that new entrants in the browser market are raising awareness on the mainstream Internet community about the availability of alternatives to the ubiquitous Internet Explorer. 'How has the emergence of WebKit and Chrome changed the market for you? JvT: The effect of Chrome so far has been 20 percent more downloads every day. It's fairly logical when you think about it, because the biggest hurdle we have is all those people that don't realize there's an alternative in the market. Now, with the launch of Chrome there's focus on the choice of browsers in the market.'
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Chrome Helping Other Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO

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  • Chrome for me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:15AM (#25568841)

    "How has the emergence of WebKit and Chrome changed the market for you"

    When they can be bothered to release a linux version let me know then I might be able to give answer.

    • Re:Chrome for me? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MilesAttacca (1016569) <milesattacca@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:17AM (#25568877)
      CrossOver Chromium [codeweavers.com] is exactly what you're looking for. It's not officially by Google, but ported by CodeWeavers, the WINE folks.
      • Chromium is what we want.

        CrossOver is not...

    • When they can be bothered to release a linux version let me know then I might be able to give answer.

      WebKit is open source and as for the Linux version, let me point you towards an Ars Technica article:

      http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2008/09/02/google-unveils-chrome-source-code-and-linux-port [arstechnica.com]

  • "Chrome Helping Other Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO"

    scratch, scratch, scratch:

    "Chrome Helping Obscure Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO"

    if your market share is tiny, then yes, awareness of alternatives helps. but for the big guys: ie and firefox, chrome represents a smaller slice of the piechart

    the truth though is that chrome just slows down coders responsible for cross browser testing and compatibility ;-P

    its a nice browser though. its dom and javascript quirks seem very safari like. did google base chrome on sa

    • Re:story title edit: (Score:5, Informative)

      by JeepFanatic (993244) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:24AM (#25568987)
      If I'm not mistaken, Safari uses WebKit [webkit.org] as its rendering engine just like Chrome does. This might account for any similarity in quirky behavior.
      • One of the questions in the interview was, "How has the emergence of WebKit and Chrome changed the market for you?" .

        I think an honest answer to that question from Mr Tetzchner would have been to say that Apple's active engagement with webmasters, and their user base's evangelising, has been the most significant factor in any market change.

    • by Thyamine (531612)
      Of course it wouldn't slow us down if the standards would be followed more tightly. Then it would come down to more of a who has more/less features or bloat or speed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      for the big guys: ie and firefox, chrome represents a smaller slice of the piechart

      Frankly, I think awareness of alternatives helps Firefox as much as it helps Opera.

      Every user who leaves IE for any other browser makes my job as a web developer that much easier.

      the truth though is that chrome just slows down coders responsible for cross browser testing and compatibility

      Except that Chrome is based on Webkit, so there aren't going to be many Chrome bugs that aren't also Safari and Konqueror bugs.

      More relevantly, all of these browsers follow the standards much more closely than IE. The day IE becomes marginal enough for a website to just throw up a "Get Firefox" banner and stop testing on it is a da

    • by Kamokazi (1080091)

      "did google base chrome on safari code?"

      Yeah, that's what the whole WebKit thing means.

      Firefox, as far as the general public is concerned, is still not a 'big guy'. Web traffic numbers can't be used as a very accurate source of how many different people actually use a browser, because people that use Firefox, in general, will visit many more web pages than a casual user who has never heard of it. I can guarantee you if I went around the office here and asked people what Firefox was, at least 9 out of 10 w

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      As someone who works on PCs everyday,I can tell you that while Chrome might be helping in the tech crowd,Joe and Jane home user still thinks Big Blue E=Internet. It has taken me ages to get most of my customers off the Big Blue E,and the only way I pulled it off was showing them the difference in a webpage with Big Blue E VS a webpage with FF and Adblock Plus. Folks can say what they want about JScript rendering and memory leaks,but Adblock Plus and Forecast Fox has helped me switch a lot of folks off the v
      • Folks can say what they want about JScript rendering and memory leaks

        The Mozilla folks have really done a good job fixing the memory leaks and improving memory usage in Firefox as of version 3+. There might still be some small leaks here and there (it is very difficult to eliminate them entirely in large enough programs which weren't implemented in a garbage-collected programming language), but for the most part FF3 is pretty good and the excellent addons (flashblock, adblock plus, and noscript being the three most important) really push it over the top and into the number o

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          That was the point I was making,thanks. For all the hoopla about JScript rendering speed,what really sells Firefox to my customers is the extensions. I hope that the Mozilla corp gave whoever came up with the extension framework a really fat bonus,because IMHO the extensions are what really makes FF a must have. My customers really love having all those annonying ads removed from webpages and I have gotten more compliments and referrals from adding Forecastfox to the menubar than anything else. Folks just l

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      "Chrome Helping Other Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO"

      scratch, scratch, scratch:

      "Chrome Helping Obscure Browsers Out, Says Opera CEO"

      Aren't those nearly equivalent statements, though? Almost all browsers are obscure.

  • by Dan East (318230) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:21AM (#25568947) Homepage Journal

    I think we're already to the point where many people are aware they have a choice of web browsers. I was watching the news the other night (obviously not MSNBC), and they had a large touch-screen display running a web-browser with multiple tabs - Firefox. They were using it to display charts and other information.

    Also, various family members are aware of Firefox, but they have no idea what "chrome" is. So I'm not sure how Chrome is somehow more noticeable to the mainstream, especially since it doesn't add any of the bells-and-whistles type features that typical people notice (security and performance isn't exactly exciting to the average joe).

    • When Chrome came out I had many people who never would have any idea about new browsers come to me and ask for my thoughts on it. Any type of Google related news has a way of making it out into the public. As a result, many discussions get started about the benefits of different browsers and even allowed me to mention other browsers to people that they had never heard of before.
    • by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadph@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:36AM (#25569201) Homepage

      Ah, yes -- I have a few (not many) family members and older co-workers aware of "FoxFire," too.

      Yes, that's what it's always called, an no, no matter how many times I correct them it's always "FoxFire."

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:54AM (#25569523)
      The majority of people do not fully understand what Firefox is. There reason IE remains so popular is that most home computer users think their computer is just another appliance, and they want it to work out of the box like a VCR. So they just start it up for the first time, click "start," see something labelled "internet" and just use it, never even realizing what they are using or what they are doing. It has nothing to do with the technical merits of the web browser, it has to do with people who are not interested in computing beyond the on/off switch.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AmberBlackCat (829689)

        I think it's more than that. A big problem for Firefox is the people click on the big blue E and it actually works fine. So they don't have any obvious reason to look further.

        A big problem for Opera users is the people who claim there should be a choice of browsers usually mean there should be a choice between IE, Firefox, and maybe Safari. I've had sites work fine with Opera and then one day they just stop working because the webmaster decides to suddenly start checking user agent strings.

        So a site that wo

        • I think it's more than that. A big problem for Firefox is the people click on the big blue E and it actually works fine.

          ...Sorta. This is kind of like how masturbating "works fine". When they discover sex (Firefox), they realize what they were missing all those years, and while both can be used after that, one is clearly preferred.

          Yes, I realize I just compared sex to a web browser. It was just an analogy. ;)

      • Which is why the best way to get these users on firefox is to put a shortcut on their desktop entitled "Internet"

        Well at least it worked for Microsoft.

    • So I'm not sure how Chrome is somehow more noticeable to the mainstream, especially since it doesn't add any of the bells-and-whistles type features that typical people notice (security and performance isn't exactly exciting to the average joe).

      Chrome got a line on the Google homepage for a while.

    • by socsoc (1116769)
      Chrome is installed all over my network, the average (younger) person knows what it is.

      Yes, my users have local admin rights, it's easier in the end and they usually abide by the rules. SpiceWorks will tell me about it anyway...

  • Opera Mozilla (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BladeMelbourne (518866) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:22AM (#25568975)

    I used Mozilla/SeaMonkey/Phoenix/Firefox for 9 years. I switched to Opera a few months ago and never looked back.

    The 'advertisement banner' was a stigma for me, although now I realise Opera Software are THE innovators.

    I realise it's not "open", but I look forward to any JS or rendering optimisations they may do to counter Chrome/FF3.1.

    Options are beginning to look like a good thing. Striving to match a rival will only be good for the world (and those of us who develop for the web ftl or ftw).

    • by mdm-adph (1030332)

      I keep trying to switch to Opera -- every couple of months or so I make a concerted effort. However, the lack of an easy-to-use extension system (and the presence of ads -- ads? I had forgotten the web had ads!) keep bringing me back to Firefox. I also can't seem to import certain certificates into Opera -- haven't really delved into the problem, so I don't know if there's a solution somewhere out tere.

      More importantly, get me NoScript working on Opera, and I'm sold. (That's even more important that get

      • Re:Opera Mozilla (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kyro (302315) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:43AM (#25569337)

        I use per-site preferences instead of noscript when I use Opera.
        At the moment I use it with Javascript turned on in the main preferences and then when I come to a site with completely intrusive ads (hello /.) I use the site-preferences to turn off Javascript for that domain.

        I just right click and choose "Edit site preferences". It's great!
        I just can't believe google haven't got gmail working with opera correctly yet, it's a bit buggy.

        • by mdm-adph (1030332)

          Do you turn off JavaScript for all of Slashdot, or just for the adserver domain? You see, that's my problem -- I'd like JavaScript to work for the top domain that I'm visiting (i.e., Slashdot), but not for scripts loaded from the adservers that are included in the HTML (Doubleclick, Tacoda.net, etc.). I like NoScript especially because it does this automatically, without the need for a huge whitelist/blacklist.

          Seriously, if Opera builds-in something like this, I'm sold, since it's really the only plug-in

        • Maybe Opera needs to get Gmail working correctly? Just sayin, it's a two way street in web development.
      • Re:Opera Mozilla (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:52AM (#25569483) Journal

        Are you sure you're aware of Opera's full feature set?

        Opera has both per-site Noscript and Noscript by default, it's up to you.

        Right-click on a website, pick "Edit site preferences..." and uncheck "Enable Javascript" for the domain if you want. Or disable Javascript for the entire application, and check Enable Javascript for the sites you wish.

        As for blocking ads, right-click on the site with ads and pick "Block content..." -- wildcards are supported. The only thing I miss there is a subscription like that in Adblock, but after having blocked the most common sites, I don't get ads nearly as much anymore.

        • by mdm-adph (1030332)

          Is there an easy to use interface for managing what domains I have JavaScript blocked from? Or do you have to go to each site every time to manage?

          And say I somehow go to doubleclick.net and disable JavaScript for that domain, does it only work when I actually navigate to that site, or does it work as well on sites like Slashdot when it has scripts brought in _from_ doubleclick.net?

          • by dreemernj (859414)
            Per your first question, the best you can do AFAIK is go Tools->Preferences->Content->Manage Site Preferences. That will give you a list of all the sites that you have set preferences for. You can edit, add, or remove sites from the list. So if you enter "google.com" as a new one you can edit all the settings there without visiting the site.

            Your second question is an interesting one, but I don't know the answer. I use a userjs file to handle blocking javascripts I don't want it to load. It b
            • by mdm-adph (1030332)

              Aye, your first answer was what I was looking for -- thanks!

              However, I still think it doesn't work if the domains are from within another site (like Slashdot). I'm sure someone's created a userjs file somewhere for this (kinda like the one you have).

        • Does it allow fine grained per-script control? For example, it is common for java script files related to advertising domains to be linked separately into pages served from different top level domains. Noscript allows exclusions or inclusions for scripts loaded from a particular domain to be applied (doubleclick for example) no matter what site is attempting to load the scripts. No script also offers xss and cross site scripting sanitization. Personally, I like the addon concept employed by Firefox much mor
        • by Vexorian (959249)

          Opera has both per-site Noscript and Noscript by default, it's up to you.

          No, it doesn't.

          It just has a site blacklist that requires you some extra bunch of clicks and navigation through dialogs

          This is not like noscript neither in functionality nor in ease of use, notice noscript is not a blacklist, it is a whitelist... Not to mention it also does a lot more things like blocking plugins and preventing XSS giberish and other stuff. You can also allow javascript temporarily for a site, without disabling it

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I don't see adds either.

        Download the url filter:
        http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/ [fanboy.co.nz]

        and also get the CSS "element hide" file.

        It's not AdBlock, but I don't see advertisements anymore. 5 minutes is a small price to pay :-)

      • However, the lack of an easy-to-use extension system (and the presence of ads -- ads? I had forgotten the web had ads!) keep bringing me back to Firefox.

        That is AFAIC the biggest downside to Opera. OTOH, there are plenty of tools to remove ads without using an extension. http://www.admuncher.com/ [admuncher.com] is what I've been using for years, even with Firefox (performs better than AdBlock IMHO).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by residieu (577863)
        I really don't understand the rabid hatred of seeing ANY ads that some people have. I'll block flash ads or ads with animation if they get too distracting, but usually I just don't see them.
    • by residieu (577863)

      The advertising banner was annoying, but I had no problem paying the modest fee the asked for to remove it.

      It's really just better at doing things the way I want them done than Firefox is (without hunting around for the proper extensions)

      • by mdm-adph (1030332)

        Seriously? Look, I understand the love for Opera (great browser), but it was seriously easier for you to bring out the wallet then it was to search for a few free extensions? :\

        • by residieu (577863)
          Yes, because even after cobbling together the proper mix of extensions, it still didn't do quite what I wanted, and half the extensions broke on the next update of firefox. Getting out my wallet only took a few seconds. I don't remember anymore how much the license was, but it was trivial for a quality piece of software.
    • by Gulthek (12570)

      Agreed. I switched when 9.2 came out and I realized that Opera wasn't the same Opera I had dismissed years ago.

      Fast, stable, and an impressively awesome feature set. Opera's all element zooming and ease at switching from author to user mode makes browsing even sites with horrible UI's painless.

  • by agentultra (1090039) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:26AM (#25569019)

    There has been choice for years that many people have been aware of.

    Most people who still use IE just don't care for the other choices.

    Web developers care more than anyone. People who only go on the Internet to watch the odd youtube video and check their hotmail care the least.

    • by Shados (741919) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:46AM (#25569385)

      You'd be surprised. I work for a fairly large company (several thousand employees). People at the head office have control on their machines. A large portion of them (many who barely know how to turn on their computer) downloaded and use Firefox, and many even Chrome!

      But for the people in the outlets... their computers are locked down (very...locked down. For good reasons: if it breaks, someone needs to take a trip from the headoffice, thats time consuming and expensive), old, and purely controlled by the network administrators. Pushing IE is easy, though there are some machines on Win2k out there, so IE7 and above are no go. Pushing Firefox or others would be more difficult, for little gain (from a business perspective), even if users want it.

      The consequence in the end is: I have to make our -internal- apps work in IE6/7, and only those. Not a good thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by biscuitlover (1306893)

      There's an element of truth in that, but you can't underestimate the power of Chinese whispers... With IE6 and IE7 Microsoft caused so much resentment amongst web developers (or the ones who built pages properly at any rate) that lots of people began some kind of crusade to get everyone they knew using a different browser.

      As a web developer I've ended up doing the same. So, while the percentage of internet users who are also web developers might be pretty minimal, IE's broken standards created so many evang

    • Most people who still use IE just don't care about the other choices.

      Fixed :)

  • IMO (Score:2, Informative)

    My browser of choice is Firefox. I have it setup just exactly the way I like it, and some of the tweaks are not available in Opera. If they were, I would use Opera. The other browsers I use/have tried other than FF and Opera are: Chrome, IE8 Beta, and Safari. I can say I loath IE8 and Safari, and Chrome has a lot of useless features that are sometimes annoying. Google has a lot of work to do if they even bother. Opera is fast, and feature rich, and has a very modern feel. Firefox is Firefox, I don't think I
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      I can understand why you prefer Firefox--it's got a lot more development history and third-party support in terms being an alternative to Internet Explorer compared to its competition (Opera doesn't have the third party support that Firefox enjoys now).

      But don't dismiss Chrome just yet--Google can easily throw a lot of resources at it to quickly develop the browser and offer a lot of enticements for third-party support (they have the liquid assets to do this). I've been playing around with the current publi

  • by theaveng (1243528) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:30AM (#25571143)

    >>>all those people that don't realize there's an alternative in the market.

    Yeah. So? Even when Netscape had 90% dominance, most people still chose Internet Exploder, thereby gradually erasing Netscape from existence. I don't think any browser's ever going to beat IE's advantage of being "there" on the desktop.

    • by The Raven (30575) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @12:28PM (#25572153) Homepage

      For a time, IE was also better. It was much faster, rendered better, and came bundled... who wouldn't use it?

      There's nothing wrong with a browser taking tons of marketshare when it's the better product, and for a while Netscape abandoned their browser while they tried to be all enterprisey... Netscape Mail server, Netscape this, Netscape that, all while their browser wasn't being updated and fell behind IE. Then, IE proceeded to languish at version 6, and Mozilla, via Firefox, finally started making inroads.

      The entire browser market has a strong 'you snooze, you lose' component to it. Microsoft did employ dirty tricks to get IE popular fast, but if Netscape hadn't fallen asleep at the switch, Microsoft still wouldn't have succeeded in dominating the market.

      • by theaveng (1243528)

        >>>For a time, IE was also better. It was much faster, rendered better, and came bundled...

        Better than Netscape Navigator? Nonsense. I remember when IE first came out, and I gave it a try, and decided it was VASTLY inferior to the then-dominant Netscape. But it's main flaw was you had to go to netscape.com to download it, and most new users simply didn't bother.

  • by billDCat (448249) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @01:11PM (#25572845) Homepage

    For me as a Web developer, even if it doesn't get much market share, it's already provided a great service (although it sure would be good to see it get market share, it's a nice browser). It has helped me significantly already in debugging Safari issues. With the site that I am currently developing, which is fairly JS/Ajax intensive, all of our Safari bugs showed up in Chrome as well. Since Chrome actually has a debugger (and a fairly decent one at that), I was able to use it to diagnose and fix the Safari issues in a fraction of the time. Of course if Apple were to release a debugger for Safari or a third party were to develop one, that would lessen the need, but Chrome currently solves a significant issue from a developer standpoint.

    • It has one [webkit.org]

    • by Shados (741919)

      Wouldnt how your site is ajax/js intensive be irrelevent when it comes to chrome compared to safari? The javascript engine isn't even the same, only the rendering engine is. So my CSS/XHTML issues do show up in both, but the javascript issues are totally different... The app I just finished today was an example of that: Safari wasn't part of the browsers required by the client, but when we tested for fun, it just happened to work. So did Opera (which we also hadn't tested). The javascript broke all kind of

  • by Chris_Keene (87914) * on Thursday October 30, 2008 @03:31PM (#25574871) Homepage Journal

    Apple Blocking Opera on the Iphone
    http://www.osnews.com/comments/20455 [osnews.com]

    (blocking legit apps on the iphone is one of the stupidest things Apple has done in a long time)

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