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Is Facebook Going To Buy Opera? 226

Posted by timothy
from the browser-wars-the-sequel dept.
New submitter x0d writes with this excerpt from the L.A. Times: "The Facebook spending spree may be continuing as a new report says the social networking giant might be looking to buy Norwegian company Opera Software. Now fully under the microscope of Wall Street as well as Main Street investors, Facebook is trying to solve its mobile monetizing problems and has been gobbling up various companies in recent months to increase its presence in the world of smartphones."
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Is Facebook Going To Buy Opera?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they do, wont Opera be forgotten like Rockmelt is?
    • Re:Rockmelt (Score:5, Funny)

      by sammyF70 (1154563) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:55AM (#40119567) Homepage Journal
      wtf is rockmelt?
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        it's a WOWser.
        no, I didn't make that up myself.

        as to the facebook acquisition.. it would be probably for the development talent, basically just one big recruitment of mobile, javascript, cloud and html knowhow.

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          It looks like Chrome minus everything that makes Chrome so popular.

          • by mateuscb (1052870)
            Thats because Rockmet uses Chromium. They simply added a couple of "plug-ins" to allow facebook, twitter integration. Best part, they managed to get $40 million in investment. Go figure. http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/19/rockmelt-vs-chrome/ [techcrunch.com]. As far as data collection, a small start-up, entering a cut-throat browser market, with facebook and twitter logins isn't going to collect anything?
        • by vakuona (788200)

          Why not just headhunt them?

          • Because it very close to impossible to hire complete teams. Very often you end up only hiring employees that are not satisfied with their job (while you would more interested in ones that really enjoy their job (& do it well)). If you make an offer_that_cannot_be_refused to every member in the team, you would demorolizing you own employees, set false expectations to pretty much everyone. The whole thing ends up pretty ugly.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Funnily enough looking at the pictures of Rockmelt (who thinks up these shit names anyway?) it reminded me of Expressgate which is built around tons of social crap, maybe FB should buy something like that and have their own FB OS? That would probably scare the hell out of Google.

          Man I'd hate to see Opera go though because with Presto being proprietary you couldn't even fork it like with Gecko or Webkit. While I never could stand the Opera UI my oldest boy has been using it since it was a for pay browser and

    • Re:Rockmelt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inasity_rules (1110095) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:09AM (#40119627) Journal

      I hope not. I actually like Opera.

      • Re:Rockmelt (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lightknight (213164) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:26AM (#40119697) Homepage

        Indeed. This is a Merger / Acquisition that, from a quality of life standpoint, I do not prefer to see.

        Opera Mobile is...a very nice browser on my Droid. A very, very nice browser. I'd like to keep it that way (the thought of Facebook posting to my wall with updates based off of my latest webpage viewings is more than a little disturbing; "lightknight said he would be at Ken's BBQ by 5:00PM, but we can see that he accessed Google Maps 21 minutes ago, and his GPS / location shows him at least 47 minutes away. -> 5:01 PM").

      • Re:Rockmelt (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 1u3hr (530656) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @08:53AM (#40120123)
        Damn. I've been using Opera for several years now. If it comes under the thumb of Facebook, I'll jump ship. I don't want those fuckers backdooring themselves into everything I do online.
        • Possibly adios... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @09:50AM (#40120455) Journal

          Damn. I've been using Opera for several years now. If it comes under the thumb of Facebook, I'll jump ship. I don't want those fuckers backdooring themselves into everything I do online.

          Likewise. Opera has been my main browser for more than a decade, although my wife generally uses Firefox. Luckily, I've also been using Chromium, and consider it an acceptable replacement: not quite as good with privacy settings, but slightly more compatible with weird web sites. If Opera becomes part of Facebook, I'll drop it on principle (all Facebook IPs are already blocked by my router to inhibit unwanted tracking).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Don't worry, if Opera does get acquired by a huge corporation with a strong interest in gathering as much information as possible about you, you can always just switch to Chrome!

      • Re:Rockmelt (Score:5, Insightful)

        by buddhaunderthetree (318870) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @09:46AM (#40120433)

        You like Opera? I love Opera. I've been using Opera since way back at version 2.0. Remember the browser that would fit on a floppy? I even paid for it. Sure, it's not perfect but it's pretty darn good. Now it's endanger of being taken over by a company I personally don't use and can't stand. I would have rather seen it die back in the 90s than to me such an ignominious fate.

        • by Ubi_NL (313657)

          well said. The day that opera falls in the greasy hands of facebook is a very sad day indeed.

        • by kermidge (2221646)

          While Opera might like the money, I hope they can resist. It's been my main browser since Deepnet Explorer back around '04 (even though I usually set Firefox as default.) There are plugins for Ghostery, Convergence, and Lastpass.

        • This. Also, I ran huge volumes of pages through opera turbo. It was invaluable back when I lived in a country with expensive and slow internet. I did use it back when it was add supported a lot too, and would have paid if I could have. Opera is probably the best browser I have ever used. I like the interface and I like the way everything works. I would very much regret it's death or mismanagement by some overrated social networking site.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, Opera may be closed-source. But they deserve huge respect.
        They invented tons of things we take for granted nowadays. Tabs, proper zooming, user scripts/styles, separate search field, mouse guestures (incl. rocker), pop-up blocking, privacy mode, built-in bittorrent client, you name it. And they haven’t stopped. I consider Unite a key feature that will become essential.
        They also saved us from having to use IE6 in the dark ages after Netscape was murdered.
        And it was the fastest browser for a loooon

      • I used to like Opera, but it's slowly falling by the wayside now that the big guys are heavily investing into their browsers. They were ahead of the pack by pretty much all measures back when the only two competitors were the stagnating IE, and bloated Mozilla/Firefox. These days Firefox is much leaner, and of course there's also Chrome.

        Opera still wins by the sheer amount of features that it comes with out of the box, but even then it's getting dangerously close. It hasn't been the fastest browser on the m

      • by JavaLord (680960)
        Given the rate of decline in Facebook stock Opera might just wait a few weeks and buy facebook.
      • by Fjandr (66656)

        This is what I came here to post. My first though upon reading the headline was "Oh please God no!"

        I don't want my favorite browser frozen in time as Facebook oozes all over it, defiling as they go. I'd rather stab myself in the eye than take the time to hack Firefox into a Frankenstein's Monster version, Chrome doesn't have the features I use (even as an extension), and IE isn't even playing the same game.

  • Nice one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:55AM (#40119565) Homepage Journal

    The opera mobile browser works by offloading a lot of work to a server run by opera. This would give facebook access to everything which goes through every mobile opera browser.

    • Re:Nice one (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:57AM (#40119579)

      Only if you turn on Turbo mode. It's off by default.

      But yes it would suck ass if Facebook bought Opera. Opera Mobile is the first thing I install on any smartphone. The desktop version of Opera sucks but the Mobile version is the best browser for any mobile device.

    • Re:Nice one (Score:5, Informative)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:12AM (#40119633) Journal
      You got it back asswards friend, Opera MINI does the whole "go through Opera servers" thing whereas opera MOBILE only does so if you activate turbo.
      • But either way its a great way to collect data. Google must be kicking themselves.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Why? Google is already doing it with Android and Chrome.

          • Why? Google is already doing it with Android and Chrome.

            And every link you click on from Google search, Google news, Google images, etc.

          • by Nerdfest (867930)

            Android no, Chrome, maybe.

          • google only collects what is typed or searched for in the omnibox, nothing else.
            but don't let facts get in the way of your idea of the google eye looking at everything on your computer including your porn collection.

            • by hairyfeet (841228)
              Sorry friend but as the wiki states "randomly generated token (unique ID), RLZ Identifier, Client ID, Suggest, page not found,bug tracker, Google Updater, and downloads" the info is here [wikipedia.org] and as someone who didn't know they did THAT much tracking it just makes me feel even better than I'm using Dragon, which has all that crap stripped out.
    • by jc42 (318812)

      The opera mobile browser works by offloading a lot of work to a server run by opera. This would give facebook access to everything which goes through every mobile opera browser.

      As far as I've been able to determine, this includes setting up https links. So we're talking about facebook getting a copy of all your login credentials, and you bank-account info if you use your phone for any financial purposes.

      If this isn't true (i.e., the encryption is done in the phone with the ids and passwords not available to the Opera servers), it'd be interesting reading about how we'd verify it. Otherwise, we should assume that logins and passwords are known to the browser's owners. Opera s

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        From the Opera Mini FAQ [opera.com]:

        Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and - for example - paypal.com or my bank? Opera Mini uses a transcoder server to translate HTML/CSS/JavaScript into a more compact format. It will also shrink any images to fit the screen of your handset. This translation step makes Opera Mini fast, small, and also very cheap to use. To be able to do this translation, the Opera Mini server needs to have access to the unencrypted version of the webpage. Therefore no end-to-end encryption between the client and the remote web server is possible.

        If you need full end-to-end encryption, you should use a full web browser such as Opera Mobile.

        So according to Opera, end to end encryption is "impossible" with Opera Mini and if you want it, use something else.

  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:56AM (#40119573) Homepage

    I'm sure they could have picked up Internet Explorer for a steal. Imagine the positive effect on the stock price!

  • It "turns out" that they have already independently developed their own browser [slashdot.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:58AM (#40119581)

    Facebook to buy Western Digital. Because they're going to need all those drives to store EVERY. FUCKING. KEYSTROKE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2012 @06:59AM (#40119591)

    Opera owns Fastmail. Do you want Facebook to own your email?

    • by dwater (72834)

      right. i love fastmail, and can't see it'll survive facebook ownership :/

      • by utkonos (2104836)
        I hadn't heard of Fastmail before, but I just visited the site. I wonder what Facebook will do with redundant systems? For example, they already have their own XMPP IM system. If what they did with Instagram is any indication, perhaps they themselves have no idea what to do with companies they slurp up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As a paying member of Fastmail.fm, I'll be the first to cancel if Facebook takes ownership.

    • by silenc3r (2473146)
      This better not be true. I have switched to Fastmail about a year ago and I find it superior to Gmail in almost every point, especially privacy which was the main reason to switch for me.
  • I hope not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alphabetsoup (953829) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:03AM (#40119601)

    Opera is the best browser out there. I don't trust Chrome not to report data about me to Google, and if Facebook buys Opera I wouldn't trust it not to report my browsing data to Facebook. I will have to move back to the mess that is Firefox

    • by cpghost (719344)
      Since you don't have the source code to Opera, what makes you think Opera isn't also reporting browsing data, just like Chrome allegedly does?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by amicusNYCL (1538833)

        Since you don't have the source code to Opera, what makes you think Opera isn't also reporting browsing data, just like Chrome allegedly does?

        Just off the top of my head, one reason would be because Opera isn't built and owned by one of the world's largest data collection and mining companies.

      • Since you don't have the source code to Opera, what makes you think Opera isn't also reporting browsing data, just like Chrome allegedly does?

        You don't need the source to trace system calls and network packets. Even if Opera were to phone home using some nefarious mechanism that fell through the cracks of strace and ltrace, it would still be detectable by a packet sniffer. Much like the "many eyes" hypothesis works to give people confidence on source code access, it should also apply here. If a bored n

    • A few months ago I was looking for a browser that wouldnt be a Google/MS report factory. I thought it was Opera too... but if you look at help, about Opera.. you will see this..

      The WebP image decoder is covered by the following license:
      Copyright (c) 2010, Google Inc. All rights reserved.

      The libvpx video decoding library in Opera is covered by the following license:
      Copyright © 2010, Google Inc. All rights reserved.

      After I saw that I just gave up and decided that there wasnt really a way to n
  • by sonamchauhan (587356) <sonamc&gmail,com> on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:05AM (#40119607) Journal

    Hmmm .... Opera optionally bundles a web server (Opera Unite) with its browser. With music, photo and note sharing, I always thought that was Opera's attempt to be a P2P version of Facebook.

    Who knows, Facebook may end up becoming more P2P-ish, a la Skype -- a centralised set of 'supernodes' that track who's talking/streaming photos/video/comments to whom (and keeps a copy), but without the infrastructure and delays their current 'hub and spoke' model requires.

    • Hmmm .... Opera optionally bundles a web server (Opera Unite) with its browser.

      Support for Unite is actually dropped and it will be removed before the end of this year. I have no idea if similar things are (or will be) possible with their extension platform though.
      Source [opera.com]

      If Facebook buys Opera I will definitely switch to another browser, mobile browser and e-mail client...

  • That's why you don't give these fuckers money. They're going to ruin it for everyone, not just for the idiots who sign up for their walled garden.

  • I can't stand Facebook and refuse to have an account with the service, despite the continuing trend of many companies requiring an account for one thing or another, but if they were to buy Opera then that would mean they also acquire FastMail; my current email service. Over my dead body would I entrust my emails to Zuckerburg and his company.
  • I really hope not. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daneurysm (732825) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:24AM (#40119681)
    On one hand I think the FB app could use a LOT of advice from Opera's mobile team. I have an overclocked GalaxyS2 running at 1.5ghz...modded to the gills. Nothing on this phone is slow...except Facebook. Every update makes the experience more and more miserable. Opera's mobile/mini browsers are among the fastest and smoothest apps I have ever used. By far. Bar none. On any mobile platform....or any platform ever, for that matter. On the other hand I've been using Opera for over 12 years now. It is my go-to browser and it is the first thing I install on a computer...regardless of OS. It has always been ahead of it's time...often by a very long time (we've been returning to the same multi-tabbed browsing session for how much longer than everyone else?). Anyone I recommend the browser to becomes a lifelong fan. Geeks and non-geeks alike. It's tiny, lightning quick, hyper-compliant and more configurable than anything else.

    I know that having Facebook sized development money can be nothing but a great thing for the progress of the browser, but, I'm more concerned with the direction of this development. Also some very obvious concerns with the use of turbo-mode to help FB aggregate more of the world's information...

    ...I'm going to vote 'I really hope not' on this one.
    • I know that having Facebook sized development money can be nothing but a great thing for the progress of the browser, but, I'm more concerned with the direction of this development.

      Microsoft has "Facebook sized development money" and it took until IE 9 to get a good browser out of them. Google has a lot of development money too, and Chrome has its upside (besides reporting everything you do to the Google mothership). Apple has even more money, but they aren't spending it on browser development.

      Based on Facebook's history of harvesting anything and everything about users, using tracking cookies on other sites even when those visitors don't have Facebook accounts, using the same Safa

      • >Microsoft has "Facebook sized development money" and it took until IE 9 to get a good browser out of them. Google has a lot of development money too, and Chrome has its upside (besides reporting everything you do to the Google mothership). Apple has even more money, but they aren't spending it on browser development.

        And I disagree. Mostly because i have used a Atom netbook for 3 years, due it being the laptop for the class I attend in. Its basically a school computer, and you get a rental contract. It w

  • Enough with the speculative posts.
  • by game kid (805301) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:33AM (#40119729) Homepage

    I haven't used Opera in a good long while*, and I've never heard of the mentioned source site Pocket-lint, but after the damning parting words of von Tetzchner [slashdot.org], I wouldn't put it past Opera to allow let Facebook take them.

    Nice knowin' ya, Oppy.

    *Actually I did a few times a month or two ago for some SVG testing; otherwise I've barely touched it, and I'll be uninstalling it now just in case the probable turns out true.

  • Better targets (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:44AM (#40119775)

    There are better targets than a once-great browser. Opera is no longer, no matter what their home page says, the fastest browser in the business.

    Twitter, for example. A Facebook takeover of the company will ensure render comatose any hopes G+ has of winning any marketshare.

    Another is Yahoo. Too big? I'm pretty sure Yahoo's stockholders would agree to a stock swap that would leave hot-young CEO Zuckerberg in control. Facebook can use some of whatever remains of Yahoo's search technology.

    • Re:Better targets (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @08:35AM (#40120019)

      There are better targets than a once-great browser. Opera is no longer, no matter what their home page says, the fastest browser in the business.

      It's not really about fast, though piss poor performance would be a problem. It's about not having to develop a brand new mobile app/Facebook-content-delivery-app. Opera has 'mobile' and 'mini'. One of which (mini?) does all it's work on the Opera servers. This would let Facebook see everything you do ... and I mean everything. That fits perfectly with their current mission of harvesting anything and everything they can about their users.

  • This has been both in the news and debunked YESTERDAY.

  • Opera will become a browser app for fb

  • iPhones come with Safari and few people ever install another browser. Android phones come with a stock browser and few people install another browser. Opera has little potential to help Facebook crack the smart phone marketing problem. Besides, now that Facebook is a public company, it can't spend its money willy-nilly like it used to and not have to worry about shareholder suits and financial oversight.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)

      iPhones come with Safari and few people ever install another browser. Android phones come with a stock browser and few people install another browser. Opera has little potential to help Facebook crack the smart phone marketing problem.

      Unless they pay vendors to preinstall it. Anyway, if they brand it as the "Facebook browser" and promote it on their site, it will certainly get installed on a lot of phones.

  • If Instagram is worth $1B to Facebook, I figure Opera must be worth at least $10B.
  • Not opera! I actually USE THAT! Aaaahhhhhhh!!!!

    Seriously, Opera is the one good mobile browser out there.... I even tried Dolphin HD!

    Stay off, Facebook, don't Zuck my phone!
  • Opera's been a decent browser for me to use on bad quality connections. If they start integrating all sorts of Facebook bullshit, that'll go away fast.

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