|Type||Public (OSE: OPERA)|
|Key people||Lars Boilesen (CEO)
Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner (founder)
Geir Ivarsøy (co-founder)
Håkon Wium Lie (CTO)
|Revenue||▲ NOK 497.1 million (2008)|
|Operating income||▲ NOK 80.9 million (2008)|
|Net income||▲ NOK 89.9 million (2008)|
|Employees||760 (end of Q3, 2009) |
Opera Software ASA (OSE: OPERA) is a Norwegian software company, primarily known for its Opera family of web browsers. Opera Software is also involved in promoting Web standards through participation in the W3C. The company has its headquarters in Oslo, Norway, and is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The company also has offices in Sweden, People's Republic of China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Poland, Czech Republic and the United States. Opera's stated vision is "to deliver the best Internet experience on any device."
Opera Software was founded as an independent company on August 30, 1995 by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy. The company was created to continue what was originally a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company.
Opera Software's first product, the Opera web browser version 2.1 for Windows, was released in 1997. Opera Software had an IPO in February 2004, and was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange March 11, 2004.
In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port the Opera browser to more platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000, included a new cross-platform core that facilitated creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.
Up to this point, the Opera browser was trialware and had to be purchased after the trial period ended. But version 5.0 (released in 2000) saw the end of the trial period requirement. Instead, Opera became ad-sponsored, displaying advertisements to users without a license. Users could still buy licenses for several years, however. Later versions of Opera gave the user the choice of seeing banner ads or targeted text advertisements from Google.
On January 12, 2005, Opera Software announced that it would offer free licenses to higher education institutions — a change from the previous cost of $1,000 USD for unlimited licenses. Schools that opted for the free license included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of Oxford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Duke University. Opera was commonly criticized for having been ad-sponsored, since this was seen as a barrier to gaining market share. In the newer versions the user was allowed a choice of generic graphical banners, or text-based targeted advertisements provided by Google based upon the page being viewed. Users could pay a license fee to remove the advertisement bar.
With version 8.5 (released in 2005) the advertisements were removed entirely and primary financial support came through revenue from Google (which is by contract Opera's default search engine).
The introduction in August 2005 of "Opera Mini", a Java ME based web browser for mobile phones marketed not to end users but to mobile network operators, possibly marks a new direction towards directly revenue-generating business, making the company less dependent on give-away and advertising-based Internet software.
On September 20, 2005, Opera announced that it would remove the advertising from its browser and remain free of charge. Although Opera was free to download and use before this change, it had previously displayed an advertising banner unless the user purchased a license. The move was made in the hope that it would prompt more users to switch to the Opera browser. However, Opera does continue to charge for its "Opera Mobile" product which runs on many Mobile devices.
It is widely theorized that the 'international corporation' named above is Microsoft, who had previously blocked Opera users from correctly viewing MSN.com (see First MSN.com controversy and Second MSN.com controversy).
In 2007 Opera filed a complaint against Microsoft in the European Commission, alleging that bundling Internet Explorer with Microsoft Windows is harmful to both the consumer and to other web browser companies.
|Companies||Opera Software | Telenor|
|Topics||History | Features | M2 | Community | Presto|
|Notable individuals||Håkon Wium Lie | Jon S. von Tetzchner | Geir Ivarsøy|
|Devices||Opera Mobile | Opera Mini | Nintendo DS Browser | Internet Channel|