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back to article Bigger than Twitter: Opera releases rebuilt Chromium-based browser

Opera, the pioneering web browser, may have only a small single-digit market share but that still counts as a hefty number of people – it has more active users than Twitter. But it doesn’t look like a happy place today. Earlier this year Opera announced a decision to base future development of its desktop browsers on the WebKit …

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Obsession with 'market share'

I've used Opera for over 10yrs and always enjoyed being different. A pity if it becomes a badge engineered product but it's nice to see the comment that Opera 'may have only a small single-digit market share but that still counts as a hefty number of people – it has more active users than Twitter'.

This obsession seems to stem from the old VHS vs Betamax war, where compatibility equalled support equalled sales equalled future support. Completely irrelevant to the internet age esp now that IE6 non-standards have now more or less gone. Heck I bet Ferrari and Rolls Royce dont have much market share either but you dont see such owners stressing whether they ought to have bought a Ford!

So just go ahead and get what you fancy!

Same applies to Desktop Linux and Blackberry phones - maybe even WinPho!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obsession with 'market share'

There's a new IE6 with a whole new set of nonstandards on the block. It's called Google Chrome. :)

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Joke

Re: Obsession with 'market share'

Heck I bet Ferrari and Rolls Royce dont have much market share either but you dont see such owners stressing whether they ought to have bought a Ford!

You don't see Ferrari and Rolls Royce choosing to fit Ford engines either.

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Joke

Re: Obsession with 'market share'

Ah, but Ferrari do fit Fiat engines to all their cars......

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Dragonfly isn't dead

The thing I like best about Opera is Dragonfly, other browsers have similar tools but Dragonfly works best for me. I am a little sad about the move to webkit but I understand the reasons, but I am much sadder that Dragonfly isn't in Opera 15.

http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/opera-features-and-release-cycle

says And one more - Dragonfly is not dead though we cannot give you more information yet.

I do hope it makes it into 16 or 17 I would hate to lose it. In the meantime I will stick with Opera 12 which still works fine.

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They don't welcome feedback.

Tried it.

The Beta/snapshot announcement threads are full of complaints every complaints at every turn.

When people complain about them removing Bookmarks (only that Speed Dial junk left, which I turned off even as a dedicated Opera fan), they were told that the decision was made and it wasn't going to be changed. That's NOT how you "welcome feedback".

Same for all the other little changes (for everything from it not remembering where you left the window last time, to the removal of the entire Mail integration - so now you can have TWO opera programs to manage mail and web rather than one! - to the fact that it just plain doesn't support or import half of your settings. All the customisation is out of the window, and they are playing catch-up to get back to a useable app at the moment.

Meantime, they aren't doing ANYTHING in terms of taking on feedback. The basic answer was "we spotted that only X percent of people use feature Y each session, so no matter how many complain we're not going to do anything but remove it, or seriously cripple it".

Steer clear. Stay on 12 until you're sure it's what you want.

(P.S. Opera: For years I used your browser because it WAS integrated, because it did have Bookmarks, because it was customisable - down to the point I could put the "old" keyboard shortcuts back when you changed them in a later version - and EVERYTHING was an option - even speed dial - so I could turn it off. Also because you listened when you broke things and then fixed them. Not to mention a rendering engine that was superior to everyone else for years (and, I would argue, is still extremely competitive

This is what happens when you sack your development team because you think you know better).

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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

I was active on the Opera 10x beta program. It was great working with the team, helping to tweak 10.0 into the great browser that it is... and that 12 builds on that. Even with some of Opera's quirks - its the most flexible and power browser on the market. Chrome is most compatible - but is somewhat pain in the ass compared to Opera.

According to Tomshardware, there are some differences in performance and function compared to Chrome.

But if in function, its just Chrome with an Opera badge... then why bother?

Great features of Opera I use:

- Grouped tabbing (big time)

- Text find features

- custom layout

- I do kind of make use of Speed Dial

- zoom functions.

There are some compatibly issues in Opera that means I have to use Chrome or (ugh) Firefox. I very rarely ever use IE. On my Linux notebook, I use Opera over ff.

Looks like I'll be using FF12 for a very long time :(

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They do react..

... Did you use Opera Mobile?

Because when they "upgraded" it to a new, presumably webkit based version, the uproar was immediate.

I instantly searched for the previous Presto version.

I had to send the APK to my girlfriend, since hers updated too.

What was the hysteria, you say? Well, on her phone the new browser was almost unusable, compared to the buttery smoothness of Opera Mobile.

Similar on my RAZR MAXX HD - the new version simply chugged. There were other issues too, surrounding the UI, but the main reason I ever used Opera Mobile is because it ran with decent gusto on my old HTC Magic, so I stuck it with it through my phone upgrades because I knew if it ran well there - it wasn't consuming resources, and was well written.

The new version was anything but. Can't talk about the desktop version.

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My post hasn't yet appeared

Or I'd edit it to actually add my point about them listening:- in a very short time, they put Opera Mobile 12 back up as "Opera Mobile Classic", and all was basically well again.

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Re: My post hasn't yet appeared

hear hear. I did the same on mobile. I gave opera's new version on mobile a go for a few days, and then uninstalled it, found the apk and went back to the old version.

Not all of us have a quad core smartphone, and the interface on the old one was very quick to load and navigate:

18 tabs could be loaded on the old version. The new mobile version struggled with three.

load time was (relatively) quick on the old version

zoom on a webpage was quick on the old version; no waiting for the fuzzy font to render

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They don't welcome feedback

ie. they are doing an Ubuntu.

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LastPass

Is already available for Opera 12.X (and possibly prior) as an extension, having it won't be new.

I see the point of engine change, I hit a lot of websites that won't work in Opera and I have to switch to Chrome anyway, so I get all the stuff I like together with better compatibility.

I hope the rest of the missing stuff comes back, I really do.

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Anonymous Coward

Ad blocking

Can you still block intrusive graphical adverts by right clicking and choosing 'block content'?

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Facepalm

Re: Ad blocking

Of course not. Chrome doesn't.

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Meh

Re: Ad blocking

Not out of the box.

Adblock/Adblock Plus and Ghostery are available as extensions. If this works as well in Linux as Windows I may just switch back there, too.

Hold on, no bookmarks? Maybe not, then. We'll see.

Hold on, crappy selection of search engines? Looking more doubtful.

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Anonymous Coward

Disgruntled but very vocal minority of power users.

If you actually took the time to look at that thread, it's 20 or so VERY vocal users causing trouble.

Most users are happy to take the advantages that Opera 15 brings, over the missing features, or continue to use 12.x

I have been using Opera 15 for a month and it's been uber-stable and now my daily browser of choice. There are some significant features in there that make me chose it over Chrome, it's far from the Chrome skin that some idiots are pretending.

It could do with SOME of it's missing features back for sure (RSS Panel for me) , but alot of the older features were clutter and best left out. Nobody wants repositionable toolbars and other junk.

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Flame

Re: Disgruntled but very vocal minority of power users.

Bullshit!

No wonders you are posting anonymously.

There are many, many posts by a hell of a lot of users just asking for the return of bookmarks. Definitely not a minority.

This joke of a pretend browser isn't even worth installing just to laugh at. If they can't even get the basics right then it has no future.

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Re: Disgruntled but very vocal minority of power users.

Repositionable toolbars are really useful.

Having vertical tabs in a right sidebar maximizes the vertical page size, while allowing me to use the full width of my wide-aspect screen without getting too wide text columns. More tabs are visible at the same time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disgruntled but very vocal minority of power users.

Bullshit. When I still frequented the Opera forums there were 5 or 10 Opera fanboys who infested the Opera forums and blogs and trolled and attempted to bully and intimidate anyone who dared to be critical of their God. I and others reported several of them to the moderators repeatedly and nothing was about them, although a couple of the more vocal critics of Opera got banned. One of the reasons I no longer bother with the Opera forums.

I popped in today and the fanboys and mods still appear to be engaged in their circlejerk.

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And the point of Opera v15 is...?

The first versions of Opera in the early days were great. A browser a fraction the size of the competition (1Mb I seem to recall) and some interesting features to set it apart. Compatibility was hit and miss until version 9 that seemed to play well with most sites (or most sites played well with Opera - I'm aware of the difference.)

I don't understand why someone would use v15 rather than Chrome? Choice is good but there's not much to set them apart in Opera's favour. Maybe Opera is thinking that by releasing itself from engineering its own rendering engine its developers can spend more time cooking up cool new ideas. If that's the plan then I wish them all the best. Opera are the underdogs and have held their own against the big players for over a decade and that's why people like them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the point of Opera v15 is...?

This is for Opera dev team to answer. Let's hope they have a good reason for this change.

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Best. News. Ever!

Opera Mail is now available as a standalone product! Yay! I can now have the world's best desktop email client without the browser-shaped cruft.

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Opera's adherance to standards broke sites...

"The vast majority of problems users had were with compatibility – with sites not following the standards and Opera following the standards. It’s now compatible with most sites..."

So what, now Opera is using a rendering engine that doesn't follow standards? Well done, congratulations, that's definitely worth removing all the features for that. The reality is that I can't remember the last time I couldn't use a site because it didn't work with Opera - that was a problem from years ago. And, should such a problem occur, it takes only a few seconds to launch another browser and copy the URL.

I'm dumbfounded that they've released a browser that doesn't even have bookmarks, let alone the rest of the features that made it great. I showed an sys admin the visual tabs recently by dragging the tab bar down and he said, "Wow, looks like I'll be installing Opera if you don't have to pay for it anymore." Now what is Opera's USP? What makes it unique? An Opera badge? The fact that it has less features than any other browser? And browser speed hasn't been an issue for years either - the latency in the network with modern large page sites is the biggest problem in that area.

What a complete bunch of idiots that must be left at Opera now. It isn't even that they changed their rendering engine, it is that they released a browser based on it with no features. What was the rush? Were they really that desperate to show the world how stupid they are? My only hope is that all the people responsible for this mess lose their jobs before the current 12.x code base becomes too obsolete to resurrect.

Oh well, given the pile of featureless crap Chrome is, once Opera 12.x is no longer being supported, seems like I'll be a Firefox user.

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Meh

Re: Opera's adherance to standards broke sites...

@Ascy

"Oh well, given the pile of featureless crap Chrome is, once Opera 12.x is no longer being supported, seems like I'll be a Firefox user."

I know exactly what you mean. Currently using Pale Moon on 64bit windows 7 with only a couple of addons to give the functionality from Opera that I miss the most. (Note: Opera out of the box versus a tweaked build of Firefox with some addons. Not really what I wanted, but better than Opera 15)

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Facepalm

Re: Opera's adherance to standards broke sites...

"""Oh well, given the pile of featureless crap Chrome is, once Opera 12.x is no longer being supported, seems like I'll be a Firefox user."""

Do not worry, Firefox is engaged on the same stupid Chrome obsession and they are killing their browser too.

It is quite amusing to see how Google is gaining browser market share, not just by convincing users on other platforms to move to chrome, but causing other platforms to turn into Chrome.

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Meh

Re: Opera's adherance to standards broke sites...

"seems like I'll be a Firefox user"

Be careful before you say that, v22.0 of Firefox appears to have broken cut and paste! (It's very hit and miss as to whether it works or not)

I've also had an instance of a Captcha repeatedly telling me that I didn't enter any data in the box (when, obviously, I did), so something certainly seems to have screwed up somewhere...

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As a long time Opera User (since 1999) I've been disappointed they switched their engine to Google's Chromium. I oppose Google's privacy invasive nature and won't use their products, services or frame works.

Last month I switched to Firefox. So long Opera we had a good run. You really were the best browser.

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I installed it this morning. Nice shiny clean PC after an upgrade to 64 bit...get my favourite browser...Ooh! an update...what?...where is Opera Link?...how do I get all my book marks back?...my speed dial?...Hmm... maybe I still have the installer for the old version on my dev box?...yep! trash this thing and install the old one...all present and correct...Happy :o)

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WTF?

Opera's browser for Fisher Price's "My First Computer"

Opera 15 - the browser Opera seems to have developed for Fisher Price's "My First Computer". If this is the direction Opera is going in, I'm off. After using Opera since 2001 this is the final straw. Where are the damn bookmarks? Where is the customisation I'm used to? Where is my password button?, Where can I fill in my personal info for quick form filling? What if I don't want Big Brother Google and the NSA as a search engine? etc, etc... Oh wait, it's all been stripped out so stupid people can use it easily.

If this is Opera 15, Opera can kiss its ever dwindeling market share goodbye Opera. This is the bigggest insult Opera has ever served up to all its faithful power users. Let's face it, once you loose market share these days, you don't get it back.

A hopeless, dumbed down browser for the dumbed down big brother likes watchng you age. How sad, it all used to be so diferent. Security? Who cares these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder what the uptake would be if more people were aware turbo mode bypasses the isp blocks on certain torrent sites?

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Until they allow CTRL-TAB MRU tab switching then it's staying at Opera-12 for me.

I still can't understand why Google Chome does't use MRU tab behaviour. Can anyone that uses a keyboard actually prefer the way Chrome does it?

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FAIL

Firefox also does that (or rather doesn't switch to MRU).

one of the most irritating "features" when switching from Opera.

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@Lee D

"For years I used your browser because it WAS integrated.."

Same here. I'm using it to browse this, with around 20 other tabs open and over 50,000 emails in six mailboxes immediately accessible under one of them.

I shall miss it.

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bep

No bookmarks?

Who are these people who manage to use a web browser without bookmarks? I just don't understand how they do it. I've used Opera as my main browser for 10 years and if there are no bookmarks or they do what Firefox mobile do and dump bookmarks into a random, unsortable pile, then it will be goodby Opera for me. What browser I will use instead will be a problem, however, since they all seem to have lost their minds on this score. It's simple really, there are some sites I visit less often than others. That, in a nutshell, is why you need bookmarks that you can sort and put in folders that make sense to you. Hopefully there is one person left at Opera who is paying attention.

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Re: No bookmarks?

Speed-dial, autocomplete/search history in address bar and keeping tabs open forever means I don't need bookmarks for personal browsing.

Work is a different matter. And I concede that yes it is important to have bookmarks/favourites for all those sharepoint sites, dev, uat and prod servers etc. Even so, I tend to make a bookmark, then use the address bar to access it and only use the favourites menu for the odd site I only visit rarely.

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I really hope...

they make the thing work again. As it is, there is no compelling reason to stick with Opera. And I used it for a long, long time.

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Facepalm

Opera has been Borged

The new User-Agent does not have the string "Opera" anywhere, it's almost a straight copy of the Chromium UA with "OPR" inserted somewhere. This means that Opera's "marketshare" will drop like a stone because most sites identify Opera 15 as Chrome.

Also,many sites are showing their mobile version to Opera 15 Desktop.

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Re: They welcome feedback

That's true. They don't.

I gave feedback to them them around 2003 that if you were on a shakey internet connection and had at least one email account set up, each time the internet connection wasn't there during an automatic email check, you got a popup error message which stole focus, even if working in another application. Infuriating when your machine is configured to check every minute and you have four email accounts!

This made it impossible to get any work done without closing Opera if your internet connection wasn't stable. Even when it was stable, it's not uncommon for any one account to fail for occasionally, but I didn't need to know about it when it happened. I suggested an option to turn off notifications of failed connection during automated email checking.

Their response was (from memory), "fix your internet connection. If it's not stable there must be lots of other stuff playing up as well making the computer unusable." Actually, it was only Opera making it unusable and their response was written in a very unfriendly manner,.

They didn't listen then and they lost a loyal customer. Opera was my main email client at that time, after that I actually paid for The Bat (which rocks!) until moving to Linux in 2010 (which also rocks!).

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Coat

The fat lady has sung.

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Silver badge
Joke

But that's Opera for you!

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FAIL

Still can't believe it. I love Opera, but oh my god, what have they done. They killed by far and away the best browser and created a clone of Chrome (Bleurgh). Where's my CTRL+Z for re-opening closed windows? Where's my mouse gestures for back, forward and minimise? Where's my customisable toolbar? Where's my buttons for disabling CSS, Images, JavaScript?

My only hope is the sacked dev team get it together and create a new startup specialising in a browser for power users while the current Opera dies off due to appallingly poor choices made by da management.

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Unhappy

Yes the early opera is the most smart and fast browser , but now google is more popular, the opera developer want to make the opera more chrome.

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Silver badge

This was a shit idea when they pushed it on mobile.

It'll be shit on desktop, too.

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Weird.

I switched to Opera originally because it was faster than Firefox. I could live with the odd quirks. But I've noticed it has slowed down with version changes and when I tried Google's Chrome I found is much quicker.

Which probably explains why the new Opera is a faster -- but if it's just Opera with a new dress on, what the point of trying it ?

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Such a sorry end

Opera have quite literally thrown away their USP for the desktop browser. Who's going to be interested in a Chrome clone when you can just run Chrome?

I had no problem with the idea of them using the Webkit rendering engine when they announced that change, but then to dump everything that made their browser stand out????

So now their sales pitch is what? Try us... we're just like Chrome only with more bugs?

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Re: Such a sorry end

"Who's going to be interested in a Chrome clone when you can just run Chrome?"

Not me, I'll just run Comodo Dragon instead. Very fast and stable, but, er, it's based on Chrome which is what I believe a Real Programmer might describe as being somewhere beetween a 'kludge', a 'crock' and a 'cruft'. Possibly all three, depending on whichever use case.

I use Opera coz it's Opera. I'm not really a power user compared to others and have only been using it as my browser of choice for a few years. But seeing as I use a gaggle of other browsers too (WaterFox, FireFox, Chrome, Dragon, IE) whenever I have to, I certainly feel informed enough to say it has the best features and workflow of the lot. It isn't any less compatible or slower in general than the others, but it certainly has no more weaknesses than the others.

Bookmarks? Even Comodo Dragon has them. Have they lost their tiny Norwegian minds? Can't remember - are they even Norwegian any more? Never mind.

And while we're about it, I've been using Fastmail for about 10 years which was recently bought out by them a couple of years back or something. 'Great' I thought; my fave browser with my fave email. How happy and superior I am. It was fun for a while. Till they brought in the 'c', 'h', 'a', 'n', 'g', 'e', 's'. Say it quietly now. NO I FUCKING WON'T! They managed to fuck up not just a perfectly usable email company, but a rather pleasant, easy to use, reliable email company. That was also rolled out as soon as they had finished the second betas. Not sure if it's the same coders (seriously doubt it), but in general I think they are ALL suffering from a severe case of 'ejaculatio praecode', and would be well advised to start practising a bit more 'codus interruptus'.

I am looking for a new mail provider and it is only legacy and lack of time reasons that keeps me faithful. For the moment. I'll remain loyal too on the browser side as long as they keep their side of the bargain on maintaining security updates for 12. Then time to jump ship.

Is it just me, or does anyone get that 'we have just passed the second Golden age of computing' feeling?

Windows 8, total loss of privacy and lack of anonymity through illegal spying (sorry, forgot, it's would only be illegal if we did it, not for them), slowdown in uptake of hardware because the machines just aren't that much faster than the ones we used a few years ago (in real terms) and they haven't even bothered to make them 'sexier' (read frigging displays that can be read at proper resolutions and not fitted with what seems to be a two way mirror).

Old and jaded and bored of it all, is this what we have all worked towards, in our little ways, with whatever little contributions we have made?

I'm in danger of going into a rant. So I'll nip myself in the bud. So I'll just finish off with a couple of adapted common usage cliches:

Farewell Opera, we hardly knew ye.

Now all your browser are belong to us.

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I used Opera when my laptop was a P200 on dialup, but the extensions on FF, especially Tab Mix Plus, that allow me to make the browser behave the way I want have left me intolerant of anything else.

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Silver badge

Don't touch Opera 15 but...

Opera 12 beats Tab Mix Plus into a cocked hat.

Clone tabs? Yep.

Tab groups? Yep.

Reopen closed tabs? Yep (even if they were mail interface or RSS).

Control tab focus? Yep ( you can choose where focus goes when you close a tab, next tab, last opened tab, etc.)

In fact a lot of that was around since Opera 10/11.

This is why Opera users whine so much. All these things that you think are great as extensions? We had them integrated into the browser years ago. And Opera 15 has just thrown that all away.

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Bronze badge

I've flirted with O15. No bookmarks, just speed dial which takes an age to repopulate with 30 'bookmarks' as it's page thumbnail based rather than a simple text list and is completely unmanageable. Session manipulation appears a non starter. Tabbed page manipulation (which Opera invented!) conspicuous by its absence ...

I expected Opera with an almost invisible Chrome rendering engine improving performance and compatibility in the back end, not half a copy of Chrome and an Opera badge.

Personally, as a programmer I would be embarassed to release something as awful as this with my name on it and no alpha designation ...

I run Opera because I like Opera, not because I like Chrome ... and since it has just crashed on me again I'll be removing it now ...

School report reads: Opera was a very good, forward thinking and hard working student but is now prone to copy and can't even do that well ... must do much better or will be expelled ...

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Anonymous Coward

Mail

For some reason the Windows Opera Mail client installs by default to the user Appdata folder. WTF? What are they up to?

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