back to article Opera boss walks off stage, citing musical differences

Jon S von Tetzchner is leaving Opera, the browser company he co-founded back in 1995 and headed until last year. The company and its former CEO put a bland spin on his departure at the close of last week, but this was rapidly overtaken by the leak of his valedictory email to staff and subsequent comments to the media. "It is …


This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

So basically he's saying...

... that the fat lady's not singing yet?


Wonder what's next

I've worked for enough startups under either incoherent or unsympathetic management installed by the capitalists to spot a bad thing, and judging by the consistent quality and innovation demonstrated by Opera releases over the years, the boss has clearly got the devs reined in and motivated. He's probably quite a good guy to work for.

Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Worked for him for 6 years... he is

Jon is quite possibly one of the best people I've known to work for. He respects the opinions and judgement of his subordinates and with very rare exceptions will almost always prefer to let a creative developer innovate freely than to force the individual into a an environment of simply grinding. This is why Opera has managed to be as innovative as it has.

Even though he himself was a programmer back in the old days, he doesn't judge a person's worth based on "I could do this so easily by just...." instead he let's the developer make features happen more naturally.

Oh... and the important thing was, for the first several years, he ran Opera without taking on funding that would tear control away from him. Possibly his greatest success in running the company was to shelter his employees from the money guys and to never spend more than he has. That was utterly unique back in the late 90's when everyone else was living on futures and busting because of it. Instead, he only hired people when there was money in the budget to allow it. And the budget was based on the income.



500 million huh???

by that reckoning, safari will be 1800 million, chrome will be 3000 million, and firefox 4500 million...

and NO, YOU prove the numbers...

the forums at TechCrunch show the real story..

At least other browser forums dont ban people for disagreeng with desing decisions... they would just say "download this addon, it will do what you want... :)

Thumb Up


Opera reaching 500 million does not necessarily mean that those numbers will be true for other browsers.

Remember, Opera Mini in particular is growing very fast in emerging markets (the most populous countries on the planet). 500 million isn't that far off, especially since Opera's audited financial reports show more than 200 million users currently.

Other browser forums do ban people for disagreeing with design decisions, if people disagree by being obnoxious and inflammatory. I frequent the MozillaZine forums, and they have zero tolerance for nonsense. They will ban you if you don't shut up and calm down.


They may have a lot of "users"...

...but most of them are on mobile, and growth is largely as you say, in "emerging markets". All the stats are consistently saying that their market share- as in, how much their browser is actually _used_ compared with others- is declining or at best flatlining:

Now, I expect you to come back and contradict that, telling me that all of the web stats are too skewed to the West and don't take account of emerging markets. Even if that is the case, at best it means that Opera's market share is certainly shrinking in the West. And that's even with its massive growth on mobile platforms.

It doesn't matter what the "audited financial reports" say, what actually counts is people using the browser. Show me anything (that's not produced by the company themselves and has [citation needed] written all over it) that details this massive growth they're experiencing.

I've had this argument before (possibly even with you), and I expect a strong reaction as before. If you're going to argue with me, I ask only two things- 1. That you link to credible third-party data backing up your claims, and 2. That you come out from behind your Anonymous Coward label to show you've got nothing to hide. The second is probably optional, but will give you significantly more credibility. I won't even bother responding to you if you don't at least address point 1. And personal attacks that question my own leanings or agenda don't count as useful argument.

Just to clarify, I express nothing here except what the publicly available data show. I'm not anti-Opera, nor pro- any other browser in particular. I just want the wild claims that are often made about Opera's "user base" to be properly examined.


@Christopher P. Martin

Emerging markets are the growth markets. It's where everyone is trying to gain a foothold, and Opera is doing so with more success than most.

And it is false that they are declining. In fact, they have grown so far this year:

And this is bearing in mind that the countries Opera is big in are severely under-counted by StatCounter (as confirmed by their Twitter rep).

Audited financial reports are required by law to be true, and Norway is extremely strict there. It has a left-leaning prime minister, after all. The fact is that Opera has more than 200 million active users.

You can choose to ignore these facts, but then I'm afraid I can't help you.

Thumb Down

It may have grown so far this year...

...but the share is still down from a high of 27% in October 2009 to 22.7% now. And it dropped by a tenth of a percentage point in the last month, as is helpfully shown on the page you linked to:

Thank you for at least citing third party data as I asked. Additionally, these are only the stats for mobile. As indicated in my previous post, the market share is dramatically smaller and the decline more significant on the desktop.

You have also confirmed my point, that the emerging markets are under-counted therefore Opera market share is shrinking in the West. As for the "audited financial reports" that you often go on about, I still don't buy it. They may be required by law to be "true", but auditors are not IT experts and are easy to slip things past by sleight of hand. I'm not saying they're lying, just that they're probably selecting their statistics very carefully. Until we see the complete source of their data, we can only rely on third party reporting that has no self-interest in inflating the figures. The relatively recent financial collapse of several supposedly "audited" companies bears this out.

Finally, until you come out from behind your AC mask I will assume that you work for Opera. Perhaps you're part of their PR team, or just maybe a passionate employee, but your AC status isn't good for your credibility.


@A C 28th June 2011 07:30

Sure, there are the juvenile posters, and those who do flame wars about market share...

But you dont need technology to find out!! just say "opera" to the average internet savvy guy...

"huh?? oh yes I'm studying 'La traviata' "

"what? oh yes, she interviewed diana ross.."

say "firefox" and see what they say......

As Christopher P. Martin says it is mostly for the mobile/mini opera, for those who want to use their *ancient* mobile phone...

that's a bit like counting all the horns on wheeled vehicles, PLUS those on pushbikes!!! ROFL



Not sure what you are trying to say here...

Complaining about the name is just silly. That more people know about Firefox after Google promoted it heavily through their online ad monopoly is only natural. Had Opera been given the same support by an ad monopolist, it, too would be where Firefox is now.

Those so-called "ancient mobile phones" are completely dominant, and aren't going away any time soon. In addition to that, even mobile operators in the west are dropping unlimited data plans, making compression even more important.

Face it, you don't know what you are talking about.


AC: you still dont get it....

I am not complaining about the name!! call it anything else, fjord, viking, hammer... even netty!! :)

I have been using opera since 3.6, and have never seen any attempt to collaborate in the extreme level that Mozilla Firefox has... in fact it has always been a problem when Google upgrades its code, Firefox *always* works, but opera never does, varying from crashes to strange graphical displays, to just some elements not working... losing yet more fans, who see FF rendering these properly, even though they are not 'proper spec'.. another 'fiddle' to keep FF users happy..

I have always advocated opera, but they really 'broke' it after 10.5, anyone who did not like their 'pet new project' were 'removed' for talking too much about how good the old one was... so I'm mostly using FF and dolphin.. opera only for the very simple stuff - it freezes otherwise... a shame really..

Opera staff does not seem to want to protect it's designs, even though they are obviously incomplete!! FF has taken them, and vastly improved upon them, where any wants or complaints to opera about this results in ignorance or discipline... losing yet more users to FF. ..

"ancient mobile phones" argument is stupid, they are not being made any more... they will soon die, or be upgraded... and I bet opera would upgrade its mini browser, exceeding their capabilities - leaving the old phones to die... they would just say "get a new mobile, then you can run our fantastic NEW version!!"

They have already done as much with very old versions of windows....

are you an 'adobe flash' fan?? it is just the geeks and conspiracy peeps that are not... the teenagers do not care, they want their flash games, moving content, etc, that all need it, and cannot bear the slow and buggy alternatives.. guess what mobile browser does not have flash??

or are you in one of those countries that only has 5 yr old mobiles??

I think the problem is maybe they value their 'internet standards' (W3C or no??) , their 'pet' UI yes, it is very good, but they tend to make *huge* changes,


(cont) AC: you still dont get it....

.... they tend to make *huge* changes, removing features that first brought users to opera... one excuse was so it would look better in mobile... ??? huh dunno really...

latest one is totally changing the way speeddial works, meaning more conversion and grumbles about being how bad it looks... more going to FF....

This topic is closed for new posts.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018