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OPERA SOFTWARE ASA
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OPERA SOFTWARE - one click ahead
Back in 1994, a group of researchers working for Telenor explored an early version of the World Wide
Web, noting that the software used to browse the Web was immature. The founders of Opera Software,
Jon S. von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy, envisioned a multimedia Web where text, images, and sound
FOCUS ON RESEARCH R&D FOR MULTIPLE
could be browsed from any device. No software yet offered these features, and they began developing
COMMERCIALIZATION TO PLATFORM
their own Internet browser software, naming it “Opera.” In June 1995, Mr. Tetzchner and Mr. Ivarsøy
IN THE DESKTOP
FOCUS ON INTERNET
In 2000, Opera’s growth The advances in Opera
acquired the rights to the browser solution and founded Opera Software ASA.
strategy started paying
7 made it possible to
In the beginning,
By offering the smallest off with industry
work on a new track
Opera’s primary focus
and fastest browser
with mobile operators,
was on making the
on Windows, Opera
signing up to
offering them the
smallest and fastest
browser with the
Desktop has also
called the “Opera
best user experience
advantages in the
for Windows PCs. In
new and fast-growing
on the traditional
September 1996, the
market for handheld
Opera changed the
role as a Web content
first version of Opera
Internet devices. Opera
business model for its
viewer, the browser
was made available
desktop browser from a can now turn into the
on the Internet as
shareware model to an
main start-up screen,
several new platforms
integrating the Internet
users could download
Success was immediate, with the device’s local
the browser for free,
and today more than
but then had to register
1.3 million people
and pay after a 30-day
a month download
continues, the Opera
and install the Opera
Platform will be a new
browser in their PCs.
main pillar to fuel
growth in all of Opera’s
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THE OPERA PRODUCTS
The Opera product portfolio is constantly expanding, but currently consists of:
THE OPERA BROWSER:
The small and fast browser with strong standards support with built-in SSR and MMR technology that reformats Web
pages and other content for all type of screen sizes. The browser is made available for all major operating systems.
THE OPERA PLATFORM:
Opera Platform enables integration of online content with local applications. The browser can function as a viewer for
local applications and be used to take control over soft keys. This enables the browser to be used as a home screen of
The mail client has been available for Opera Desktop for two years and is now being ported to other platforms.
By letting Internet traffic pass through a server located at Opera or with the operator, surfing speed can be significantly
increased. The server will reduce the size of images and text before sending the data out to the mobile surfer.
WEB AUTHORING TOOL - CDK:
With the Opera Content Developer Kit (CDK) developers can preview of how a Web page will look when browsing from an
Opera-equipped phone, crucial to Web developers seeking to make their sites look great also from mobiles.
THE OPERA PARTNERS
Over the years, some of the industry’s biggest players have signed up to Opera’s vision of the Internet.
These partners include:
INNOVATION DRIVING NEW PRODUCTS
At Opera, the spirit of continuous innovation is constantly nurtured -
offering new, exciting products to the market - as well as opening up
completely new markets.
Throughout this brochure we will highlight a few of the innovations that
continue to make Opera “The Best User Experience on any Device.”
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INNOVATING IN DESKTOP BROWSING
THE FOUNDATION OF SUCCESS:
Since the first public release in 1994, Opera has been recognized as a leader in user interface innovation on desktop
PCs. Opera has demonstrated its ability to focus on continued innovative leadership, developing many features
8 MILLION DESKTOP USERS
that have changed how millions of users work the Web. Some features other browsers have later copied, others still
remain unique to Opera’s Internet experience. Examples of Opera innovations are features such as mouse gestures,
Since Opera’s browser core is completely platform-independent, fans of the desktop version are also the backbone of all
zooming, integrated Google search, multiple document interfaces, spatial navigation and Fast Forward. By continuously
of Opera’s other business areas. These millions of users battle-test Opera every day on the real Web, reporting back bugs if
emphasizing providing users with new features and functions that make browsing more enjoyable, Opera is pushing
something is not 100%. Reported bugs are then fixed in the core, making the fix available on anything that runs Opera, for
the envelope on browser innovation.
example a smartphone on Linux or a PC running Mac OS.
OPERA - THE FASTEST BROWSER ON EARTH
“Just when I thought
For a typical user, a Web browser is merely a tool to view Web pages. However,
software had become as
other users recognize that this particular application is the central window to the
innovative as a bacon
Web, and they look for the best in quality and efficiency. At Opera we call this
Web savvy group for “power users.”
came along to prove me
wrong. There is software
Power users prefer using Opera for their home and professional Web browsing.
out there that is innova-
tive and that actually
These power users have been won over by Opera’s unique approach to coding,
makes things easier. It’s
the 5 Ss that guide all code development efforts:
a Web browser made by
a Norwegian company
SPEED: Opera is renowned for being the world’s fastest browser. Several
called Opera Software
independent magazine tests show that Opera is significantly faster than its
ASA and its latest incar-
nation, released last
month, is a real gem.”
SMALL SIZE: Opera is much smaller than other major browsers, and has a small
memory footprint - yet it is all that is needed to surf the Web.
February 5th, 2003 in
SECURITY: Opera features all the technology needed to provide users with the
The Wall Street Journal
best in Internet security.
STANDARDS COMPLIANCE: Opera supports all open standards needed to surf
the Web, markup languages (HTML and XML), style sheets (CSS1 and CSS2), as
STATE OF THE ART: Opera provides users with the latest in user interface
innovations to let users surf the Web faster and more comfortably.
Since its release in 1996, the Opera browser has built a cult following on the Web.
Millions of Opera fans adore and rave about Opera to others, get others to join,
report bugs to Opera, as well as provide invaluable problem-solving help to
other users. Just click on over to Opera’s community site, my.opera.com, and you
will see what we mean.
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REFORMATTING THE WEB FOR SMALL SCREENS
OPERA FOR MOBILE
Since 2001, Opera has focused on how to adapt Web pages originally developed for desktop monitors into
With Opera being a small, fast, cross-platform browser, it’s ideal for handheld
user-friendly content on smaller screens. The alternatives available until then were not very compelling:
devices. In 1998, Opera started focusing on the emerging handheld market.
1: Present it as you would on a desktop computer. This meant scrolling excessively to the right to read content.
The potential is huge. Currently there are around 600 million desktops in use,
2: Zoom. This gave a nice overview of the page and structure, but presented difficulties when trying to read text.
but over 1 billion cell phones - admittely not all yet capable of running a browser.
In 2002 Opera introduced its Small-Screen Rendering (SSR) technology that made it possible to reformat Web pages
for the small screens on handsets, eliminating horizontal scrolling on small-screen devices.
SSR proved a paradigm shift for Opera and the use of Web on small, mobile Internet devices.
THE WEB IS CALLING
For many years, developers tried to introduce new markup languages specially
made to display the mobile Web, such as WAP. WAP proved a spectacular
failure. The reason is simple: what made the Internet a success on PC`s was the
abundance of easily accessible information and services. Without compelling
content, the Web or any other type of Internet service is uninteresting to users.
WAP lacked compelling content and subsequently failed. With Opera, users
enjoy the full Internet experience, accessing all the favorite sites they know from
surfing on their desktop PCs. Thanks to Opera’s support for technologies such as
Street HTML, SSR, and MSR the enjoyment and use of the mobile Web is finally
reaching its full potential.
Opera is currently being integrated into phones coming from several handset
manufacturers, as well as being added directly on existing devices by operators
“. .[Opera’s]. .new software will help
all around the world.
transform the wireless web from a
misnomer into a reality.”
December 14th, 2002
“I think it’s absolutely
Michael Gartenberg, Research Director,
Jupiter Research’s Client Access
and Technologies Group
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SPINNING THE WEB INTO HANDSETS
Opera’s core is constantly evolving, offering the very best of support for the
industry’s open standards. In 2003, with the level of advanced support for
unveil the exciting new technology concept called the “Opera Platform.” The
Opera Platform expands the use of browser technology from just being an
application for Web viewing. On a handset, Opera can now turn into the
main start-up screen, integrating the Internet with all its content with a
device’s local applications, such as calendar, SMS, and e-mail. Using the Opera
Platform, Opera’s open standards browser technology now positions itself to
become a key technology component on any device.
THE OPERA PLATFORM
Traditionally, Opera has delivered the browser mainly as a viewer for Internet content to be used on mobile phones just
as a browser is used on a desktop PC. The Opera Platform extends the usefulness of Opera, something that will especially
excite mobile network operators.
Currently, average revenue per user (ARPU) is falling as a result of lower prices per voice minute, leading operators to
seek more revenues by increasing data traffic. In order to secure higher data revenues, users need to be offered new and
compelling services and content. The Opera Platform enables operators to place the services that drive revenue right
under their users’ noses, on the handset’s home screen. The personalized user experience stimulates usage, in turn driving
Using the Opera Platform, operators can now update millions of their subscribers over the air instantly with varying
information. Using only the same open standards that made Opera famous as a Web viewer, the operator gains complete
control over the phone’s user interface. Creating content is also a breeze, not more difficult than creating information for a
“The Opera Platform allows network
operators to bring online content directly
The Opera Platform puts the browser as the central component on the handset. It no longer matters what operating
in front of users, in a move that could bring
system the phone is using. Operators can now tailor all applications and branding through Opera - getting the whole user
mobile Internet into the mainstream.”
experience to revolve around the browser, with Opera getting as the phone’s central component. Opera not only fetches
Matthew Broersma, ZDNet UK
information from the Web, but also integrates with the phone’s back-end applications.
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MEDIUM - SCREEN RENDERING (MSR)
SSR was only the start of Opera’s reformatting technology. While SSR does a great job in generating user-friendly
versions of Web pages for today’s smartphone-sized screens, it is not a perfect solution for larger screen sizes.
In 2003, Opera therefore came up with a way to solve the problem of rendering Web content also on mid-sized
screens, ranging in size from PDAs used in “landscape mode” to low-resolution TV screens. MSR addresses all
these mid to top-tier devices, delicately reformatting content to fit the screen size, without having to resort to
horizontal scrolling or zooming.
MSR identifies the Web page’s content and adapts these different elements individually to fit on medium-sized
screens. Original fonts and colors are kept, and the design and style is left virtually untouched.
Opera’s MSR innovation has already been delivered to several partners and has been met with enthusiasm from the
OPERA FOR iTV
The interactive TV (iTV) business area in Opera develops browser and
presentation engine software for set-top boxes (STBs).
A STB is a device that enables a television set to receive and decode digital
television (DTV) broadcasts, and it can also become a user interface to the
Internet. A STB is necessary to television viewers who wish to use their current
analog television sets to receive digital broadcasts.
Opera provides solutions for both low-end STBs that do not have the ability to
integrate Internet access, as well as more advanced high-end STBs that open for
interactivity. For the low-end STB Opera is delivered as a presentation engine,
while the high-end STB also can get Opera as full-featured browser. In both
instances Opera can also be used as the primary graphical user interface to
navigate channels and other forms of dynamic content not presented within the
browser, just like the Opera Platform is used on mobile phones.
Opera has a strong development effort in iTV, preparing for the growth in the
digital TV market expected in 2006/2007.
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MULTIMODAL: WEB TALKIN`
As devices become smaller, modes of interaction other than keyboard and
stylus are a necessity. Present and future devices will greatly benefit from
the use of multimodal access methods. Multimodal access is the ability to
combine multiple modes or channels in the same interaction or session. The
Opera sees a wide range of future opportunities for
methods of input include speech recognition, keyboard, touch screen, and
its technology in a variety of markets. Some of those
industry can develop cheaper and better solutions with
stylus. Depending on the situation and the device, a combination of input
markets can already be seen today, in others only time
modes will make using a small device easier. For example, in a Web browser
will demonstrate the use of Opera’s technology, and some
on a PDA, you can select items by tapping or by providing spoken input.
markets do not even yet exist.
Similarly, you can use voice or stylus to enter information into a field. With
Potential market opportunities in the health industry
multimodal technology, information on the device can be both displayed and
include companies that supply solutions to individual
Opera foresees opportunities within appliances such as
doctors, as well as larger solutions for hospitals.
In 2001, IBM, Motorola, and Opera submitted its proposal for a new open
WI-FI enabled devices, consoles etc. The console can
standard to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The open X+V HTML
potentially navigate or help the refrigerator order groceries.
In the future, doctors might choose to visit their patients
standard combines IBM´s Voice XML standard with Opera´s support for
The same console might inform users about a new dish
and have all the patient journals with them via a server-
XHTML. X+V will provide a way to create multimodal Web applications. In the
from a “cuisine multimodal portal.”
based system, filling out a prescription directly to the
future, Opera and IBM will license technology from each other to assist their
pharmacy via their Webpad.
separate clients in building and promoting multimodal applications.
Multimodal applications in the automotive industry
span from vehicle navigation systems in the consumer
Airlines are now including various entertainment and
and commercial space to fleet management in the
information features on longer flights, such as on-line/
on-screen interactive services (accessed via touch-screen,
“As we move further into the pervasive
buttons, or gamepad).
computing model, where our phones,
Navigation systems can offer drivers the opportunity to
handhelds and even cars become our
access information visually and by voice in a “hands-free”
With Opera, airlines can provide the passengers with
gateways to information access, the
environment. For instance, if you are running out of gas,
different entertainment packages via their system, and
ability to interact with technology in
you can give a voice order to the dashboard: “Gas stations,
passengers can access the entertainment menu and gain
the most natural and convenient way
please!” The multimodal browser responds with a list of
access to the full Internet, all via the remote control and
possible will be key. Together with Opera,
options retrieved by a portal based on your location from
using Opera’s spatial navigation.
one of the leading providers of browser
the on-board GPS.
technology, IBM aims to build an
interface that will allow technology to
adapt to end users, rather than forcing
Different building automation systems can be controlled
them to adapt to technology.”
visually and orally, such as access control, elevators, energy
management, security, air condition and heat control,
Rod Adkins, General Manager, IBM Pervasive
lighting, metering, and security applications.
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Who knows what wonders will come out of Opera’s development tomorrow
. . or maybe even tonight? What is for certain is that Opera has concentrated
the biggest brain cluster in browser technology today in its Norwegian and
Swedish offices. Over the next few years, Opera’s developers will continue to
bring dazzle and excitement to millions of people all around the world.
MAKE GREAT SOFTWARE
Opera’s technologies continue shaping the fast-paced Internet, telecom and
iTV industries. Our developers get continuous praise from media and millions
of users for the quality of their coding and the browser’s overall design.
Industrial partners recognize Opera’s development team for their outstanding
commitment and professional project management.
Opera strives to maintain this lead in Web technology by employing the very
best people in the browser world today, as well as training new employees into
Opera’s unique culture of innovation. Employees are recruited from all around
the world, currently Opera’s staff is made up of people from 19 different nations,
adding up to around one-third being non-Norwegian. Opera is headquartered
in Oslo, Norway, with a development center in Linköping, Sweden.
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THE SLIM LADY SINGS...
Opera is today a household name in the Internet industry. Considering the
company’s small size and lack of an advertising budget, this is no small feat.
Instead of spending vast sums on advertising campaigns, Opera has relied on
media relations and word-of-mouth. Top technology journalists around the
globe take note when Opera releases new versions, many of them being users
and fans themselves. Likewise trade journalists start discussing the implications
when Opera introduces new innovations to the market, like Small-Screen
Rendering and Opera Platform. In these Opera-centered articles, Opera’s
executives are frequent interview subjects, and are also invited to comment on
more industry-wide articles, like the introduction of new Internet standards or
proposed legislation on software patents.
Being a mass-consumer product for desktop computers, and as such a classic
“David vs. Goliath” (Opera vs. Microsoft) story, has certainly helped this effort
a lot, but in the last few years the company has also gained considerable
recognition for the momentum it is enjoying in the mobile Internet market.
In its marketing effort, Opera has proved, just like it has proved with its browser
application, that smallness is not necessarily a hindrance to success and