With browsers, we have both the most important and subjective decision of our digital life. An increasing dependence on web-based software makes the browser crucial, and the myriad of choices leaves us wanting for very little. Usually coming down to IE or Chrome, since Safari is happy to stick with Macs, the other choices often aren’t even considered by many.
One of those contenders is Opera, a quiet little dynamo from Norway. Having always been fast and smooth, it just got quite a bit better. The new version is now built on Chromium, the open source framework for the Chrome browser.
Opera already had a really nice engine behind their browser, so why switch to Chromium? It turns out the IE versus Chrome decision may have been having an adverse effect on their place. From the press release:
The new Opera for Windows and Mac runs on a Chromium engine, so you can access all your websites in a blink of an eye and have a smoother experience when you get there, thanks to improved site compatibility.
Opera Press release
Site compatibility is paramount for a browser, and Opera had struggled in that arena. Chrome is wildly popular, stable, and built on an open source platform. Like so many do with Android, Opera has taken something wonderful in Chromium and put their own little spin on it. Things like “Stash”, which allow you to store web pages for viewing later, are an Opera service its fans are used to seeing, and will continue to hold onto.
For Opera fans, this is great. Retain all that you love about your browser, and get added compatibility. We’re not sure if this means other compatibility benefits, like Chrome Web Store, but building on Chromium could yield some interesting results. All in all, a smart move for Opera.