Welcome to another edition of Opera Bytes.
As far as Opera Browser for desktop is concerned this has been a rather non-eventful month. Kestrel (Opera v9.5) is still few weeks away and details are still scarce. Earlier this week The Desktop Team provided some teasers about Kestrel in their blog. This release should please Linux and Mac users. Not only will Opera integrate better with these platforms Mac users would also get a refreshed UI. Kestrel is also expected to deliver significant performance improvements.
The real big news this month was the release of Opera Mini 4 beta. Since I don’t have GPRS/Edge on my mobile phone I wasn’t able to try it out, however it has received largely positive feedback so far.
This is a significant upgrade to Opera Mini and features many changes. Airlan San Juan did an in-depth review of Opera Mini at his blog. Do check it out. If you want to testdrive Opera Mini head over to mini.opera.com/beta. You can even test it before installing on your mobile phone using the Opera Mini Simulator. However please keep in mind that this is a beta version intended only for testing and it is still buggy.
Aside from that internal boardroom politics have also been making news over the past week. Reportedly Opera’s founder and CEO Jon S von Tetzchner dismissed the existing board members when they demanded a new CEO. Below are excerpts from Aftenposten (a Norwegian newspaper) :
Even though the company has millions of users of its Internet browser, Opera has lost large amounts of money over the years. Even though Opera’s share price jumped late last week, it’s fallen more than 60 percent since it reached a high of around NOK 35 in March of last year. A simmering shareholder revolt apparently prompted board chairman Nils A Foldal and board members Grace Reksten Skaugen and Ole Peter Lorentzen to support a change at the top. Dagens Næringsliv reported that Tetzchner, who personally controls around 15 percent of the company, responded by using his own shareholder power. Allied with the widow of Opera’s late co-founder and other key shareholders, they ousted Foldal, Reksten Skaugen and Lorentzen by proposing a new slate of board members.
Although Opera Software has so far remained silent on this matter, Opera employee Haavard Moen discussed the matter on his personal blog.
And finally, if there is any new widget (for Opera) that you would like to see, this is your chance. Opera India Team wants to develop countless number of widgets and are looking for ideas. It seems that either the folks at Chandigarh office are on steroids or they are really really bored.