13. July 2013

Back in May, I posted a bit of a rant after Opera released its new browser generation as Opera Next, which was only a barely-concealed Google Chrome clone. Yes, it was the first browser actually using the Blink engine and yes, it is really fast – but that’s about it. All the great features of the older versions are gone and the user interface is so minimal that there is not even a proper bookmark system.

In June, Opera had announced that they were “working on improving and re-introducing certain features.” and also sort of apologized for having to build a completely new browser, because yanking out the Presto engine out of Opera 12 and putting Blink in was technically not possible. Now it’s July and Opera has deciced to release Opera 15 as a sort of final version – but it seems that my optimism was a bit too premature, because Opera 15 is still exactly the same as it was at the end of May. No bookmarks system save for a barely functioning addon, only a barely functioning speed dial, a “stash” for sites and a useless discover function. No opera:config, no sidebars, no customization. Fortunately Opera 12 is still available, but with this strategy Opera is going to alienate a lot of its users, which are already really disappointed.

And now that Google has updated Chrome to version 28 and finally integrated the Blink engine, the last reason – speed – to use Opera 15 has gone. Chrome is now exactly the same as Opera, has about the same memory consumption, a working bookmark system and much more. It does not have the great user interface of Opera 12, but why use Opera 15 when Chrome does it better? I don’t know what’s going on inside of the company at the moment, but if this trend continues, Opera is going to loose a lot of its relevancy.

My hopes of getting Opera 12 with the Blink engine seem to be too high, so there’s just one thing: use two browsers until Opera gets this mess fixed. I won’t say it may never happen, but who knows?

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