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27 May 12 Opera is Facebook’s best browser play


Computerworld -

Facebook may acquire Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, developer of the Opera and Opera Mini browsers for desktops and mobile phones, according to a report.

The purchase of Opera would give Facebook a way to quickly create a dedicated browser customized for the social networking giant and its estimated 900 million active monthly users.

It would also put Facebook in the middle of a browser battle with Microsoft (Internet Explorer), Mozilla (Firefox), Google (Chrome) and Apple (Safari). Some of those companies — like Microsoft — have partnered with Facebook, while others — such as Google — compete in the social networking space.

U.K.-based technology website Pocket-lint first reported Friday that Facebook “is looking to buy Opera Software,” citing an unnamed source it described only as “trusted.” Other sites, including The Next Web, claimed that while their sources could not verify Facebook’s interest, they did say Opera’s management has been talking to potential suitors.

Both Opera and Facebook declined to comment on Pocket-lint’s report.

Opera is really the only top-five browser that Facebook, or anyone for that matter, could conceivably acquire.

Three of the five are locked into operating systems: Internet Explorer, with Windows; Chrome, with ChromeOS; and Safari, with OS X and iOS.

And Firefox, while not associated with an OS maker, is backed by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, which has used the “open Web” mantra since its inception. It’s hard to believe that Mozilla would sell Firefox to Facebook, a company that has reaped billions from a self-contained ecosystem.

That leaves only Opera.

But while Opera is the one viable deal Facebook could make, the Norwegian browser comes with its own baggage: It’s the fifth browser, and a distant fifth at that, in a five-browser market.

Last month, Opera accounted for just 1.6% of the world’s in-use browsers, according to data from metrics company Net Applications. Opera has never cracked the 3% mark, never been in anything but fifth place on the desktop. Even No. 4 Safari has three times Opera’s usage share.

And on mobile, the numbers are little better.

Even though Opera claims about 210 million Opera Mini users worldwide, Net Applications pegged the browser’s share of mobile at 12% for April, just half what it was a year earlier. Most of Opera Mini’s losses have gone to Apple’s Safari, the default browser on the iPhone and iPad, whose owners have a voracious appetite for the Web.

(Net Applications’ Irish rival, StatCounter, showed Opera with a 21.5% share in April, with Safari at 23.7%.)

That’s not to say that a Facebook-owned Opera and Opera Mini wouldn’t change those numbers: In the U.S., Facebook collects about one-in-every-five page views. If Facebook branded Opera and Opera Mini with its own nameplate and pitched them to its members, it could quickly boost the browsers’ shares.

Opera Mini also has an edge that could play to Facebook’s advantage: Apple refuses to allow third-party browsers not built atop Safari into the App Store.

But Opera Mini is already in the iOS App Store, managing that feat because it really isn’t a browser, at least as Apple defines one. Rather than render HTML locally on the device, Opera Mini is essentially a proxy that shuttles page requests to Opera’s own servers, which render the page, then aggressively compress it before sending it back to the device.

More: Browser Topic Center

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227516/Opera_is_Facebook_s_best_browser_play

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21 Dec 11 Google gives Mozilla lifeline as it renews Firefox deal


Firefox logosFirefox was once seen as the only significant alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Google has renewed a deal to remain the default search engine within Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.

The non-profit foundation said it had “negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement” with Google for the next three years.

Some analysts had predicted Google would back out of the deal as it tries to grow the market share of its Chrome browser.

Mozilla relies heavily on the income generated by search partnerships.

“Under this multi-year agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world,” said Gary Kovacs, Mozilla’s chief executive.

Alan Eustace, Google’s senior vice-president of search, said: “Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come.”

The foundation said the exact terms of the deal would not be disclosed.

In its accounts for 2010, the Mozilla Foundation said it earned $121.1m (£77m) from agreements with Google, Microsoft and others. The Google agreement was thought to make up about 85% of that amount.

Browser war

The previous deal, which ran out in November, was signed before Google’s Chrome browser had gained a presence in the so-called “browser war”.

Some internet monitoring organisations suggest Chrome has overtaken Firefox to become the world’s second most widely used browser, behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Many put this down to lavish advertising campaigns undertaken by the search giant across the world.

Chrome’s launch and subsequent growth has now put it in direct competition with Firefox, yet Google remains financially responsible for Mozilla’s survival.

Firefox 9, the Mozilla browser’s latest incarnation, was launched on Tuesday. Mozilla said it was “30% faster” than previous versions – a problem that has been cited by many users switching to Chrome.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16284196

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05 Dec 11 Google’s Chrome browser challenges Firefox


Google’s Chrome Web browser is gaining ground on Firefox, and one industry tracker says it may even have eclipsed its open-source rival in the global market.

Chrome was the world’s second favourite web browsing program in November, bumping Firefox from that position for the first month ever, according to StatCounter Global Stats.

Google’s Chrome had a 25.69 per cent share of online browsing last month compared to 25.23 per cent for Firefox, according to StatCounter. Firefox is managed by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) remained the dominant Web browser with 40.63 per cent of the global market, the findings indicated.

“We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally,” said StatCounter chief executive Aodhan Cullen.

However, internet metrics firm Net Applications on Friday reported that Firefox still clung to second place in the browser market although Chrome has steadily narrowed the gap through the year and was closing in.

Firefox was losing ground in the United States but held onto second place with 20.09 per cent of the market compared to Chrome’s 10.89 per cent, according to StatCounter.

Internet Explorer reportedly handled 50.66 per cent of American internet browsing.

Article source: http://www.cio.com.au/article/409257/google_chrome_browser_challenges_firefox/

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05 Dec 11 Google’s Chrome challenging Firefox


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REUTERS

Chrome was the world’s second favourite Web browsing program in November, bumping Firefox from that position for the first month ever, according to StatCounter Global Stats.

San Francisco – Google’s Chrome Web browser is gaining ground on Firefox, and according to one industry tracker may even have eclipsed its open-source rival in the global market.

Chrome was the world’s second favourite Web browsing program in November, bumping Firefox from that position for the first month ever, according to StatCounter Global Stats.

Google’s Chrome had a 25.69 percent share of online browsing last month compared to 25.23 percent for Firefox, according to StatCounter. Firefox is managed by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) remained the dominant Web browser with 40.63 percent of the global market, the findings indicated.

“We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally,” said StatCounter chief executive Aodhan Cullen.

However, Internet metrics firm Net Applications on Friday reported that Firefox still clung to second place in the browser market although Chrome has steadily narrowed the gap through the year and was closing in.

Firefox was losing ground in the United States but held onto second place here with 20.09 percent of the market compared to Chrome’s 10.89 percent, according to StatCounter.

IE reportedly handled 50.66 percent of US Internet browsing. – Sapa-AFP

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Article source: http://www.iol.co.za/google-s-chrome-challenging-firefox-1.1192276

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