Well, we can follow one Opera story after another. Opera has announced 300 million active users, but the big news is that they’re moving from Presto, their own rendering engine, to WebKit. With Safari, Chrome, and now Opera now using the engine, well over 40% of the internet will be displayed through Webkit. The main motivation for this move is likely cost – contributing to another engine is cheaper than maintaining and building your own.
“The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need,” says CTO of Opera Software, Håkon Wium Lie.
“It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout.”
The debate in the web development community is how this is going to affect the web landscape. With the this many major browsers using WebKit, monoculture is the buzzword being thrown around. An argument to this is that Opera was never in position to prevent monoculture anyway.
300 million isn’t a bad number of users, and this releasing of development staff to new projects could potentially mean more features and innovation with the browser interface.
Regardless, Opera is starting to become an interesting company to watch again. Yesterday we reported Opera’s share structure will make it easier for an acquisition. And on the development side, less recourses focused on the backend and more talent ready for new projects is a good position to be in. Our Oslo readers should keep us posted if they see any Facebook lawyers at the airport.
Read more at their press release here.