April 22, 2005 10:14 AM PDT

Big splash for Opera?

The chief executive officer of Opera Software has said he will swim from Norway to the United States if 1 million copies of the company's latest browser are downloaded within four days.

At a company meeting in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, said the company's servers were feeling the strain after thousands of requests for the latest version of Opera's browser.

Carsten Fischer, a vice president at the company, said that the demand for Opera version 8, which was released on Tuesday, had "exceeded our wildest dreams."

"A lot of people had great difficulties downloading Opera 8 on Tuesday because the traffic on the servers was simply too high," Fischer said. "When download numbers reached 120 per second one hour after the release, our servers had serious problems dealing with all the requests. We had prepared for heavy traffic, but this exceeded our wildest dreams."

The Mozilla Foundation's free Firefox browser, which was launched late last year, saw an estimated 2.5 million downloads in just two days. Two months earlier, the first preview release had reached the 1 million mark within five days.

To help satisfy the demand, Opera has added additional servers and increased its capacity. In the first 48 hours after its release, the browser was downloaded about 600,000 times, the company said.

Anne Stavnes, human resources manager at Opera, joked that she was more worried about the CEO appearing in his swimsuit than his swimming ability.

"I am not sure he realizes how cold the Norwegian Sea is in April," she said. "However, having seen Jon in his red beach attire before, I am not sure if swimming to the USA is scarier than exposing people to this sight."

The four-day deadline falls on Saturday, but Opera says it won't reveal the download numbers until Monday.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

25 comments

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The story got the facts upside down
The CEO will swim if the download number DOES reach a million.
Posted by (2 comments )
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I could do a better job than this article's author
Please hire me :) I don't invert facts!

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/04/21/" target="_newWindow">http://opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/04/21/</a>
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
News.com Author Takes $40K in Kickbacks from Unknown Source
I used to be the accountant for the author of this article, Munir Kotadia. I now refuse to keep him as a client when I learned that he was paid $40,000 to publish this article with false information about Firefox. Mr. Kotadia told me that he received the money from "a big company in Washington". He told me "they are running a smear campaign," and defended himself saying, "it's just business." The News.com editors should be more careful who they hire.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Actual press release
Mr Tetzchner is supposed to swim across the Atlantic if Opera does reach 1 million downloads in 4 days - not if it doesn't.

Here's the actual press release from Opera -

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/04/21/" target="_newWindow">http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2005/04/21/</a>
Posted by (1 comment )
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Story fixed
Thanks for calling our attention to the wording. We've amended the story accordingly.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
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Firefox download numbers are wrong.
Firefox reached a million downloads in a couple of hours, not 5 days, and reached 2.5 million downloads in 2 days, as cnet itself reported earlier: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Google+stars+in+Firefoxs+new+browser/2100-1032_3-5449172.html?tag=nl" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Google+stars+in+Firefoxs+new+browser/2100-1032_3-5449172.html?tag=nl</a>. The ten million mark was surpassed within a month.

The Firefox figures quoted in this article apply only to the preview release of Firefox. Since that release was not intended for the general public, one million downloads in five days was astounding. By comparison, the Opera 8 betas never reached 1 million downloads, even in 4 months' time (see <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.opera.no/pressreleases/en/2005/04/19/," target="_newWindow">http://www.opera.no/pressreleases/en/2005/04/19/,</a> which says "Opera fans welcomed the previously released beta versions of Opera 8 with download numbers reaching nearly one million," and <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.techwhack.com/616/opera-browser-8/," target="_newWindow">http://news.techwhack.com/616/opera-browser-8/,</a> which quotes the release date of Opera Beta 1 as December 24).
Posted by (1 comment )
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Funny, an article on this very same site contradicts your facts.
C|net is going down the toilet in terms of journalistic professionalism.

Check this article:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Google+stars+in+Firefoxs+new+browser/2100-1032_3-5449172.html?tag=nl" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Google+stars+in+Firefoxs+new+browser/2100-1032_3-5449172.html?tag=nl</a>
Posted by (1 comment )
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Firefox had a million downloads in less than a day
Please. Journalism 101: double-check your facts before you print. Firefox is drastically more popular than you give it credit for.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Why is it...
Why is it that when a newspaper gets facts like this screwed up, a retraction is printed and the offending reporter is sactioned - and online, sites like News.com never utter a peep about the mistake?

I say this because I have done work in the Journalism field, and some online news outlets tend to have real issues when it comes to setting the record straight when they get their facts mixed up...
Posted by (2 comments )
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The Height of Laziness
Lazy journalism includes not checking facts before publication, I don't know what to call it when you don't even check figures that your own organization has previously published.

Just another reason why News.com is becoming a standing joke in the industry...............
Posted by tony.arnold (1 comment )
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Article Misrepresents Actual Firefox Download Stats
You know why Mitchell Baker, President of the Mozilla Foundation, which develops the Firefox web browser didn't lower herself into a volcano when
Firefox 1.0 was downloaded over 1 million times in the first 24 hours (NOT in 5 days as you suggest)? Because she didn't need to. People were already excited about firefox as evidenced by spreadfirefox.com. Firefox downloads speak for themselves except when you misquote them.
Posted by (1 comment )
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The facts are wrong. Goodbye C|NET
I have been a long-time reader of C|NET news and all of C|NET's other holdings but such a blatant error in your article about FireFox "took five days to hit the 1 million download mark" is just sickening.

I have held C|NET in high regards for a very long time as a quality source of tech news. Unfortunately, this kind of error (being that this article passed through C|NET's editors) is enough to make me leave C|NET for good. Even my not-techie boss knew that FireFox reached a million downloads in hours, not days.

An error of this magnitude makes me wonder: how many of the thousands of other articles I have read on C|NET contained errors like this?

A site that I once recommended to everyone I shall suggest no longer.

Reputation lost. Farewell, C|NET
Posted by Cole Montgomery (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox
not FireFox
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
...
I'd also like to point out that this is clearly slandering FireFox. C|NET, you might want to get this corrected rather fast.
Posted by Cole Montgomery (2 comments )
Link Flag
Tabloids?
Like with SO many other's, my take on the write up "Big splash for Opera" was a farse and an insult to journalism. I must agree with Chase B. and Cole M. as they have both "hit the nail on the head" with their observations and comments on this mis-informed (the ever popular media trick that has come to be known as "MIS-DIRECTION" or the more suitable term "SPIN") artical... I'd have to say that rather then calling it an artical, said piece should be refered to as a "story", where one would find it in the FICTION section at the local book store. Your reporting has now sunk to the depths of "CNN" or dare I say "FOX" like reporting reputation for reliable information. Even after being notified of errors, c|net still couldn't get it right. Political parties hold conventions and diners during election years for their supporters ... What I'm trying to get at is(more of a quip then an accusation) but 'Was there a "generous donation" made to c|net NEWS.COM by ..... (insert other browser builders name here).'?
Posted by sime (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox deserves your respect...
I can't believe that you don't even have enough respect for Firefox that you didn't even check your sources. There are many hard working people that are making Firefox the best browser available and you had to go and provide the figures for the beta release rather than the 1.0 release. I think that is an insult to all of those people. I expect that you want to make this right and will issue a statement within the article saying you were incorrect and not just quietly cover it up by replacing a few words.
Posted by (1 comment )
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It's a lie
The Firefox download numbers are simply not wright, you should have looked after them, first. It took Firefox 24 hours, to have 1 million downloads.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Firefox numbers corrected
Thanks all for helping to set the record straight. The story did originally indeed give the wrong numbers for downloads of Firefox. The numbers have been corrected, and links are now provided to earlier News.com stories with the relevant details.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank you for fixing it
Thank you for correcting your error in your later
article, although it would not have been
entirely inappropriate to add an "our bad" on
your part. Very unintegrial, but at least your
corrected yourselves. Adding a note in this
curent article to future readers amending your
error and forwarding them to the new article
would also be acceptable.
Posted by Stoned4Life (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank you for fixing it
Thank you for correcting your error in your later
article, although it would not have been
entirely inappropriate to add an "our bad" on
your part. Very unintegrial, but at least your
corrected yourselves. Adding a note in this
curent article to future readers amending your
error and forwarding them to the new article
would also be acceptable.

Edit- My bad (See, that was easy) Didn't notice
the (c) commentor. Thank you.
Posted by Stoned4Life (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera 8 versus Firefox 1.3
I've got them both and have tried ALL the browsers. Opera 8 comes out tops. I've been using Opera exclusively for years now. It's only the best! Cannot be beaten!
Posted by (1 comment )
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