December 24, 2005 8:17 AM PST

Opera denies Microsoft takeover

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Opera has denied the latest takeover rumor spreading across the Internet, saying that it has not had approaches from Microsoft or anyone else.

Rumors surfaced on Friday that Microsoft is close to completing a takeover offer for the Norwegian browser vendor, having outbid Google.

"Our phones have been ringing off the hook," a representative for Opera said Friday. "But it's not true. We have not been bought, and we have not received any offers. It's just a rumor, like the Google rumor last week."

If Microsoft were to buy Opera it would effectively reduce the battle for browsers on Windows PCs to two contenders: Microsoft and the Mozilla Foundation.

Opera's market share has languished at less than 1 percent, compared with Firefox's 7.55 percent and Internet Explorer's 86.9 percent. However, Opera's mobile browser is installed on a growing number of mobile devices, and the company says that downloads of its desktop browser quadrupled after it launched the free version 8.5 in October.

Matt Loney of ZDNet UK reported from London.

11 comments

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Browser Stats Far Off?
Our counter over at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://htmlfixit.com/" target="_newWindow">http://htmlfixit.com/</a> (see sidebar at right) constantly shows Firefox/Mozilla Browsers over 40% of visitors. We use our own counter (free and $10 version available on our site) to get good accurate stats.

I hope Microsoft does aquire Opera and then replaces Internet Explorer with a browser that works and is standards compliant. It would make sense, wouldn't it?
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your website is not necessarily representative...
Just because visitors to your site are using FireFox 40% of the time
does not mean that your website is representative of web usage as
a whole. Your site would appear to attract more programming and
content developers, which would tend to have a higher rate of
FireFox usage than the general public.
Posted by stenar (29 comments )
Link Flag
Never gave this rumor much credence
Microsoft's internet browser technology is woven into their OS.

(This was the whole rationale of the original court trial - that
Microsoft had tied its OS to the browser so effectively, that it
made it very difficult for Netscape to compete, especially when
OEM vendors weren't allowed to pre-install other icons on the
desktop.)

For them to buy Opera, it would only be to pull it to pieces and
cannibalize its tech, but I really don't think they know how to do
anything that Microsoft doesn't already. Yes, Opera is leaner
and meaner, but it is not as encompassing or compatible as IE's
APIs.

Opera is no threat to IE in browser share (the Mac's Safari has
more usage) so buying it to remove a competitor makes no
sense either.

The *only* rationale that makes sense to me is to pull a leg from
underneath Google *if* the latter was interested in it as the basis
of a "Google Browser."

And this would get them back in antitrust court faster than you
could say "abusive monopoly."
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Christmas at Microsoft.
No Christmas at Microsoft.

If you goto their main page, Microsoft has ZERO Christmas imagery. Talk about chasing the global market at the expense of catering for its own.
Posted by Porkster (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Not everyone...
Not everyone (even in America) is a Christian. You Christ-lovers
need to learn to be tolerant of other faiths. Besides, we're now
living in a Post-Christian world.
Posted by stenar (29 comments )
Link Flag
No Christmas at a million other sites, too
What a stupid comment. Not every site updates with Christmas imagery. Sheesh!
Posted by Anonymous1234567890 (53 comments )
Link Flag
Excuse me, but...
... there is some sort of a law that sites have to display Christmas
imagery???? What about Hannukah???? What about Kwanzaa?? What
about just relaxing and find something serious to complain
about????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Gee, imagine that!
And, just to be fair, no Christmas at Sony, IBM, RedHat, Novell, or any other noticeable high tech company. Guess they are too busy tending to the one's and zero's to be bothered to succumb to pressure to "holiday-ize" their sites.

Grow up.
Posted by Milly Staples (24 comments )
Link Flag
Opera's GREAT!
I've been using Opera since v5, and it's been awsome. MSFT needs to brake the browser away from the OS, but they've painted themselves into a corner with the engines that power IE.

Opera as the default browser for windows would be a huge win for webstandards, but I can't see it happening.

If MS did buy Opera, it would be for thier embeded and mobile device OSes.
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True but...
...MS would not replace IE because of brand recognition. When people think IE they think MS. What would happen if this is true is the Opera would be canabalized and intergrated in to IE. The Opera developers would be set to the task of turning IE into the type of browser that Opera is today.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
 

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