Buying a Browser

Album Cover: New Skin for the Old Ceremony

"You told me again you preferred handsome men, but for me you would make an exception."
Leonard Cohen / Chelsea Hotel #2

Posted on November 15, 2004 8:18 PM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

In an article at the E-Commerce Times, Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox is quoted as saying about the Opera web browser:

Opera is not free. Firefox is free. But people will pay for Opera if they see value.

I disagree. It's one thing to give Internet Explorer a run for its money through grassroots marketing and the promise of a more secure browsing experience. It's another to convince people who can browse for free that they should instead pay $39 to do so.

Just so I can end on a positive note, though, I do have to give Opera props for a sweet website.

Comments

KR on November 17, 2004 at 6:13 AM:

I paid my $39 for Opera a couple of years ago, simply because it moved a lot faster than IE or Mozilla on the system I had at the time. Since then, I've paid an additional $15 for an upgrade and don't regret it. IMHO, Opera still runs faster and smoother than either IE or Mozilla/Firefox on most sites. I use it for about 70% of my browsing, FF for about 20% and IE for 10%.

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Bernie Zimmermann on November 17, 2004 at 2:19 PM:

KR, don't get me wrong. Opera is a great browser. I've always liked it, just never enough to see it eclipse my Firefox (and at one time, IE) usage. In the grand scheme of things, though, I just don't think charging $39 for a browser is a good business model. In my opinion, they will never surpass Microsoft in the browser share department with that particular model, whereas I see a faint light of hope for the Firefox model.

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Arcanius on November 17, 2004 at 10:23 PM:

But Bernie, Firefox doesn't have a "Business Model" - It has a market share model with a chance of succeeding, but thats note exactly a business. Although I wouldn't buy it, if they make money with their model, then it is quite a good business model, even if they only have a very little market share.

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KR on November 18, 2004 at 1:23 AM:

Opera will always be a tiny (and fiercely loyal) niche market, like Macs. I don't expect that to change. It will never take a huge bite out of IE's or FF's share, especially since they are free. I just like to have something that works better *for me* even if I have to pay a little for it rather than get it at no cost. I don't think anyone at Opera harbors illusions about their market share. The community and support is pretty awesome there, BTW.

I remember back in the early 70s paying a *lot* more for certain types of motion picture film stocks, just because they had a hard-to-define "something" I preferred over cheaper film. Sometimes you just have to go with what works best for you, even if it costs more. ;)

Back when I paid for Opera, Mozilla was still a clunky, crash-prone "work in progress" to say the least. That factors into my Opera preference and experience, I'm sure. Opera is still only a 3.5 mb download, emailer included. For someone like me on dialup, that makes a difference. I saw the value and got out my plastic. Another sales point for me was/is that Opera has a LOT of skins to choose from, unlike FF's few dozen or so. (BTW, I like your GrayModern, which is how I got here in the first place.)

Thanks and best wishes!

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