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Friday, December 23, 2005

Microsoft & Opera Browser

John Dvorak sees in Microsoft's announcement that it wouldn't upgrade the Internet Explorer for the Macintosh, leaving that market segment to apparently languish and gravitate towards the Safari browser and Firefox as to be watched carefully . Microsoft does not give up markets with a whimper. Something is brewing. The smart move for the company would be for Microsoft to discard the entire code base of Internet Explorer and buy the Opera browser (from Norway) outright and use it instead. Cooltechzone reports that an insider reported that both Microsoft and Google were trying to bid on Opera, but in the end, the software maker took the lead... Perhaps the most desirable feature that Opera has to offer is its mobile version of the browser. Thus far, it’s the best mobile browser currently on portable devices, and it will surely give Microsoft an easy entry into the mobile market, especially as that market continues to flourish gradually. John is right in his assessment that regaining momentum in the browser business is important to Microsoft since the browser has quietly become the mechanism of choice to lead people into search engines If this happening, the biggest loser might be Mozilla Firefox since many consider Opera to not only be the best browser available, but the fastest and the one with the best page rendering engine.
My Take: Despite all these positives, I still think that Microsoft may not be buying a browser - considering the various operational issues it is having across the world with different regulatory environments in bundling/unbundling the browser from Windows. IE has not lost any significant marketshare. Unless Microsoft wants to keep it as a standalone browser - not an easy option to consider.

Update : Opera denies any takeover talks ever happened.

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