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February 14, 2013

Opera Hits 300 Million Monthly Users, Looks Ahead to WebKit, Chromium

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Opera Software (News - Alert) recently celebrated a major milestone: reaching 300 million monthly users across its entire range of browsers, including its desktop, mobile and TV-based offerings. Much of the company's recent growth can likely be traced back to the Opera State of the Mobile Web report released in October, which stated that the use of Opera Mini had grown significantly in Peru, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti.

Indeed, Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, stated, "On the final stretch up to 300 million users, we have experienced the fastest acceleration in user growth we have ever seen. Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market."

This shift in gear includes making the gradual transition to the WebKit engine, as well as Chromium, for newer versions of its smartphone and desktop browsers with the aim of providing a leading browser on both Android (News - Alert) and iOS.

"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," said CTO of Opera Software, Håkon Wium Lie, in a statement.

"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."

Wium Lie went on to add that Opera has implemented WebKit in a number of research and development projects. In fact, one of these projects, codenamed "ICE" was made known to the public last month, though very little specific information was given. Wium Lie promised that more information about ICE, as well as other Opera R&D projects, well be made available at some point in the future.

Opera will be attending Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) in Barcelona this month, providing attendees of the event of a preview of its upcoming WebKit-based Android browser.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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