I know that a lot of people here would love to see Opera do a lot better than 0.7%, but it seems to be stuck as a tech-only browser. It seems that average users still don't even know it exists.
The key bit of the article for me was:
|Internet Explorer 6.0, rose faster than all of its competitors combined. |
For average users, IE is king. Even if you don't like M$, it will make things easier for webmasters. The big question is: how much will things change with the AOL/NS deal?
The newest test version of AOL(8.0 beta) did NOT include the Gecko engine as expected.
There may be NO AOL/NS deal!
Long live IE! :o
That's good (beta)news msr986! Thanks for pointing it out :)
I found these follow-up comments amusing:
|They added new smiley faces and the ability to change their color. That sounds like just enough of an improvement to qualify as a next major release! |
|You'd think AOL is secretly getting payed by microsoft to kill off Netscape. |
According to European stats, Opera is #2 in some European countries with as high as 10% of the market.
I wonder why it's #2 in some places and #nowhere in others - did it get to be #2 from good marketing in those countries, or is it simply #2 cos it always was and things haven't changed much? I don't see much Opera marketing going on is Australia (if any), maybe the browser-compliance situation would improve if there was a serious campaign.
So are you saying that some European countries sniff accurately but most other places don't bother?
And don't forget, by default Opera (Windows) id's itself as IE (and will even attempt to execute IE propriety scripts). Think of how many sites still attempt to feed browser specific pages - but only "sniff" for IE of Netscape and you will understand the reasoning.
Opera.com reports that there are now over a million downloads of their browser each month. That's not too shabby by anyone's definition.
With about 500 million users world wide as of 3 months ago (found the stats here [cyberatlas.internet.com]), and with only 10 million Opera downloads as of last month (from the Opera site [opera.com]), it's well below 10% world wide - 0.7% sounds closer to the mark as some people download more than once. So those few European countries are exceptions. I still wonder why Opera is so much more popular in those places.
"10 million Opera downloads"
I still think that many of these dls will be designers and the curious the world over. Everybody in my office has a copy of Opera 6 on their machine (and many at home too) for compatibility testing and the like. However, not one person here uses it for browsing.
Brett, have you got some links that list these European countries where Opera is #2 and some stats?
I think there are two reasons, why people use/update to MSIE 6.0
It's pre-installed on XP (right?)
The latest security updates are/might not be available for MSIE 5.0 or 5.5
It's on the CDs/screen shots/articles of computer magazines they read
Microsoft has/puts more money on advertising
Reasons why other browsers are miscounted: Identifying themselves as a different browser
What everyone should do: Download the rare log files and check the user agents for the HTML files that have the content.
The easiest solution is to make your pages cross-browser friendly
Heise Online (German site) had an [url="http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/uma-28.03.02-000/"]article[/url] back in March regarding IE6, Netscape and Opera usage and detection. Their own stats report 7.8% of their visitors using Opera (6.5% using v.6).
Download.com also is reporting increased downloads of Opera as well as listing some interesting user feedback. Opera has a higher approval rating (votes by visitors) than IE, all Flavors of Netscape and Mozilla.
Personally, I know of quite a few, non-tech people who have begun using Opera as their primary browser. And yes... skinning does appeal to a significant percentage of users.
What Opera has going for it here is the ability to easily create your own skins. I know it does not seem important to the majority of us... but in the world of consumerism and pop culture, it's a huge advantage! It's just one of the non-tech related features that is helping Opera gain market penetration.
I've introduced alot of people to opera, though only a handful have stayed with opera, which include my father who's been working with computers (electronically since the 70's). And my youngest brother who has been using a computer for 6 months.
However, my other borther who has been using computers all his life, hasn't made the switch and still uses NN, and the rest from big internet users to programmers, are still using IE, hence stuck in their ways.
Opera is definetly growing, and more site creators are becoming aware of the HTML validity issues, because of it. Why validate for opera, becuase the rest bar mozilla, strive to be as good
I'd like to point you to some other thing:
Many people (if not most part of users) just don't bother themselves trying new things (browsers in our case). They are conservatives and quite satisfied with what they got. And what they got is default software installed on their systems. Opera will never become as famous as IE until it will have the equal chances of distribution (and it doesn't concern Opera only).
I'm dediacted Opera user for about 2 years already, starting from v.3. It's my primary browser since I discovered it's brilliant features that are missing in competiting products. But when I talk to others about it, I often get a reply like this: "Well, it's fine, but I don't really need/care/bother myself to try it, what I have is enough".
It also seems to me that Opera promotion is the key of it's not so bright growth. I understand that a small company doesn't have enough resources to do it. But it seems the most important thing for now (after fixing all small but sometimes annoying bugs that exist in current version).
Here's an example of lack of promotion: many features implemented in new Mozilla were advertized loudly, but not so many people know that these things were implemented in Opera a long time ago.
What can we do to change this?
if opera does install as IE by default, then this is probably the biggest marketing cockup opera could make. by showing as IE in stats etc, webmasters are simply unaware of it's usage and will therefore not bother with browser compatibility and one very major link in the promotion chain is broken.
if opera installs itself as opera, webmasters will see it in their stats and might download opera to test it themselves. they might even make site visitors aware that the site is compatible with opera.
10 million downloads? 10% usage? not according to my stats .... i think that rather than ensuring opera compatibility, i'll spend my time adding an extra couple of pages to my sites ....
when opera can *prove* more than 5% usage through my stats, that's when i'll take it seriously and ensure compatibility ...
>if opera does install as IE by default, then this is probably the biggest marketing cockup opera could make
I think this was so they could grow under the radar of M$. They started this when M$ was ruthlessly crushing any and all competition and before they had to "make nice" because of the anti-trust suit.
I might be wrong on the reasons but that was always my impression.
A little home continent spirit going on over in Europe. Part of it is simple logistics and business practices. Opera has made some big deals with a few European companies that helped promote Opera over there. They also did some sort of mass magazine distribution over there that put an Opera cd in the middle. They are also bigger on mobile devices in Europe. That's especially true in the nordic countries where it's Opera's backyard. Opera is especially well suited for mobile devices because of it's low foot print and resource friendly nature.
|if opera does install as IE by default, then this is probably the biggest marketing cockup opera could make. |
This is not a decision based on marketing, but one based on usability. As I stated earlier, there are an unfortunate numbers of sites, some of them very large, that were built by short-sighted webmasters who only felt it necessary to sniff for IE and Netscape and ignore all other user-agents.
I do have my version of Opera set to ID as Opera, and I find it both sad and amusing when I come across a so-called professional site that fails to identify Opera (since they are only sniffing for the other IE/NS) and serves up a page prompting me to upgrade my browser to either IE4 or NN4 !!!
I won't name names... and a few of these "winner" sites have already been aluded to elsewhere, so perhaps the reasoning for shipping with ID as IE is a bit more clear now. It is also important to note that even when set to ID as IE, Opera is still identified in the full referrer string. The information is there for Webmasters to review.
Opera's marketing push is based on providing users with a feature rich browser with more power and flexibility than any other.