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..enabling schools to register multiple licenses at a fraction of the regular price, has become a success for Opera Software. Universities are signing up at an impressive rate..
..some of Opera's more well-known educational partners now include The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, Harvard Law School's Berkman Center, the University of Illinois in the United States; the University Of Darmstad and the University of Cologne, both in Germany; and the University of Cardiff, Wales.
Well done Opera!
And personally, I don't see Opera as being that much better, considering all the recent security holes and unwillingness to support older versions.
Opera has a cachet because it is not IE or Netscape, but outside the tech community no one has ever heard of it.
But why should schools pay for a browser software when IE and Netscape are still free and IE is pre-installed on every desktop anyway.
Why should I pay for a hotel room when I can sleep in the street for free?
These guys have done their sums and for them (maybe not for every one) the total cost of ownership is lower and/or the quality of use is higher with Opera.
IE costs more time and resources -- those endless security upgrades; being unable to have two copies installed at once, so testing and migration is harder; significant bugs in its CSS rendering -- which may be important for classes teaching web design; etc.
Is all that worth a dollar to them? They obviously think so. I'd tend to agree.
Free browsers were used as busines weapons during the browser wars. The result was a pile of spaghetti code that may have been expedient, but it doesn't hold up well as the W3C moves us to standards.
A good browser is worth something - there's real value there that takes a heap of resources to develop.