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Actually, if Opera continues to develop and add new features as it has, I think it will.
There is an anti-Microsoft crowd growing. Proof of that is the huge popularity of Linux. Old school die-hard Unix geeks don't think much of Linux, in fact, for many old schoolers, Linux is a joke.1
But the fact of the matter is, more and more people want a change. They don't know where to start, they know they just want an alternative to Microsoft. They start with Linux because, among other reasons, it's not MS.
I believe Opera is going to grow with the "anti-MS" crowd. People don't want a huge ap that takes a lot of space and crash their operating systems. Even though computer hard drives have gotten bigger, people want a small program that do the job FAST.
And Opera fits the bill. It is much smaller on a hard drive and is ~blazing~ fast.
So, my answer is yes. Just wait.
1This is not to start on a "this unix version vs that unix version" discussion. There are many unix versions that are out there used by many people. Each unix version 'guru' rips on everyone else who uses *anything* else. I believe use whatever to get the job done. -G
The other day I went thru a rather lengthy process of filling up an online shopping cart and at the last minute before checkout, found that the cart wouldn't work with Opera (at least not how I had it configured at the time....but I'm still not sure how I COULD have configured it to work).
Had to open IE and go thru the whole shopping cart process all over again.
I sent them a feedback asking them to consider other browsers in their shopping cart design, but I suppose it could have been my fault. It HAS happened before. :)
Opera is now available for Linux, Mac, BeOS, Psion/Epoc, and a few other Operating systems. This represents a major leap. Being able to provide a browser for people across the spectrum gives them "sticking" power between work and play. Most of us have heard the hue and cry from Linux folks over Netscape/mozilla's Linux ports - from stability issues, size/speed, to display issues, NN has gotten tired and Mozilla is the "slow boatware to China". Opera very well could become the #1 browser on Linux this year. Everyone knows how much Mac folk dislike Microsoft and look for excuses not to use their software - Opera may be that excuse.
If you've noticed more sites seem to validate these days, you are correct. Almost all of the major sites on the net have been cleaning up their woeful html the last six months. Why? Opera is now free and they can test their pages in it. It is now rare for me to write a website and ask them to clean up their html. A year ago, I did it 10-30 times a day. If you look close, you can tell this is all the "opera effect" of having a free version out there that webmasters can look at their site in. It has also help Opera Software monetarily (they are now above 100employees).
The Opera user base grows by 25k per day and is now over 2 million strong. That put's it's installed platforms over that of WebTv and makes Opera a lock on the 3rd most often used browser.
They are tired of MSN competing with them. Opera is gaining support from cheery ISP deals.
IBM, AMD, and Psion have all endorsed Opera as an embedded client. That's pretty impressive when two of the major players endorse and embed Opera. They say there are many more deals like this set to be announced. Opera for Aol? It _could_ happen.
The ill fated Opera 4 had serious growing pains to the new code base. 99% of those problems have been fixed in Opera 5. Opera 5 is now close to the best code Opera has every put out. Stable and blazingly fast.
They said Opera didn't have a email client - they added that.
They said it didn't support Java - they added that.
They said it didn't do plugins - they added that.
They said it didn't run on the Mac or Linux - they added that.
They said Opera 3 didn't support CSS2 like IE - they added that in Opera 4.
They said Flash/Shock was tough to install - they embedded that.
They said it didn't have an instant messenger - they added an icq client.
They said the company was too small to survive - they added people.
They said Opera 3-4 didn't show enough pages out there - they've address that.
They said no major players would support Opera - They added IBM, AMD, Macromedia/flash, and Sun's Java.
They said no company could produce a browser that wasn't free - they've laughed all the way to the bank.
Looks like the critics are running out of things to say about the browser. That's clearly a commitment to do whatever it takes to keep progressing.
Opera a major player?
They already are.
I am using layers and have 4 external CSS files which load depending on what browser they are using.
I tried setting opera's settings to identify itslef as IE but the layers are misaligned and no matter how i try to identify i never seem to be able to suss it out.
This is the beta version on a mac so perhaps I am being too hasty?
And yep, the mac version is actually in Alpha state yet. They have a ways to go, but it is my understanding it is the same current html engine being used. You should be able to use the exact same css for IE as Opera or as Mozilla.
Basically it is because i have a form within a layer that it doesnt line up with the layer next to it. You can fix it in IE but then NN throws in extra spacing etc. I solved this by creating 4 styles mac - IE/NN pc - IE/NN it all matches up to pixel precise alingment...UNTIL Opera!
If I chahnge opera to indentify itself as IE it should use the IE style sheet but it doesnt and the alingment is out of whack! I tried all the other settings but they dont seem to recognise the layers at all.
Maybe I need a more complex browser detection script?
it's why I've never gone the browser detection route...I'm a lazy blighter and don't like having to rebuild scripts each time a new browser becomes popular
apparently Konqueror is getting a lot of converts these days...it could soon be a four way tie
plus, at some point somebody is going to build a text to speech browser for mobile phone users...and that will take off damn fast