Friday, July 19, 2013

Is Opera slowly becoming more of a Chrome clone?

Instead of writing a post about a rather short and stale news article about anything that interests me in the technology world today, I though I might bring another opinion based article, with a little thought process involved. With Opera's new switch to Blink, is Opera destined to become a Chrome clone?

It's a good very question to ask since the recent track record of Opera Software ASA. They announced that they were ditching their Presto rendering engine and were going to adopt WebKit instead, and then refined their statement to say that they were adopting Google's Blink rendering engine. Blink, for those that may not know already, is the fork of WebKit that is already out and what Google is working on right now.
In fact, Opera 15 is based off of Chromium, the open source counterpart of Chrome. Chromium is usually where Chrome features are first tested before being put into the final product.

The fact that Opera is now based off of Chromium now bodes two things:
  1. Features in the old Opera won't be here until they are ported over
  2. The behavior of Opera is predictable now that we know what it is based from
Essentially, this means that those who want the old Opera for now should stick to their 12.x releases, and mobile users should stick to Opera Classic. I'm not saying that Opera isn't making an effort to bring back all of its old features, but right now I know there's a lot of features (especially on mobile) that are missing from the classic Opera. I hope get to work on bringing those back, because those were the defining reasons to use Opera.

Now for a topic that is the title for this article: is Opera slowly becoming a Chrome clone? I'd say yes, but right not it's too early in the game to give a direct answer. What we do know, however, is that Opera is based from Chromium and uses the Blink rendering engine. Opera can also install Chrome extensions, and vice versa.

I've yet to try Opera 15 on the desktop, but I have checked it out on mobile and it seems to be an okay browser, except for the first few days when it was released as stable but in fact was very buggy and crashy. Opera has yet to release a stable build of Opera 15 for Linux (which is disappointing since it has been weeks), but I'll have to boot into Windows to check it out.

What do you guys think? Do you think that Opera is losing its edge and is slowly becoming a Chrome clone?