Opera goes free

Yesterday, Opera Software simultaneously released Opera 8.50 and made the ad-free version of the browser free of charge. Making the browser free should increase Opera's marketshare, forcing web site owners to take Opera more seriously.

Opera 8.50 also introduces Browser JavaScript, a set of compatibility hacks for a small number of web sites and popular scripts. Microsoft has used this strategy successfully for operating system upgrades, and it will be interesting to see how well it works for Opera. Like Firefox, Opera already has a quirks mode and encourages users to contact broken sites. One potential drawback of including Browser JavaScript is that web site owners might expect Opera to fix incompatibilities that they would otherwise fix themselves.

Opera users who liked the site-targeted Google ads should not continue using Opera 8.0x because it contains known security holes, but they are invited to switch to Firefox and install Adbar.

A high-level changelog for Opera 8.50 is available.

7 Responses to “Opera goes free”

  1. Amadeus Says:

    What security holes? I havent heard about this, neither is it on Secunia (since the last time I checked which wasnt to long ago). I think that may be falls information…

  2. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    I said “should not continue using Opera 8.0x because it contains known security holes” because http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/850/ mentions seveal security fixes.

  3. Amadeus Says:

    ahh oki, nevermind, misread

  4. foobaz Says:

    Hi Jesse,

    I think everyone should know that the latest Windows install program of Opera (8.50) will install the Ezula trojan as well. I attempted to install it yesterday (10/19/2005) and Pest Patrol immediately alerted me that the Ezula trojan had been detected. I now must scan the entire drive to be sure – not something I like to do. I have contacted Opera about it and will post their reply, if any, here. I can’t believe they’d stoop that low, especially given the hype about no adware. Yeah, right!

  5. Jesse Ruderman Says:

    foobaz, that’s probably a false positive. See http://forums.spywareinfo.com/lofiversion/index.php/t14251.html.

  6. James Says:

    IMHO this would be a good way to prod broken sites into *fixing* themselves, rather than the other way around. All you have to do is display a big fat warning when the broken sites are fixed, perhaps in the Information Bar or similar. It could say “This website is broken. [Browser] has fixed it for you. [more info]” Users wouldn’t be too annoyed; the information bar is relatively unobtrusive and they might even be impressed “hey, [Browser] fixed this website for me automatically, cool!” OTOH, no self-respecting web designer would stand for every user to see that bar at the top of *his* pages, proclaiming how broken they are. And if they could examine what exactly the problem was and how it is fixed by simply clicking on the bar, then it would be a piece of cake for them to fix it (which of course would remove the bar immediately). This would in fact be a great way of sending a message to broken sites.

  7. o01i Says:

    wooo hooo!!!!