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20 January, 2005

Why Opera?

"Schools jump to take up free Opera licence offer".


Okay, any shift away from IE is to be applauded, but Firefox is free anyway, to everyone. The ad-free version of Opera may be offered to education establishments for free, but anyone wanting to use it at home is still going to have to pay (or accept adverts).

I suppose my real question is: why does a paid-for browser have any market share, when perfectly adequate, comparible if not superior, alternatives are available for free? I've never understood that.


Maybe because the paid-for browser is seen to be better by the people buying it. For them a perfectly adequate and free browser isn't a good enough alternative. I may be biased but personally I don't think it is a high price for a program I use as much as a browser (and a mail client). I pay more for programs I use less and am less dependent upon.

Posted by Jonny Axelsson at January 28, 2005 06:01 PM

Maybe. Everyone has a personal preference, and that's fine, but I don't see anything rational in it.

I feel that in software development we're past the point of 'you get what you pay for'. In many fields, comparative testing based purely on objective, measurable factors irrespective of price has found that the free packages are the leading ones. Not because they're free, but because they simply do the job better than their competitors. ZoneAlarm would be one example; EAC would be another.

Hence, I don't understand the argument that a free browser isn't a good enough alternative for paid software.
Okay; I'll drop the euphemisms: I'm unaware of anything Opera can do that can't be replicated or improved upon by Firefox and its extensions.
Further, if there is anything Firefox can't do, the community of developers can be relied upon to produce an extension remarkably quickly - for free ;)

I don't think Opera is expensive, nor inferior to its competitors, but my point is that I regard paid-for browsers - any paid-for browsers - as inherently outmoded. I'm not prepared to pay even one one penny for such software.

Posted by NRT at January 28, 2005 11:20 PM
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