Opera Cofounder Launches A New Browser Called Vivaldi

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Vivaldi launched a new browser on Wednesday with the same name, adding one more name to the growing collection of boutique browsers hoping to take share from the big names in the business. The Vivaldi browser was in beta for about 14 months and reached version 1.0 on Wednesday.

Vivaldi focuses on customizability

On one hand, the new browser is billed as a “modern classic,” while on another, it is seen as “throwback.” Some of the former Opera engineers formed a team to create this browser, with Opera cofounder Jon von Tetzchner heading the company. In 2011, Von Tetzchner had a disagreement with the board of directors and other managers, after which he left Opera.

“We set out on a mission to make web browsers powerful again. Vivaldi 1.0 is both a throwback and a look ahead. It’s a ‘Modern Classic’ designed to help our users get the most out of all the time they spend with their browser,” said Von Tetzchner.

The browser stresses customizability and has made available a large number of options in the Preferences pane of the browser. Google’s Chrome adopted a similar perspective nearly eight years ago, and the growing popularity of mobile devices amplified it.

Simplicity reigns in this area. Others too have adopted streamlined user interfaces (UIs) and curtailed feature sets since then. Microsoft Edge and, to a lesser extent, Mozilla for Firefox are included in them.

Generates revenue from affiliate deals

Vivaldi used the Blink rendering engine, a part of the older Webkit that Google branched out in 2013, says the report. Opera too relies on Blink, while Apple’s Safari retains the WebKit engine. Both Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge use in-house grown renderers.

The fact that Vivaldi depended on Blink not only smoothed development for the company, but at the same time, it meant that users will be able to install and run extensions designed for Chrome. Microsoft and Mozilla both plan to have a similar kind of support for Chrome add-ons, “another element in the market’s covert surrender to the increasing dominance of Google’s browser,” the report says.

In an email to Computer World, von Tetzchner said, “We generate revenue from affiliate deals. This includes search and select bookmarks.”

Microsoft’s Bing is the default search browser of Vivaldi and the bookmarks are to a variety of websites. Similar to Chrome, Vivaldi also supports Windows, OS X and Linux. The browser is available for free on Vivaldi’s website, and for Windows and Linux, browsers are also available in 64-bit and 32-bit versions.

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