|Allmennaksjeselskap (OSE: OPERA)|
|Founded||June 22, 1995|
|Lars Boilesen (CEO)
Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner (founder)
Geir Ivarsøy (co-founder, deceased)
Håkon Wium Lie (CTO)
|Revenue||US$ 300.1 million (2013)|
|US$ 67.5 million (2013)|
|US$ 60.3 million (2013)|
Number of employees
|1039 (2013) |
Opera Software ASA is a Norwegian software company, primarily known for its Opera family of web browsers. Across multiple platforms, Opera browsers have more than 350 million users worldwide. Opera Software is also involved in promoting Web standards through participation in the W3C. The company has its headquarters in Oslo, Norway and is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The company also has offices in Sweden, Poland, the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Iceland, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. Opera's stated vision is "to deliver the best Internet experience on any device."
On February 10, 2016, a group of Chinese investors made an offer of $1.2 billion ($8.31 per share) to buy the company.
Opera Software was founded as an independent company on August 30, 1995 by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy. The company was created to continue what was originally a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company.
Opera Software's first product, the Opera web browser version 2.1 for Windows, was released in 1997. Opera Software had an IPO in February 2004, and was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange March 11, 2004.
In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port the Opera browser to more platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000, included a new cross-platform core that facilitated creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.
Up to this point, the Opera browser was trialware and had to be purchased after the trial period ended. But version 5.0 (released in 2000) saw the end of the trial period requirement. Instead, Opera became ad-sponsored, displaying advertisements to users without a license, which was commonly criticized as a barrier to gaining market share. In newer versions, the user was allowed a choice of generic graphical banners or text-based targeted advertisements provided by Google based upon the page being viewed.
In 2004, Opera Software settled a lawsuit with an "international corporation" paying $12.75 million USD to Opera. It was speculated that the "international corporation" named in the statement announcing the settlement was Microsoft, which had previously blocked Opera users from correctly viewing MSN.com.
On January 12, 2005, Opera Software announced that it would offer free licenses to higher education institutions — a change from the previous cost of $1,000 USD for unlimited licenses. Schools that opted for the free license included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of Oxford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Duke University.
With version 8.5 (released in 2005) the advertisements were removed entirely and primary financial support came through revenue from Google (Opera's default search engine).
In August 2005, the company introduced Opera Mini, a Java ME based web browser for mobile phones originally marketed not to end users but to mobile network operators to pre-load on phones or offer for their subscribers.
In 2007, Opera filed a complaint against Microsoft in the European Commission, alleging that bundling Internet Explorer with Microsoft Windows is harmful to both the consumer and to other web browser companies. The complaint resulted in the creation of BrowserChoice.eu.
In 2012, Opera Software and Bharti Airtel signed an agreement to provide Opera Mini browsers to the Airtel mobile customers.
In 2013 Opera Software decided to not use their in-house rendering engine for the Desktop Browser anymore. From Version 15 on the Opera browser for computers would be using the Blink rendering engine, a fork of Webkit developed together with Google.
In April 2015 Opera Software decided to centre development of the Opera Desktop browser in Poland.
In September 2015, the company announced a rebrand with a new three-dimensional “O” logo and brand identity. In the process, the company logotype changed from "Opera Software" to “Opera”.
On January 20, 2010 Opera Software announced that it had acquired AdMarvel, Inc.
On September 19, 2011, Opera Software announced that it had acquired mobile application platform Handster, the leading independent app store for Android apps at that time, in order to strengthen the Opera Mobile Store's offerings to consumers, mobile operators and handset manufacturers.
On February 15, 2013, Opera announced that it had acquired Skyfire for $155 million. Opera primarily eyed the company for its video optimization technologies (such as its Rocket Optimizer platform), which would complement its own content optimization technologies.
On June 4, 2014, Opera announced that it is acquiring AdColony to bolster its mobile video ad capabilities. Opera is paying $75 million in cash for AdColony, plus potential earn-out payments of up to $275 million.
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