Browsers: my experience with Opera

I’ve started to use Opera browser lately, and I’m quite satisfied with it. I decided to give it a try when I found I was having too many distractions during my workday with Chrome. 

Chrome has recently changed the new tab page in a direction I’m not very happy with. Each time I open a new tab page now I see something that resembles the Google homepage, with no possibility to tweak it. 

I see tools on the top right side to access Google apps, I see the Google callout for whatever action happens on my Google plus profile, and more recently I discovered they also introduced a little moving element to alert for you to discover what’s the today’s google doodle. 

I thought for a minute: “ok let’s try to change all this stuff into the settings”. But then I realized I was actually being offended by the way Google changed my new tab page. Thinking about my typical working day, the new tab page is very important to me. I think it’s one of the pages I view the most, a very important portion of what hits my eyes every day. Of course Google too knows that, and they thought to put the hands on something so important to me after attracting me with an awesome browser.

Ok, that’s fine. Chrome is awesome, they are moving the web ahead, not without some suspiciousness to me, but does this give them the right to do whatever they want on my new tab page? And even worse, how badly are they playing this card? Just to make me fall into their own social network? Not a nice move to me. 

You could argue that I can always choose another browser if I don’t like that. And In fact that’s what I’m doing. And I’ll probably come back to chrome very soon. It’s actually impossibile to not use Chrome for certain tasks, I expect that. Google docs may be one of those reasons. I expect that the complexity those browser apps may require tradeoffs on the javascript side which would make it very hard to support all possibile browser vendors. I’d understand that. 

What I don’t understand is the lack of respect. Do they ever think there’s a human in front of the screen trying to do his job in the browser? It’s like being invited on a buffet party, where somebody else decides what you can and what you can’t eat. Not funny. 

Coming back to Opera, I like that mainly because:

  • it looks like a clone of Chrome.
  • it’s using the same rendering engine, even developer tools are the same
  • new tabs arrange themselves nicely on tabs bar
  • they use favicons on the tabs bar
  • it’s fast
  • there are addons for few of the tools I was using before

Give it a try. Happy browsing!


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