Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Google got me to re-try Opera - Huh?

Earlier today, the Official Google Blog announced a new website called WhatBrowser.org.

The new website is a simple explanation of what a web browser is, and provides direct links not only to Google's Chrome, but also to Apple's Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox, and yes, the latest version of Opera.

To see Google continue to embrace 'basics' is refreshing.

There are brand new web users every day and tens of thousands of people worldwide discovering coding, search marketing, the latest Internet landscape and more each week.

Factually, there's a lot that many of us probably take for granted. Factually, it's not just kids that are just getting with the 'net.

Emerging countries rolling out broadband, seniors right here in the US, rural communities just getting broadband, and many other groups are just testing the waters for the first time.

The easier it is for them to get information (and reliable information about Internet safety and security), the better.

Opera has been around for a lot of years but doesn't get much press here in the states.  The browser is used extensively on cellphones and also PC's, particularly in Europe. While the market share is relatively low, the browser has, for the most part, always been good.

I gave it a fresh run today, writing this piece using it, and it's just fine on a PC with a few features not offered by other browsers ... (probably something that can be said about each one of them).

I'm not going to look for Google's motivation here.  (It's obvious they'd love if all of us used Chrome as it continues to evolve).  I just think it's great that a major Internet company is continuing to address newcomers.

To keep it fair, Microsoft's recent efforts with Microsoft Security Essentials, a 100% free virus scanner for PC's, was a good move as well.  While it may infringe on the 'pay-for' antivirus market a bit, the 'basic' anti-virus program release, just before the public release of Windows 7 (October 22nd) was important and smart.   Many newcomers, in this economy, simply can't afford a few extra bucks for still necessary add-ons.

Google's Browser Video is below.  While all of these browsers will see new versions emerge, it's a great starter kit!