Opera to reinvent the web – web waits for fat lady to sing


----------------

By Sterling “Chip” Camden
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

In the David vs. Goliath battle of the browsers, Opera has always played the part of the mosquito – it preys on both of the major contestants, but it doesn’t eat much (although it has chewed out a nice niche in the mobile browser market).  You’ve got to admire them for having the guts to go up against Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, and now even Google.

Well, it appears that Opera’s hubris knows no limits.  Now they’re promising to reinvent the web, on Tuesday.  I can’t help envisioning a to-do list:

  • Sunday:  mow the lawn, fix broken down-spout
  • Monday:  pick up the cleaning, dentist appointment @2PM
  • Tuesday:  reinvent the web

Yeah, that’ll take all day.

Opera's reinventing the web

Seriously, though – that’s about all they’re saying on the subject – apart from a cryptic narrative in their Twitter stream that duplicates a comment in the page source for the announcement:

We start our little story with the invention of the modern day computer.

Over the years, the computers grew in numbers, and the next natural step in the evolution was to connect them together. To share things.

But as these little networks grew, some computers gained more power than the rest and called themselves servers.

Today, millions of people are connected together in a great web …

Tom Clarke speculates that this new innovation may have something to do with cloud computing, since the image on the site (shown above) displays a lightning bolt in the clouds.  He further guesses that it may have something to do with sharing more data across devices (bookmarks, cookies, history, etc.) via the cloud.

I think the folks at Opera might be even more ambitious.  I’m expecting something that runs in the browser and interacts with the cloud in ways that go beyond the traditional HTTP client/server architecture of the web as we know it (including Ajax).

Tomorrow at 9AM CEDT (1AM EDT), we’ll find out whether my prophecy proves proficient, or if I was hoodwinked by their hype.





50 Responses to Opera to reinvent the web – web waits for fat lady to sing

  1. Mobile Widgets! Probably just a widget runtime. Bring Palm Pre like functionality to a wide array of devices. Realistically this is within Opera's reach. They've had minimal user-storage in the past (favorites, pictures, etc). Now's the right time to push the 'cloud' concept with distributed apps. They already have some widget stuff, probably just marketing it more heavily, see here: http://www.opera.com/mobile/features/

  2. “…r if I was hoodwinked by their hype” – yes, this worries me too! Another cool idea I read is that they might have some sort of mini OS you can put on a USB key and boot from. You connect, sign in and then you have the same ‘desktop’ wherever you are. Unlikely, but it’d be cool.

    You say that you think Opera will offer something that goes beyond what we’ve seen before. But what?

  3. "…r if I was hoodwinked by their hype" – yes, this worries me too! Another cool idea I read is that they might have some sort of mini OS you can put on a USB key and boot from. You connect, sign in and then you have the same 'desktop' wherever you are. Unlikely, but it'd be cool.

    You say that you think Opera will offer something that goes beyond what we've seen before. But what?

  4. “You say that you think Opera will offer something that goes beyond what we’ve seen before. But what?”

    – conficker!

  5. "You say that you think Opera will offer something that goes beyond what we’ve seen before. But what?"

    – conficker!

  6. Whatever it turns out to be, I am sure it will make hardcore Opera users -/efficiency-/ happy.

    Maybe it will force some people to just dig into what the 5MB browser offers too.

    2moro comes 2moro.

  7. Whatever it turns out to be, I am sure it will make hardcore Opera users -/efficiency-/ happy.

    Maybe it will force some people to just dig into what the 5MB browser offers too.

    2moro comes 2moro.

  8. Reinventing the web to me would be peer to peer communications within the browser. I guess imagine the browser IS the IM client.

  9. Reinventing the web to me would be peer to peer communications within the browser. I guess imagine the browser IS the IM client.

    • Yes, in a disappointing sort of way — looks like you have to keep Opera open in order to keep the mini-server alive. I'll write another post about this as soon as I've had a chance to review it properly.

  10. Mobile Widgets! Probably just a widget runtime. Bring Palm Pre like functionality to a wide array of devices. Realistically this is within Opera's reach. They've had minimal user-storage in the past (favorites, pictures, etc). Now's the right time to push the 'cloud' concept with distributed apps. They already have some widget stuff, probably just marketing it more heavily, see here: http://www.opera.com/mobile/features/

  11. My guess is some form of uber thin client, web-backed OS. A small stripped down OS kernel (probably Linux) capable of running on very low profile net machines and also capable of running from USB drive.

    Everything else is in the cloud. By carrying your USB stick around you can turn any Internet enabled machine into your own “virtual” machine.

  12. My guess is some form of uber thin client, web-backed OS. A small stripped down OS kernel (probably Linux) capable of running on very low profile net machines and also capable of running from USB drive.

    Everything else is in the cloud. By carrying your USB stick around you can turn any Internet enabled machine into your own "virtual" machine.

  13. It sounds like annotations are going to get yet another try. Expect some noise about web 2.0ing the entire web or use of the prefix “meta-“.

    Just my guess.

  14. It sounds like annotations are going to get yet another try. Expect some noise about web 2.0ing the entire web or use of the prefix "meta-".

    Just my guess.

  15. i thought the headline read : OPRAH to reinvent the web on tuesday.

    *shucks* i was so excited too.

  16. i thought the headline read : OPRAH to reinvent the web on tuesday.

    *shucks* i was so excited too.

    • Yes, in a disappointing sort of way — looks like you have to keep Opera open in order to keep the mini-server alive. I’ll write another post about this as soon as I’ve had a chance to review it properly.