Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Opera Software - Roundtable

Earlier this month I got invited to be a part of the round table with Mr Bruce Lawson who is the deputy CTO at Opera Softwares. The agenda was to discuss their global strategy to bring the next billion online and the relevance of its products and technology in the Indian market. This event took place in Taj Vivanta on 5th of February. 

Bruce started by saying that India and China along with neighboring states have around 4 billion people of which most people are still far from having a smart phone. Most of these people also stay in area which are yet to get internet connectivity. He pointed that Opera's mission of fast, affordable and secure browser can help all people adopt internet in a much better way. 
Speaking of the Digital India program, Bruce appreciated the governments idea to connect rural India with a strong internet backbone and explained that it was important for them as a browser to connect with people who do not speak English. Opera is now available in 13 Indian languages. An Opera WiFi car also went across various villages in North India to let people get a feel of browsing on a smart phone. Opera has also tied up with most of the low cost smartphone manufacturers to give the app pre-installed with the phones.
Speaking of smart phone users, Bruce said that each phone on an average has 36 apps of which 25% apps are never used. With increasing number of apps it becomes difficult to accommodate too many apps on the lower end phones. Opera supports progressive web apps in such cases where the app is just a link and uses very less space on the phone. So any webpage that supports mobile view can take the advantage of this feature of Opera. 
Opera has a datacenter called Thor that actually shrinks the webpages and send it to the browser. So for every request issued by the browser, Thor collects responses from the websites and once complete, it compresses the webpage by over 50% sends data to the browser. This helps in lesser data usage.
Picture Credits: A tweet from @Opera handle
Bruce also went over Opera Max which has the ability to cache and control background data usage. There is also a provision to connect to VPN using this browser. And while going over this, Bruce told that Opera has made its 2048th commit to the Chromium project. 

After a quick round of Q&A the roundtable concluded by networking with Bruce and the marketing team of Opera over lunch.

You can follow the latest updates from Opera on their twitter handle - @OperaIndia

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