To all my friends and Opera users
By Jon S. von TetzchnerJon. Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7:00:00 AM
In April 1994, I was working in a research lab at what is today Telenor with my good friends Geir Ivarsøy and Håkon Wium Lie. Our group had already deployed the first Web server in Norway, which actually was one of the first 100 Web servers in the world and we had now turned our attention to discovering what new opportunities this medium might hold. Of course it sounds obvious today, but Telenor was one of the first companies actively exploring what we now take for granted and gave us the freedom and tools to explore.
The problem our team quickly faced was the browser itself. The Web and Web browsers were predominantly used on UNIX machines. We had several company-issued PCs, and the browsing experience was subpar to say the least. In fact, you couldn't even print Web pages from the Web. Early days indeed.
It took us about three months to decide on making the browser. The research team was divided if it could be done. Geir and I were very certain that not only could we compete, we could produce something better.
We had a bit of experience in this arena. Geir and I had already developed a multimedia editor for the Open Document Architecture (ODA) format. You could include video and other multimedia files and actually send everything through e-mail. This project taught us a bit about document handling, but more importantly that to keep the code small, light and fast, you had to think a bit differently.
We weren't familiar enough with Windows, so we started building on SunOS. In 6 months we had a prototype that even then included multiple document handling, the precursor to what we know today as tabs.
From there, the rest is history. In the 15 years since we began coding Opera I've seen many trends come and go on the Web. I'm honored that Opera has endured. We have endured because of you, the community of Opera users. You have chosen Opera and I expect that in the next 15 years we will work even harder to continue to earn your choice.
Thank you all for the great fun we've had thus far. I am excited for the future of the Web and the future of Opera. We have a long road behind us, but a much longer road in front of us. I hope you will join us for another 15 years of creativity and innovation.