Opera dismisses Google takeover talk as rumor

Opera said it has not been approached for an acquisition by Google, and dismissed talk of such a move as rumor.

Opera Software has not been approached by Google about a possible acquisition, an Opera spokesman said Friday, dismissing rumors that Google is eyeing a takeover of the Norwegian browser company.

"These are just rumors. We have not been approached," said Tor Odland, communications director for the Norwegian company Opera.

The rumors appear to have stemmed from a blog posting Tuesday by Pierre Chappaz, a former head of Yahoo's European operations. "According to a source who is usually well informed, Google is close to acquiring the Opera browser," he wrote in his blog in French.

Officials at Google, in Mountain View, California, were not immediately available. A spokesman with the company's public relations agency in Europe had no comment to make.

One analyst said buying Opera would make sense for Google, particularly given its expansion beyond search and its apparent ambition to offer productivity applications over the Web as a service.

Google announced a partnership with Sun Microsystems in October, part of which included finding ways to expand the distribution of OpenOffice.org, the open-source productivity suite on which Sun StarOffice is built. The companies offered few details, but some analysts saw it as a move towards Google offering hosted applications.

"Having a browser would make it easier to do the software-on-demand type of proposition they are getting into with Sun and OpenOffice.org," said Mike Davis, a senior research analyst with The Butler Group, in the U.K. "From a pure design point of view, you want to have control over not just the back-end systems but the whole delivery process to the end user."

Google could also optimize its own browser for even faster Web searches, he said. "It would be able to produce something very fast and slick and accessible."

Google will inevitably have its own browser eventually, according to Davis. The question is only whether it will acquire one or develop it in-house, he said.

The company has already been rumored to be developing its own browser, he noted. "Buying an established one that already has a presence and a level of respect would be a sensible thing to do if it wants to continue its expansion outside search," Davis said.

Another analyst called the discussion a good rumor that's sure to "keep the perceived Google-Microsoft rivalry ratcheted up another notch."

"Whilst it may be difficult for Google to make any direct income from acquiring a browser, there might be the advantage that the company could package a browser pre-configured with Google goodies that it could then attempt to get PC suppliers to preload as part of the machines' base install," said Tony Lock, chief analyst with Bloor Research of the U.K.

"This would give customers an alternative to Internet Explorer, but one with Google 'preferences' rather than Microsoft's."

In his blog posting, Chappaz said such a move by Google would allow it to respond to Microsoft if the company were to integrate its MSN search engine more tightly with its Internet Explorer (IE) browser.

For its upcoming IE 7 product, Microsoft could take inspiration from Firefox and feature its search engine more prominently, Chappaz wrote. Google appears prominently as the default search engine in Firefox.

In a Nov. 18 blog posting, Chappaz also predicted that Yahoo would buy Del.icio.us. Yahoo announced that it had acquired the social bookmarking company on Dec. 9.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?