Vivaldi- A New Web Browser from Former CEO of Opera

Recently Microsoft announced a new web browser code named Spartan for Windows 10 and it is still under development. Before the release of Spartan, we now have a new web browser called Vivaldi, from the former CEO of Opera. The new web browser is for power users and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

The new browser, which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, is still in its early days, but offers a number of features that loyal Opera users may remember. It sports mouse gestures for browsing and the familiar “speed dial” interface that shows your favorite tabs on the new tab page.

"Most browser makers in the market are trying to make a limited browser, maybe with extensions. But that is not what everyone wants," von Tetzchner said. "As an example, there are still about 20 million people still using Opera 12, even though that browser is more than three years old. There is a need for a browser for the tech user, the user that wants more from their browser."

Von Tetzchner evidently thinks there's money to be made correcting what he sees as Opera's missteps. In 2014, when Opera closed its My Opera site for blogs, email, online chat and forums, Vivaldi launched its own community site to pick up the My Opera refugees. With the Vivaldi Technical Preview 1, the company hopes to attract disgruntled Opera browser fans and, like other browser developers, make money by referring people to search engines that share the resulting search-ad revenue.

There are lots of nifty little features already built in, including tab previews and the ability to move tabs to any corner of the browser window. At first, I thought the Quick Commands tools (which works a bit like Apple’s Spotlight) wouldn’t be all that useful, but once you start using this feature, it quickly becomes part of your routine, and I actually missed it when I went back to Chrome.

It’s still missing a couple of features I need for everyday use, though. There is no bookmarks bar yet, for example. You also can’t install any extensions yet, either (though Vivaldi already has the hooks for that built in and will enable them in one of the next previews).

Vivaldi is more than just a throwback - the UI looks flat and cool, like picking up your friend's Windows phone and realizing the blocky and bright Metro UI is really fresh compared to iOS or Android. What's missing from the Windows phone is any selection of apps, so it will be interesting to see as we test out Vivaldi if it feels like it's missing the extensions of Chrome and Firefox.

Despite tough competition from the likes of Google's Chrome, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari, Mozilla Corp's Firefox and Opera Software's browser, von Tetzchner believes there is still room for more. 

"We welcome everyone, but this is first of all a browser for people who expect and need more," he said. "There is without a doubt a demand for this type of browser even though I don't expect it to take more than a few percent of the total market."  Vivaldi has signed a few affiliation deals ahead of the launch and is in talks with several potential partners for functionalities like search and online shopping. 

"We have made several deals and have started a dialogue with others. But because some of these are potential competitors, we've wanted to go live with the browser first." 

Vivaldi is a desktop app, available now in Tech Preview for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Deb, and Linux Rpm. To follow updates, the browser has an official Twitter account: @VivaldiBrowser

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