I’ve been using Opera ever since my AI professor in college mentioned the browser in class – that was at least seven years ago. Opera has consistently produced an excellent browser, implementing brilliant innovations that the more dominant competitors eventually steal for themselves.
According to these stats, Opera seems to top out around 2% market share. Here is the problem:
- The average person is going to fall victim to Microsoft’s monopoly. They will blindly use the browser (Internet Explorer) that comes glued to the operating system (Windows) that they were forced to buy with their computer. Fortunately, times are changing.
- The more computer literate person (and there are more of these every day) is going to experiment with the most popular alternative: Firefox.
- The IT community has rallied around the Open Source standard: again, Firefox.
In this climate, it is very difficult for Opera to acquire new users. Anyone who gives Opera a try will find it to be a very stable, responsive, feature-rich, highly customizable, and polished software application. People can drive this Aston Martin of browsers for free, but they’ll never see it over the bloated hulks of the other browsers.
But that is not the reason Opera is dying.
Opera is going to take a long dirt nap because it does not have inline spell-checking.
The lack of this feature in the year 2007 is unacceptable. I’ve been using both Opera and Firefox simultaneously for some time, but I made an attempt to use Firefox exclusively because of this issue. Yes, I am aware of the attempts to hack inline spellcheck into Opera, but this is not the slick, integrated solution I am looking for.
The frustration, aside from trying to remember to switch to Firefox whenever I plan to type text into a form, is that this is really the first time that Opera has seriously let me down. Some of the improvements in the 9.5 Alpha look exciting, but I don’t see anything about inline spellcheck.
I searched around a little bit, but could not find any statement from Opera addressing this horrible oversight. And so, I am left to give a brief eulogy:
Here lies Opera,
A mighty fine browser in its day.
I’d write more for ya,
But can’t spel the wrods I want to say.