Microsoft or Google to buy Opera?

There are some rumours going around that sound quite unlikely to me, but you never know. In Microsoft buys out Opera, Robert Nyman links to an article with the same title at CoolTechZone: Microsoft Buys Out Opera.

A couple of links to other rumours of Opera buyouts have been posted in the comments to Robert’s post:

Interesting, but I don’t think Microsoft or Google will buy the Opera web browser (assuming Opera actually is for sale). Sure, Microsoft could buy it just to stop development and get rid of a competing product. But Microsoft using Opera technology to replace or complement Internet Explorer? Hardly.

And what about Google? It doesn’t make much sense either, considering that they’ve hired people from the Mozilla team and actively support Firefox.

I think these are just rumours, but it’s still interesting to think about what Microsoft or Google buying Opera would mean. What do you think? Is there any truth to these rumours, and how would that affect the web?

Posted on December 23, 2005 in Browsers, Quicklinks


  1. I could definitely see Microsoft being highly interested in the mobile technology Opera has, but as you said, in regards to the Opera browser as we know it on desktop systems, I don’t see it complementing IE either..

    Plausible, but unlikely. I am not expecting to see Opera be bought by Google either, to be honest. Time will tell.

  2. It may be a negative move and not necessarily done for either firm to benefit from existing technology. As with the AOL/Microsoft deal the other day, it has been seen by many to be a move by Microsoft to simply cut off Google’s expansion. Maybe this is a cynical attempt to cut Opera out of the market and ‘replace’ or converge elements of it with IE7 when it launches. The same would apply to Google’s thinking. I think things are maybe getting a little tactical at the top…

  3. No, no-one’s gonna buy Opera.

  4. Opera has already denied these rumours according to zdnet

  5. Andy:

    Wasn’t the AOL deal with Google?

  6. From the Dvorak article: “..there have been offers to buy Opera before by big companies with big budgets and no matter the offer, the CEO has turned them down.”Opera is his baby”.”

    Now there’s the best proof I can find! How could you sell your baby?? Oh, how I love Opera :)

  7. I would suspect Google as being the more likely of these two rumours (I could see that happening!!) I doubt Microsoft will see Opera as much of a good investement (Whereas Google probably would!)

  8. Google I might be able to stomach (barely), but a Microsoft acquisition would make me absolutely sick. I was glad to see the rumors squashed.

  9. When I read this, I figured I’d beat all of them to the punch and buy it myself. But the Opera web site says you don’t have to pay for it any more. So maybe Microsoft and Google are a little confused?

  10. For a second I thought Microsoft could use some of the codebase from opera, but even too that wouldn’t make sense. That would put all their efforts into IE7 worthless. I’m sure the IE7 developers would be pissed too.

    If Microsoft did plan on buying Opera, then they’re a bit too late. They should have thought about that a year ago.

    And google…didn’t they make their own browser?

  11. Adam:

    Yep I got mixed up. I still think the point is valid though; strategic takeovers and alliances are becoming more and more popluar with the big guns - Adobe/Macromedia, Yahoo/Flikr, Microsoft and any company with anything vaguely interesting…

    I couldn’t see Microsoft wanting any of the code. They’ve got a different approach to their internet development, where propriatory coding lives happily ever after in a little fairyland on the MSN.

    Although by the sounds of it, this buyout doesn’t/didn’t appear to be on the cards.

  12. December 23, 2005 by grumpY!

    opera, the tool everyone loves but no one uses.

    lets make this easy - every race ultimately becomes a two horse race. safari and opera will never be more than rounding errors in the browser market.

  13. I love Blake Ross take on this :-)

  14. @Jeroen,

    That was the first thing I thought when I read about it too. If Microsoft were to buy Opera, I find it most likely that they would just scrap the “normal” Opera web browser and focus on the mobile version. For a long time, Microsoft have been trying to get a hold of the handheld market to no avail, so they buying Opera for solely that purpose doesn’t seem unlikely to me.

  15. December 29, 2005 by artMonster

    Here is your answer. “Opera Software chooses Google as search partner.” Probably were talking to MS as well..

  16. Please do not believe. Opera is worthless for Microsoft. It is really bad browser. There are too many versions and all of them buggy. Every version works different. Google can buy it. If Google buys it, it will be the first browser. You can’t belive how fast.

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