The one million download challenge of Opera 8: Opera’s CEO will swim from Norway to the USA

Oslo, Norway – April 21, 2005

An overly excited Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, OperaSoftware, today proclaimed at an internal company meeting that if the downloadnumbers of the new Opera 8 Web browser reach 1 million within the first four days ofthe launch, he will swim from Norway to the USA with only one stop-over for a cup ofhot chocolate at his mother’s house in his home country, Iceland. Opera’scommunications department could obviously not resist to make such a bold andinarguably over-confident statement public.

Opera’s new Web browser, Opera 8, was released Tuesday, and the massive response hadOpera’s download servers kneeling an hour after the launch. Still, the downloadnumbers of Opera 8 reached 600 000 in the first 48 hours.

“A lot of people had great difficulties downloading Opera 8 on Tuesday because thetraffic on the servers was simply too high,” says Carsten Fischer, VP Desktop, OperaSoftware. “When download numbers reached 120 per second one hour after the release,our servers had serious problems dealing with all the requests. We had prepared forheavy traffic, but this exceeded our wildest dreams.”

Opera has now installed additional servers with increased capacity, and it was thedownload counter showing 600 000 downloads in 48 hours that sparked Mr Tetzschner’senthusiasm and thus his courageous promise to boldly swim where no man has swumbefore.

“I am not sure he realizes how cold the Norwegian Sea is in April,” says AnneStavnes, Human Resource Manager, Opera Software. “However, having seen Jon in his redbeach attire before, I am not sure if swimming to the USA is scarier than exposingpeople to this sight.”

Opera 8 is launched under the campaign heading “Speed, Security, Simplicity” tofirmly position Opera as the fast, secure and easy-to-use browser. However, Opera’scommunications department clearly sees the potential for two parallel campaigns withtheir CEO’s daring act of oceanic bravery:

  • Opera 8: Speed, Security, Simplicity
  • Opera’s CEO: Speedos, Shrinkage, Spoke-too-soon-icity

Speculations are running high at Opera Software, and it is expected that making vonTetzchner’s promise public will make it impossible for the courageous CEO to back out.The challenge will end on Saturday at 0900 a.m. CET, but as we are now moving intothe weekend the download figures will be revealed on Monday at