1994: the year that started it all

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Opera browser’s origin

Oslo, Norway – April 28, 2009

Fifteen years ago, two computer scientists sat at their desks in a research lab in what is today Telenor, Norway’s telecommunications incumbent, itching to begin a new project. They were going to build their own Web browser. Those first keystrokes would become Opera, the browser that has set – and continues to set – the standard for browser innovation.

Jon von Tetzchner, the CEO of Opera Software, and Geir Ivarsøy began coding the original desktop Web browser in April 1994. Today, about 40 million people use Opera on their Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

“Geir and I knew the Web would forever change how people live, work and play – the Web browser would be the tool to enable that transformation,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. “Today, I am humbled by what our company, together with the worldwide community of Opera users, has achieved. In the next 15 years, billions of people will join the Web. I am confident we will give them even more reasons to choose Opera. Everyone deserves a good browser, regardless of how or where they connect to the Web.”

The original Opera desktop browser paved the way for Opera to create a single, cross-platform browser engine. Because this browser core works anywhere, Opera now powers the Web experience on a stunning array of devices. From TVs, set-top boxes and media players to mobile phones, game consoles, cars and computers, today Opera is available to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

15 years of browser innovation

A relentless focus on the user has propelled innovation at Opera from the first day through today. Opera’s desktop browser has introduced new features and innovations that keep our users productive, inspired and engaged on the Web.

With Opera’s first public release, we laid the foundation for tabbed browsing by allowing multiple documents in the same browsing window.

In 2001, Opera introduced Mouse Gestures which radically improves how people navigate the Web. New innovations focused on keeping our users productive and organized. A note-taking feature in the browser, the original Speed Dial for a person’s favorite sites, Opera Link to keep data synchronized and available anywhere set the stage for Opera’s ongoing evolution.

This year, Opera has already unveiled Opera Turbo, which compresses pages to give broadband-like speeds on almost any Internet connection. Yet there is much more to come. Stay tuned to see how we think the Web will evolve next.