Opera Embraces WebKit and Chromium

Opera has decided to adopt WebKit Engine to power its browser as well as moving towards Chromium. This move formally recognizes the end for Opera's Presto engine

Opera browser has a very small following but they are very dedicated. For years it has been setting standards for other browsers but it could never become a force to reckon with as far as numbers were concerned.

Yesterday, Opera announced that it will be start a gradual transition towards WebKit and Chromium. This announcement is something Opera developers might not like. Adopting WebKit will also spell the end for its own Presto engine.


Why Opera tilted towards WebKit?

Opera’s own web rendering engine Presto has lagged behind on performance in recent times. Opera anyways has a small share in the browser space but it could be get even worse as a lot of browsing habits move from the PC to the mobile and tablet.

WebKit Engine is pretty much the dominant one on the mobile scene. It is also used by Chrome and Safari. Opera has resources that are nowhere close to companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple. So adopting WebKit might make sense as it will not tie down to many resources for Opera.

Opera is also moving towards adopting Chromium. That is the open source browser/OS supported by Google. It is basically what Chrome is built on. Opera might be adopting Chromium to make it more accessible for 3rd part developers to make extensions or addons.

Pitfalls of adopting Chromium!

I am not entirely sure about Opera being very successful with a move toward Chromium. Most Chromium based browsers have not exactly been doing all that great.

Remember RockMelt browser which was leveraging itself as a social media browser? It did not work out too well. RockMelt as a browser now does not exist anymore and survives only as an App on the iOS platform.

What are your views on Opera and its decision to adopt WebKit? Do drop in your comments.

Additional Info:

Web Browser Engines is software component that takes mark up content like CSS, HTML, XML and image files and renders them into webpage we see on our browser. Popular web engines are WebKit (Chrome, Safari), Trident (IE), Gecko (Firefox) and Presto (current versions of Opera)