Opera Available for Free

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From: Håkon Wium Lie (howcome@opera.com)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2000 - 07:12:33 PST



OSLO, NORWAY - December 6, 2000 - Opera Software today unleashed Opera
5.0 for Windows, making its Web browser available for free for the
many millions of surfers around the world that are longing for a
faster, better Internet experience. With this move the popular browser
enters the reignited Browser War in full force as a third player
besides AOL/Netscape and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Opera has long
been known has "the third browser" on Windows, with around 1.5 million
users. This position was achieved while still charging users per
license, and spending almost no resources on marketing. The new
sponsor-supported version offers users a $39 value in return for
having one single banner ad in the browser UI.

"Today Opera's status as just an alternative browser for the most
Internet savvy users is ending, and we places ourselves firmly in the
middle of the on-going Browser War," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO,
Opera Software. "From today everyone will have the opportunity to get
the best Internet experience available completely for free," he ends.

The Opera Web browser has been developed over a period of 5 years into
the fastest, best Internet experience available in the market. The
speed is achieved both through how fast it renders pages, but also in
its functionality.

"The ad-feature will not slow Opera down, nor diminish the Internet
experience" says Hakon Lie, Chief Technology Officer, Opera Software,
"The banner-sized ad is quite small, and they are downloaded into the
browser only once a week, to be cached for later use. This ensures the
recognizable Opera-speed in the browsing itself, as well as not too
intrusive ads. Also, every necessary precaution has been taken to
ensure privacy," he ends.

Opera Software enters the free-browser field intent on winning. Opera
will be distributed on millions of CDs accompanying computer magazines
around the world, as well as by other software makers and some of the
Internet's major Web sites.

"With their latest releases, Microsoft and AOL/Netscape have focused
on strengthening the integration of their browser, portal and ISP
services, putting them in direct competition with independent portals,
ISPs and contents sites from around the world," says Dean Kakridas,
Manager of Strategic Alliances, "This offers a pure browser developer
like Opera Software great opportunities to serve these companies fully
customized, co-branded browsers versions of its browser. Any company
that is brand-conscious, traffic-hungry and content-rich will find the
Opera browser a valuable tool to further serve its user-base," he

On installation, Opera defaults to the Sponsored mode. However, the
user always has the option of switching to the Paid/ Registered mode
and turn off the ad experience and the communication with the
advertising service. The cost to do so remains at $39, with various
discounts applying.

With the release of Opera 5.0 for Windows so close to the version 4.0
release at the end of June this year, Opera Software signals a much
quicker pace of development. Opera 4.0 for Windows was released end of
June 2000, and was a great success with over 1 million downloads in
the first two weeks.

Powerful Features for the Best Internet Experience Opera offers
several benefits over its competitors for a better Internet

 - Fast rendering of pages. Opera is the fastest full-featured browser
on the market today.

 - Easy keyboard navigation. Opera's easy keyboard shortcuts save time
as well as benefit people with disabilities.

 - Instant toggling of image and documents settings. For even faster
browsing, images can be turned on/off with just the press of a key.

 - Multiple windows support. Inside Opera, users may browse in several
windows at once, without straining system resources.

 - High quality Zooming. Opera users can zoom in on a page up to a
1000%, be it text or images.

 - Resume download. In the transfer window, downloads can be resumed
if interrupted.

 - Small size. Opera is only a 1.95 MB download (Adding Java is a
one-time 7 MB download) so updating to the latest version available is
always fast and easy.

 - Integrated news, mail, search and Instant Messaging. New in the 5.0
version is a powerful search capability, as well as an Instant
Messaging client. In the search feature, users can easily migrate
between the most popular search engines, and search for terms, domain
names, music, Mp3s, images, video, audio, stock quotes, books or
company information.

 - The newly integrated Instant Messaging client offers users the
possibility to chat with all ICQ users.

Standards Compliant

Opera continues its commitment to the standards as laid out by the
W3C. Opera 5.0 for Windows support the following technologies: 128-bit
encryption, TLS 1.0, SSL 2 and 3, CSS1 and CSS2, XML, HTML 4.01, HTTP
1.1, ECMAScript, JavaScript 1.3, experimental support for DOM and WAP/

Opera has built in plug-in support. Opera supports Netscape's API,
making it easy for developers to migrate between the two platforms.

Sponsor Mode with the Users in Mind

Opera's new Sponsored mode is designed to provide users with the best
possible advertising experience. Ads appear one at a time in the
browser UI, and their categories are easily modified in the
Advertising section in Preferences. The goal is to serve advertising
that users will want to see, akin to letting users turn on the TV and
choose to see for example just car commercials.

Opera Software has implemented strict guidelines to ensure that the
ads are not unnecessarily distracting or offensive. Advertisements
with sound, offensive content and/or language are not allowed.

Protecting Privacy

Opera Software is also taking steps to protect the privacy of personal
information. Users are not required to provide any up-front profiling
information in order to receive the new Opera Web browser. On a purely
voluntary basis, users will be asked to profile themselves in the
browser itself so that the advertising they receive will be more
relevant. This profile information is not personally-identifying, and
it will not be shared with any third parties. These demographics will
only be used for targeting advertising. For more information on
privacy, go to www.opera.com/privacy.


Beginning today, Opera 5.0 for Windows is available for download at
www.opera.com. Opera Software plans to localize the new 5.0 release
into other languages, and support non-Western characters by Q1 2001.

New Features in Opera 5.0 for Windows

New functionality in the 5.0 release includes: Integrated search and
Instant Messaging, support for new JavaScript versions, mail and
stability, improvements in memory usage and accessibility to different
Web sites. About Opera Software

Opera Software AS is an industry leader in the development of Web
browsers for the desktop and device markets. The Opera browser has
received international acclaim from end-users and the industry press
for being faster, smaller and more standards-compliant than other
browsers. Opera Software AS is a privately held company headquartered
in Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com Contacts:

Pal A. Hvistendahl, Communications Manager, press@opera.com, +47 24164000

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