This week saw the launch of Vivaldi, a new web browser from former Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner. It’s the latest addition to an increasingly crowded market (just days behind the announcement of Microsoft’s Project Spartan), leaving many asking ‘Do we really need another browser?’.
Early days yet, and may differentiate itself somehow, but ATM I can’t see any compelling motive for its existence beyond ‘because we can’.— Peter Gasston (@stopsatgreen) January 27, 2015
I jest, mostly. More browsers can be a good thing, though I do question the motives and whether they’re really learning from past mistakes.— Robin Hawkes (@robhawkes) January 27, 2015
I’m one of those people who doesn’t really think about which browser I’m using, as long as everything’s running smoothly, so initially I was of the same mind. It takes something pretty special to make me change my workflow. But more diversity in the market can only be a good thing. And Vivaldi certainly looks attractive, not to mention the philosophy: Vivaldi sells itself as browser for power users, born out of a focus on community, which (they claim) Opera has shifted away from in recent times. Rather than simplifying, as co-founder Tatsuki Tomita explains, which many of their competitors (including Opera) have done, they have created a more advanced browser with additional features.
In this TechCrunch article von Tetzchner explains why the team decided to break out and go in a different direction. While there’s plenty of homage to Opera (even down to the name), it’s clear the Vivaldi team are determined to differentiate themselves.
Is it worth making the switch? I took Vivaldi for a test drive over the past few days to find out.