Opera reaches 300 million users, drops Presto for WebKit

By Danny Palmer
13 Feb 2013 View Comments

Web browser provider Opera has reached 300 million users and has announced plans to drop its own Presto rendering engine in favour of WebKit.

It means that future updates to Opera's browser will use the same engine as rivals in the space, such as Apple's Safari and Google Chrome.

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Currently, Opera's engineers spend time tweaking the browser to make websites render properly on Android and iOS platforms. As WebKit has increased in popularity, the company has decided that they would be better deployed for other development tasks.

"The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need," said Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software.

"It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout."

Opera Software CEO Lars Boilesen believes the switch to WebKit will only be beneficial to the organisation and users of its browser.

"300 million is a bonanza big number, and we are certain this move will help us grow even more - and make our products even better," he said.

"Opera is for people who appreciate choice, and we are going to make it even easier to choose Opera in the future."

While Chrome and Safari are built on WebKit, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is based on Trident while Firefox uses the Gecko engine.

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