Internet browsers are a key medium to access information in the modern era. The emergence of internet is such that, we cannot imagine our lives today without these browsers. Browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera among others have been the most preferred desktop browsers in the world. Each user will have his/her preference with regards to browsers, and that’s the beauty about choice. Another key area for browsers today is mobile. Smartphones and tablet adoption is growing at a quicker rate than expected. This is why we have mobile Chrome, mobile Firefox, mobile IE and mobile Safari in the wild (no pun intended). And one of the popular among mobile browsers is Skyfire which brings the ability to load flash loaded pages on Android and iOS. If you might recall, Android ditched support for flash player while iOS never had it to begin with. Despite this, the mobile browser is able to load flash content while rendering webpages. Skyfire also comes with the ability to cut down on data eaten up while streaming videos by up to 60%. Skyfire is able to provide these cool features as it handles its content on the cloud. Its mobile video optimization is something which all the competitors have keenly observed and envied.
However, this cool little browser will now come under the wing of Opera, which has decided to buy out Skyfire for a reported $155 million. We’re not sure if this means that Skyfire is dead, but we can certainly expect some heavy improvements coming to the Opera browser. It is believed that the folks at Opera will pay $50 million initially and the remaining amount will be given in the form of cash and stock after a few months of assessment of the browser. The deal will be finalized by March 15th, it is said. We’re yet to know if Opera will bring Skyfire to mobile devices only or to desktops as well. The acquisition means that plenty of other Skyfire features will make its way to Opera in some form. So for all those who have been loyal fans of the Opera browser, it seems like exciting things are coming towards you. The folks at Opera are pretty pumped up about joining forces with Skyfire. And we hope new things come to the fore after the acquisition.
The CEO of Opera Lars Boilesen said in an official statement – “Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit. Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators”