Opera will slowly be moving away from its own Presto rendering engine for its closed-source multi-platform web-browser in favor of using the WebKit rendering engine and is also beginning to back Google's Chromium project.
In January was when word got out Opera would be switching to WebKit
for its mobile web-browsers. I wrote in that article one month ago, "In March, Opera will roll out a new desktop browser. It's not been explicitly stated whether or not this new Opera web-browser will also be powered by WebKit rather than their in-house Presto engine, but based upon hints from my Akvavit-drinking Lutefisk-eating friends, it sounds like WebKit will be used here too so the Norwegian company can focus upon the higher-level elements that are more likely to attract new users."
It turns out that my great Norwegian sources were once again right. The Opera press release
today states, "Opera will make a gradual transition to the WebKit engine, as well as Chromium, for most of its upcoming versions of browsers for smartphones and computers."
The switch-over from Presto to WebKit will happen this year. According to Opera's CTO it comes down to the WebKit engine already being good and they want to make it even better. WebKit has good compliance with web standards and the performance is already good. Opera engineers will seek to further improve WebKit and Chromium. They have even already begun to submit patches upstream.
Håkon Wium Lie, Opera's CTO, says, "The shift to WebKit means more of our resources can be dedicated to developing new features and the user-friendly solutions that can be expected from a company that invented so many of the features that are today being used by everyone in the browser industry."