Opera Confirms It's Betting On WebKit, Chromium
Written by Michael Larabel in Proprietary Software on 13 February 2013 at 09:04 AM EST. 37 Comments
Proprietary Software
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.

HÃ¥kon 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."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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