February 13th, 2013, 09:13 GMT · By Lucian ParfeniBLOG
Opera Is Dead, Desktop Browser Replaced with Chromium, WebKit on Mobile

Opera has called it a day. After almost two decades in the browser business, Opera has officially quit.

The company announced that it is going to adopt the WebKit engine for all of its browsers on mobile platforms, something not particularly surprising, but also that it is stopping development of its desktop browser and will start supporting Chromium, the open source version of Chrome.

Basically, this means that Opera will no longer be developing its own HTML layout engine, Presto, and that it will slap an Opera label on Chromium and call that its desktop browser.

There aren't many details, but what is there is enough to know what comes next. Opera as we've known it is dead; the move may turn out to be a great one for the company, but it won't be the same company.

Without its own engine or even its own desktop browser, Opera is now just another company that rebrands Chromium and calls it its own browser, on par with Yandex which makes its own Chrome clone, for example.

In the mobile space, it will be just another company that takes the WebKit engine and slaps some UI elements on top of it. There are now only four major browser makers in the world, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla and Apple, and just three layout engines, Trident, Gecko and WebKit.