Opera has made a few headlines this week. On Wednesday, the Norwegian company announced they were going to move their native browser from Presto to Webkit. Along with the layout engine change, they announced on Thursday that they would be purchasing alternative Android browser Skyfire.

Skyfire, based out of Mountain View, California, was proficient in mobile browsing utilizing mobile networks. Their proprietary optimization and compression system, Rocket Optimizer, reportedly sped up some mobile web loading times by up to 60%. Opera's browser, known for their dedication to speed, considers this a major advantage in the ever tightening mobile browser space.

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."

- Opera CEO Lars Boilesen

Opera, which reported strong earnings to close 2012, are no doubt looking to keep their momentum by providing a faster provider of content and video in the mobile market. The deal to purchase Skyfire was reportedly for $155 million in cash and stock and is expected to close by the middle of March. This maneuver is aimed directly by strong competition from other browsers created by Google (Chrome), Firefox, and mobile browsing leader Safari.

There are pockets of popularity of the Opera mini browser. I have not used it in quite some time myself, but I am curious if we have readers that prefer using it compared to other browsers. Do you think Opera has a chance in this market and made a safe bet with their purchase of Skyfire? Time will tell and your predictions are welcomed.]]>