Internet browser Opera announced today that they have crossed over the 300 million active users mark, and also revealed that Opera will now move from Presto to WebKit.
“Today, we announced that Opera has reached 300 million active users. At the same time, we made the official announcement that Opera will move from Presto to WebKit as the engine at the core of the browser. With this, Opera will be the first major browser to switch to a completely new rendering engine,” a poster named Haavard wrote on a Opera blog.
He is part of the QA and testing team in the Desktop department at Opera.
Opera also expanded on why they decided to change from Presto to WebKit. “Presto is a great little engine. It’s small, fast, flexible and standards compliant while at the same time handling real-world web sites. It has allowed us to port Opera to just about any platform you can imagine. And unlike what some people seem to believe, Presto was actually designed from the ground up with compatibility in mind. It was always a goal to be compatible with the real web while also supporting and promoting open standards.”
But Presto also presented Opera with a number of challenges in terms of web openness. “Add to that the fact that it is constantly changing and that you don’t get site compatibility for free (which some browsers are fortunate enough to do), and it ends up taking up a lot of resources – resources that could have been spent on innovation and polish instead.”
“Opera moving to WebKit might come as a surprise to some of you, but others will realize that this is not the first time the company is being taken in a new direction. WebKit has matured enough that it is actually possible to make the switch, and we can help it mature even further. In return, we get to spend more resources on a better user experience, and less on chasing an ever-changing web,” Opera concluded.