Update: Google spokesperson emailed and said, no comment and that this is just a rumor. Opera spokesperson was even more blunt and said: “This is just as new to me as it is to you. We do not know of any such plans.”
Pierre Chappaz, former head of Yahoo Europe, on his french language blog says that Google might be interested in buying Opera. (Translation of the original post here) This would be a response to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer etc etc etc. In other words ….. a pure and absolute rumor for now. Gary Price has more details on this. Previously I had posted how Google had helped Opera become a free software.
Apparently, the premier tenant for browser’s built-in search window, is Google. “The current most important deal now is with Google,” company spokesperson Eskil Siversten wrote in an email. The company indicated that it has similar referral-for-dollars agreements with the likes of eBay and Amazon. Given that Opera is about one percent of the total browser market, it cannot be making as much money as Mozilla folks.
Given how close Google is with the Firefox community, this one just doesn’t make sense. However, Google could benefit from Opera’s strong presence in the mobile space, where it is beating everyone to the punch. Nokia bundles Opera in most of its new phones including the red hot N-Series phones. In Japan, the ultimate mobile society, Opera is beginning to have an impact. Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Oslo-based Opera Software in an interview with Business 2.0 had said that wireless was the area of focus for the company.
Google has been severely trailing Yahoo in the wireless space, and this would be a good way to even things out a little. Opera could bring Google closer to the carriers. But I repeat, this is all idle speculation on a rumor that is not even in my second language – so treat it accordingly. Rest assured, emails have been sent to the media relations departments of both the companies.