Opera Software cofounder Jon von Tetzchner emerged Wednesday to challenge Chrome and Firefox with a new browser called Vivaldi, supported by affiliate, as well as search partners Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Yandex, among others.
Von Tetzchner -- who financed the creation of the browser from his own pocket, refusing to take venture capital money -- takes credit for being the first to put a search function in the top of a browser at Opera. He told Search Marketing Daily that "if you have investors you promise them an exit, and my idea is that there is no exit," he said, adding that he's building a browser for users.
"We need just a few million users to break even and we'll become profitable," per von Tetzchner, who estimates the browser has been downloaded about 3 million times.
In addition to the browser color changing as the user visits various Web sites, which von Tetzchner calls "cool" and "playful," Vivaldi promises to offer more personalized options with shortcuts and hot keys that could prove useful for those who spend a lot of time online. The most significant change is tabs stacking, such as the ability to stack open browser tabs one on top of each other similar to a fanned-deck of cards rather than side by side. It reduces the amount of space each tab consumes.
The browser -- more than two years in the making -- also offers a visual bookmark where the user selects their best sites, Groups and Folders; and other features like Web Panels where users can browse tweets, Facebook posts, or chat alongside the primary browsing window.
The personalization tools aim to make it more functional to find and search for information, but the partnerships in search and advertising will help Vivaldi generate revenue. The desktop browser comes with access to default search engines, but the user can add any search engine they like.
Von Tetzchner said there is a long list of features such as a mail client that will enable people will multiple email accounts to access them through the browser. He also wants to add a mobile version. Today, Vivald is only available on desktop, but users can expect a mobile version in the near future.
When asked to comment on ad-blocking tools as a means to prevent viruses from downloading onto users' computers through affiliate network partners, even without clicking on them, von Tetzchner said most antivirus software will block malware in the ads. Vivaldi does protect against virus and malware as well.