Microsoft to make Opera Mini the default browser on Asha hardware


Opera has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide the company's mobile web browser for Asha, Series 30+, Series 40 mobile devices. This partnership will last 10 years and will see Opera Mini made the default web browser on hardware running said platforms. Windows Phone will not be affected by this deal.

Current owners will be encouraged to upgrade to Opera Mini, leaving current browser Xpress behind. While Microsoft's main focus is – of course – Windows Phone (and this isn't exactly relevant to our main coverage), it's interesting to see the company create new partnerships for its low-cost platforms, inherited through its purchase of Nokia's devices division. Not to mention opting for a third-party solution over Internet Explorer.

Opera is also available for Windows, should you be interested in giving it a go.

Source: Reuters


Reader comments

Microsoft to make Opera Mini the default browser on Asha hardware


Right, I thought they were all being ditched. What are they even doing now..?
I could understand the feature phone they released recently to a certain degree as it's not a smartphone, but these Asha phones are.. And a deal for ten years? I just don't get it.

These are the phones that kept Nokia as the second largest distributor of mobile phones in 2013. To get rid of them would be the stupidest idea a company could make.

The Asha line will still be going away. There problem is there are still future models in the pipeline. MS paying Opera to support the browser for 10 years. Doesn't mean the phone will be sold over the next ten years. Opera mini requires backend support to function.

Contrary to us geeks thinks... Hundreds of Millions of people still use and buy new Feature Phone... Some says its because of the Battery life, Simplicity, enough build in Package and function, and of course, Price... Even the cheapest Android still can't compete with the price a cheapest Feature Phone has (and of course, Reliability compared to Laggy Buggy cheap android)... Microsoft is mad if they just stop it! It's the job of Smartphone Makers to push the price down and make it more reliable for Smartphone to overtake Feature phone.. (what's current numbers? I think its only 20+ percent Smartphone is sold compared to Feature Phone.)

When WP7 was released, they said the couldn't release it due to software limitations. When WP8 got out, the same. We have UC, Maxthon and other. Still no Opera. Shame.

They actually got Opera Mobile 10 and Mini 5 or 6 to work on WP7.5/7.8. You just needed a rooted device.

How can you claim that? My Windows 8.x desktop runs Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari just fine. Or it did...I deleted Chrome.

I think he meant on Windows phone 8.

And for the guy below me, he's right. Those are not real browsers, just interfaces because all of them have to use IE's core to render websites.

UC Browser, and Maxthon Browser are third party browsers installed on my Windows 8 phone too.

And of course Windows 8 has 3rd party browser. So indeed it is YOU Isaiah J Gonzalez who is the Microdick in this case.

If you're gonna troll, at least get your facts right you immense bell end.

The new Opera, since version 15 and up is based on Chromium engine (which is practically Chrome). Ofcorse they did their own modifications and blah blah tweaks to not be another Chrome masked browser. One thing is you don't need a gmail account to login on Opera as you need on Chrome. Before version 15 of Opera desktop browser, Opera was running on Presto engine. Latest version of Opera working on Presto engine is version v12.17. So yeah, Opera IS BASED on Chrome. :) I am an Opera user for like a decade ago, and till today i am not using any other browser, cuz yes, I am a die-hard Opera happy user. :)

Wait... since when do you need a Google account to use Chrome? I use it every day on my PC and I don't think I ever had to log in... I wish I could use IE but it poisons me to say it just doesn't work as well. Lots of pauses while it's working on something, while chrome comes right up and lets me start clicking.

I didn't say you have to be logged with your google account to be able to use Chrome. I said that Chrome asks you to login with your gmail account so to be able to fully use their services. Ofcorse you will not login if you don't need that and work on Chrome as any other browser. Sometimes read the post twice before you jump to reply :))))))) cheers.

gmail account, google account, it's the same, isn't it? your google account is your gmail account, right? you log with your gmail on all google products, right? or am I wrong?

When will iTunes be on Zune? ......
When will iMessage be on Windows 8? ......
When will Google let Microsoft make an official YouTube app for them? ......

Kinda off-topic: all android browsers suck on tablets, as their UI is completely not optimized for touch. Modern IE is light years ahead in that regard.

You're ALL wrong.

Opera mini doesn't even have a rendering engine. Everything is server-side, like UCbrowser, and opera can easily port it to WP. Apparently they are just lazy and biased.

No, Blink is Google's propriety engine which is a fork of webkit.
It has nothing to do with Opera, besides that they are both now based off of webkit.

Actually no, Opera uses Blink now, which makes it pretty clear that Google strong-armed or sweet-talked them into the switch. I would have preferred they use Webkit over Blink if switching at all, because now Google can pretty much tell them what to do.

Wouldn't mind if they swapped out ie for opera in Windows Phone either tho... =)

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It has not been available in the store for quite a while already. Personally I thought it was a worthless browser and deleted it almost as soon as I installed it.

To be honest, I don't like that app anyways. I'm just upset because Nokia said a YEAR ago it's coming soon to WP, and nothing yet. Such bs.

Its not about which browser is great but the thing WP users have limited choice..Opera, Firefox and chrome- 3 popular browsers are not present on WP..

They're also not on iOS. And before you tell me that Chrome is -- it's just a UI wrapper for Safari, one of the worst mobile rendering engines around. Opera on iOS uses server-side rendering, so its not truly running on iOS and theoretically could be on WP in exactly the same way.

Microsoft has a thing against other browsers on WP

The browsers you see in it are basically IE, using the same engine

No they don't. There is nothing stopping someone porting a rendering engine over, but devs so far don't seem to think it is worth the time.

As long as it's written in a language supported by WP, there is nothing stopping someone porting the likes of Chromium.

I think the rumours stem from the over simplification of things and miscommunication. It's like when WPCentral articles say something is a system limitation (no offense intended to them). The system is capable but the application requires extra permissions from Microsoft.

There's a problem for third-party browsers on all the mobile operating systems. The stores don't permit apps that dynamically generate native code. Reflection.Emit is banned on Windows Phone and Windows store apps, you can't dynamically generate managed code either.

The JavaScript engines on all browsers now use JIT compilation for speed. If they still had interpreters, porting the browsers would be possible, but the performance would probably be unacceptably slow.

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You think? Firefox doesn't use Webkit for one. Safari does, and Chrome's engine Blink is based on it. Full Opera uses Blink, but Opera Mini uses their own engine Presto on the cloud-side; there's no engine actually running on the phone.

The deal is for 10 years, so MSFT commits to support Asha for 10 years. I'm sure Opera wouldn't sign up for this unless they were assured by MSFT that they would continue producing Asha hardware.
And why is Opera not on WP yet?

I wanted Opera Mini for WP.
But just like Google they are also ignoring WP.

But can't blame them if WP market share.

I had one s40 phone before. Nokia xpress was slower than opera on it. Good they are making opera mini the default browser

Brought little bit of stability but the battery draining is still there and would be coz we have notification center, live tiles running etc many other things. But battery is not like how it was on wp8

Opera has always been one of the best mobile browsers. No matter if Opera Mini or Opera Mobile (I personally prefer Mobile though). I really wished they'd bring it to WP as well.

I would love to see Opera product on WP, I like how they deal with work reflow when I zoom in the web page, also I can save web page and view it later in offline mode

Ie 11 is good. Doesn't eat much data and battery. Chrome is a battery eater and opera is a big data eater. Another alternative is uc browser. We just need Firefox on windows phone

Microsoft should buy Firefox. Ppl mostly use browser for surfing and downloading. They should not rebrand internet explorer coz a lot of business sights and severs see compatible only on internet explorer. For eg Reserve Bank of India have their servers compatible with IE. So its better to buy Firefox for public use and keep on improving internet explorer for enterprise use.

Whatsoever I don't understand why there is lack of worthwhile third-party browsers on WP. Where is Firefox? Dolphin?

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I'm pretty sure Firefox can't make their browser without violating MS policy. I doubt they have much interest anyways considering our market share. A shame we'll never get a decent browser with extension support.

I am annoyed those asha phones do exist instead of Nokia 730/830.

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? with all this buy Firefox browser talk have any of you ever thought that WP doesn't support flash and Firefox is a browser that does. So tell me how would you get the full experience of Firefox if the WP platform limits its functionality if flash or java isn't supported.

Dnt need opera on wp... Just improve the already available IE... It needs hell lot of improvement esp in download manager dept and rendering pages optimally

IE on windows phone work good, can compress data by enabling it through settings.overall it's awesome but personally i don't like its interface that much.it needs some improvement, need night mode, private mode,speed dial homepage

I wonder why people are against Opera for WP, okay! I get it IE is better than any other browser but why restrict choices for those who are willing to use an alternate browser because its always good to have something extra...

Choice is good but this is a stupid business move on Microsoft's part. While other companies are stuffing their browsers down our throats Microsoft is voluntarily withdrawing IE as default on Asha phones? No other company has ever made me scratch my head like Microsoft does SMH.

I know it's be off topic, but does somebody know an internet browser for WP who are capable to open a pop-up window??

The developers get together.

- Okay guys! Lets make a new mobile Opera!
- For WP? BlackBerry? Ubuntu? Jolla?
- No, for Nokia Asha!

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I loved Opera Mini when I used Symbian. It was much faster than the stock browser. And the best part was the adaptive zooming. When you soon in to an area, it confines the text to your screen width so you can always get the zoom/fontsize you want, but never have to scroll sideways to read. The one thing is miss most by going to ie

Which search engines is opera mini going to use on MS phones? Could not use Nokia Xpress because of stupid Bing engine. Gave me Wikipedia all the time. Actually I think I will reinstall Xpress browser.

The key thing about Nokia Xpress (and Opera Mini) is that it talks to a backend server somewhere that simplifies the webpages. I can see that Microsoft would want to reduce their overhead costs by not having to support so many users on the Nokia Xpress backend server.

It is almost ironic, because Opera were keen to be snapped up by Nokia about 7-8 years ago. They felt they couldn't afford to build the backend infrastructure Opera Mini needed. Nokia said no, so Opera went it alone. Eventually Nokia saw the benefit and built their own competing browser and infrastructure, that now looks likely to be dismantled, or reduced as much as possible.

Be interesting to see what happens to Nokia Mail, a service that agregates other email services into one connection to your feature phone.

IE is the best. Thank god they didn't signed it for Windows phone. Opera is the worst browser.
Happy that they didn't even added it as an optional browser like uc browser to the Windows phone

Wait!  Didn't MS/Nokia just announce that they were dropping production of the Asha? I may be missing a link of logic here, but that's the last I recall.

Opera Mini would be great on Windows Phone for those of us that don't have huge data plans. Opera is great at compressing web pages and not screwing up the formatting like UC does.