The ability to extend a browser, called extensions or add-ons depending on the vendor, is now finally set to debut in the upcoming Opera 11 browser.
According to Opera, their extensions will be based on the W3C Widget spec and they’ll be trying to enable developers to be able to port extensions from other browsers.
Considering that Mozilla has had add-ons for years, IE has them too and Chrome has been busy raising its extensions as well, Opera is a bit behind the curve here. Though giving developers the ability to leverage work they’ve already done for other browsers is the right decision.
As to why after all these years Opera is just now deciding to jump on the Extension bandwagon – I’m not sure. The ability to extend a browser seems so common sense and ‘must-have’ to me, that I’m shocked that it has taken Opera so long to come to the same conclusion.
Beyond Extensions, Opera is now also ramping up the development of an Android version of their browser.
Again, this is a good idea, but as I’ve written before, Android already has a great browser so any new browser – Opera, Firefox or otherwise – will face a challenge. I personally would love to see more choices for the Blackberry platform, where browser innovation is something that is desperately needed.