Opera, Tucows Launch Co-Branded Browser

[London, ENGLAND] Norwegian browser company Opera Software
announced Tuesday the launch of a co-branded Internet browser
with applications distributor Tucows Inc.

The new browser has several special Tucows features in
addition to all the features of the standard Opera browser
— which, as users know, is a highly specified yet compact

Among the new features are direct linking to Tucows’
software libraries and services, as well as to Tucows’ domain
name registration service, Domain Direct. The latter enables
users to search for and register a domain by clicking
a link in the browser’s button bar.

The Tucows-Opera browser also allows users to set up
multiple e-mail accounts, forward domain names and manage
their domains.

Of course, most users do not want to register a domain name
every day, and the facility described above could be seen
as making the Opera browser an even more esoteric choice
than it already is.

With the introduction of a Tucows version, Opera’s combination
of small footprint and sophisticated features is beginning to
look increasingly odd. Surely Web managers and other
experts who use Opera have machines capable of running the
bulky mainstream browsers — and domain name registration
is just a click away from the hotlists of most experts.

The management at Opera sees the battle with Microsoft and
AOL/Netscape in somewhat different terms. Chief Executive
Jon S. von Tetzchner points out that the two giants of the
industry are tying their browsers more and more into their
other Web ventures.

“As the only independent browser maker, Opera is in a unique
position to help portals and ISPs to fight back,” says
von Tetzchner.

Graham Morris, executive vice president of content at Tucows
said the partnership would enable Tucows to offer users a
direct portal to its products and services. In other words,
this supposedly independent browser is now becoming locked
into specific brands, albeit on a non-exclusive basis.
However, “brands” in the plural is preferable to “own-brand”
in the singular — and the policy may yet win a larger
share of the market.

Initially, the Tucows-Opera browser will be available in
English only, but other languages may follow at a later date.

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