Interview: Opera founder Jon von Tetzchner speaks about Vivaldi

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The long awaited stable version of the Vivaldi web browser has finally been released for public consumption and we have to say, it certainly brings back the old feeling of using the original version of the Opera web browser.

We got the chance to speak with the CEO of Vivaldi, Jon von Tetzchner, about the web browser and why folks should give it a try. It is clear from what he has to say that he is passionate about this browser and confident in its capabilities of walking with the big boys.

What were the motivations behind the creation of Vivaldi?

There are not a lot of browser choices today on the PC side. Most people cannot even name the five main browsers. In addition, they all address the same users and follow the same philosophy. They are all about reducing the feature set and being as simple as possible. That sounds great until you want to do something a bit more complicated and find that the browser will not do it or makes it difficult.

Vivaldi is different. We are proud to offer more features out of the box than any other browser. We are also proud to offer more ways to configure the browser than any other browser. We believe we should adapt to the user. When you download Vivaldi, you will note the fresh look, the fresh colors, that change when you browse. But after a little while, you start learning new things. You change some settings. After a while, it feels like Vivaldi was made just for you and it was!

How will Vivaldi compete with Chrome seeing as both web browsers use the same rendering engine?

There is a lot more to the browser than the engine. Vivaldi has a very different user interface. It has a lot more features out of the box. Just try it out and you will understand.

Have you ever thought about Vivaldi having its own extension storefront to be more independent from Google?

We have discussed it, but for now, we believe it is best to just offer the Chrome store.

Opera Software has decided to create its own browser-based adblocker. Do you guys have similar plans?

No. We believe there are plenty of great extensions available if this is something you wish to do.

The Bing search engine has not been added as a search option in Vivaldi. Are there any plans to change this in the future to come?

Bing is the default search engine in most markets.

Will future versions of Vivaldi tap into some Windows 10 features such as Cortana?

We will evaluate that as we continue to develop the browser.

What is Vivaldi’s mobile strategy when it comes down to Windows 10 Mobile?

Our primary focus will be Android, but we will evaluate our options as we move forward.

Give the best reasons why advanced web users should choose Vivaldi over the likes of Microsoft Edge or even newest version of Opera.

It is all about the features and the ability to tailor the browser to your needs. Let’s look at a few reasons, but every user has their own.

We know that many users like having a lot of tabs. Thus, we have done a number of things to make that easier:

1. Vivaldi has tab stacks. This provides a hierarchy of tabs and makes it easier to have an overview over a lot of tabs.

2. Vivaldi has tab stack tiles. This enables you to view multiple pages at the same time. Great if you have a huge screen

with high resolution.

3. If you happen to close a tab by mistake, Vivaldi has an undelete feature.

4. You can place your tabs on the left, right, top or bottom or you can hide them all.

This was all about tabs and we have plenty of tab options as well. But there is more. The panel we have in Vivaldi has some great features as well:

5. The panel on the left side in Vivaldi (or right side if you prefer) has bookmarks, notes and downloads out of the box.

6. The bookmarks panel includes thumbnails of your bookmarks (when you have visited them), which makes it easier to browse the bookmarks.

7. The notes panel is useful for adding notes. Select a piece of text on a web page. Use the context menu to add it to a note. The text is added and the link to the page as well. You can add a screenshot as well if you like.

8. You can add your own web panels. Great for things like twitter, news feeds, or any other site or service that you want to always have available.

When opening a blank window, there is plenty to play with as well. Vivaldi has speed dials. This is for your favorite sites.

You can have groups of speed dials and folders as well. This visual presentation of your bookmarks is a firm favorite of our users.

At the bottom of the window, we have included a few more controls. These allow you to zoom web content, turn on and off image loading and generally play with the presentation of the page.

We recognize that people have different ways of interacting with their computers. Some people like to mostly use the mouse. Others like mouse gestures. Some prefer keyboard shortcuts. We provide all of that and quick commands as well, which is a command interface to the browser.

In most browsers, these settings are hidden. They are not considered important and they tend to not provide a lot of choices.

We do things differently here as well and provide very rich options. Try it out!

So the list is long. It is all a question of what is important to you. Our experience is that our users love the flexibility and features we have on offer.

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