Opera Buys Skyfire for Video Compression Tech
Opera Software today announced that it has purchased rival browser-maker Skyfire in a cash and stock transaction totaling about $155 million. Skyfire markets its own mobile browser to smartphone platforms in addition to services for network operators. Its key product is video compression technology that reduces the amount of bandwidth consumed by video as it passes through wireless networks. Skyfire's Rocket Optimizer (which is what it calls its compression product) offers wireless network operators a 60% boost in capacity when delivering video. Rocket Optimizer can detect when end users are experiencing poor video quality and intervene almost instantaneously to make improvements. Skyfire also offers a mobile browser extension and toolbar platform it calls Skyfire Horizon that lets end users customize their browsers. Opera Software recently announced that it would transition its Opera web browser away from its own Presto rendering engine to that of WebKit, which is more widely used. Opera expects to close the Skyfire acquisition by March 15.
Opera Mini for Android Adds Video Boost
Opera today updated its Opera Mini browser for Android devices and added video compression to improve playback and reduce data usage. Opera says the Video Boost tool should cut down buffering times and provide smoother performance on mobile devices when streaming video over cellular networks.
Opera Ad Blocker Now Available to Android, iOS, Windows
Opera updated several of its mobile browsers today, bringing its ad blocking tool to Android, iOS, and Windows handsets. First, Opera refreshed its main Opera browser for Android.
Opera Mini for Windows Phone Exits Beta
Opera today said its Opera Mini web browser is now available as a stable release for Windows Phone. The browser had been available as a beta for several months.
Opera Sings Praises for Chinese Buyout Bid
A consortium of Chinese companies has bid $1.2 billion for Opera Software, maker of web browsers and other mobile services. The collection of companies includes game-maker Kunlun, security firm Qihoo, and private investment firms Yonglian and Golden Brick.