Former Opera CEO Introduces Vivaldi Browser, Tech Preview Now Live
Few years ago, Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner resigned from the company and started his own startup Vivaldi, which was a forum and social networking site. However, Tetzchner couldn’t keep himself away from the browser scene and started working on Vivaldi browser, little over a year ago. I wonder if that name is inspired by Antonio Vivaldi, seems to be.
Vivaldi is almost ready to give consumers a taste as Tetzchner has released a tech preview. You can download the preview from the official website but keep in mind that many of its features are unavailable for now. Still, it will give you a pretty good idea of the direction it’s heading in.
According to Tetzchner: “There are a lot of browsers available for the crowd that doesn’t want a lot from their browsers. We are going for the kind of user who spends a lot of time online, keeps a lot of tabs open and likes to work efficiently with a lot of content.”
The development team has chosen to make Chromium the base of their browser. Their team was not big enough to create their own engine and considered using Mozilla’s Webkit, but didn’t go for that in the end.
“Going with WebKit didn’t make a lot of sense,” he stated. “And going with Mozilla, we felt that fewer people were using it. They were two good choices in any case, but we went with the safer choice.”
Vivaldi’s design is simple and easy to use and features some playful elements. For example, menus and tabs will shift colors. These will depend on the color that’s most dominant in the website’s favicon.
Menu strips are placed on the top left corner of the window. This is said to allow easy access to bookmarks and a number of other browser tools.
You can move the tabs to any corner you like in the window and tab preview is also a part of the current build.
Quick Commands tool is a decent feature as well but some functionalities are still missing from the action. For example, the current built doesn’t support extensions and no bookmarks bar is added yet.
Developers state that in the future, Vivaldi is also going to support a built-in email client. Although this feature may be added but Tetzchner feels that it’s not for advanced users.
“I don’t think webmail is for everyone,” he told me. “It’s definitely not for the advanced user. We find that lots of users have multiple mail accounts and they don’t tie together and when you have the mail client built into the browser, it feels more natural.”
Vivaldi browser seems to be heading in the right direction and is certainly worth a try. But the question is, can it compete with like of Chrome and Firefox?