The browser wars have heated up considerably since Google Chrome entered the market in 2008, and they show no signs of slowing down. Last year, Chrome overtook Internet Explorer as the browser of choice, and while it may seem so at times, not everyone is a Chrome fan.
I, for one, love Chrome, but because of my weariness of Google's growing powers, I've been using Firefox out of love for its open-source nature. Firefox is certainly a more than capable browser, but since I've made the switch, I've lamented the fact that most developers take a Chrome-first approach to creating great things for the web. Any.do, for example, or Cortex, or the beautiful Currently, just to name a few.
Now, you have a choice as to what browser you use if you want/ need those Chrome extensions, thanks to Opera. While Opera isn't open source, it does have a few open-source fans, so it's a little easier on the conscience than Chrome. Opera currently has around 300 million users, and those who use it tend to love it; the browser is well-known for its passionate base. It's always been an underdog in the browser wars, though, never capturing what most consider a significant market share.
Opera would like to change that. Recently, the announced that they would switch their rendering engine to the Blink engine being developed by Google for Chrome itself. That move is now paying its first dividends, as Opera has released an extension that allows Opera users to install Chrome extensions. Time will tell if it's enough to lure any avid Chrome users over, but for those who have been looking to make a switch, this will ease the transition considerably.
To install Chrome extensions in Opera, just install the extension, head to the Chrome Web Store, and install extensions just as you would in Chrome. Not everything will work, but most should.
For those interested, you can also install Opera add-ons in Chrome. The process is a bit more detailed, but the folks over at OMG! Chrome (hat-tip to them) have a good write-up on it.
If nothing else, this is a great excuse to toy around with another browser. And if you're worried about mobile, don't worry. Opera's got you covered.
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