When Opera switched to WebKit and started its deep reorganization, I had a chat with a few ex-Opera fellows. We agreed that the whole move was indeed a purely financial decision made to increase the value of the company on the "market" at a time many larger companies and phone manufacturers were looking for a seat at the main players' table, the restricted list of companies owning either a rendering engine or a world-class rendering engine team. In other terms, the whole strategy of the company was strictly oriented towards a sale. The often quoted potential deal with AOL did not make any sense to me.

While I was thinking more of phone manufacturers like Samsung or Huawei, we all agreed the most plausible option was an asian host. It seems we were right. It would have made a lot of sense for Samsung to acquire Opera. I even advocated a bit in that direction during my tenure there but the company - or at least the people my message reached - either were not receptive or never forwarded the message. I still think Samsung missed a rather important opportunity here.

Golden Brick and Yonglian are more acquiring the user base than the engineering team, and I do have some concerns about the future of that team. In fact, I have some concerns about the whole thing. We'll see. Browser teams are a very small community around the world and I wish our Opera friends all the best for that coming change.

Now that Opera's not on the market any more, the next company to watch in that space is clearly, from my point of view, Igalia.