IBM chooses Opera browser for Net appliance

Opera Software AS has delivered its newly developed Opera Internet browser for the QNX operating system to IBM Corp., for use in IBM’s NetVista Internet appliances, Opera announced Wednesday. The Norwegian browser maker developed the QNX version especially for IBM, but will make it available for download by the general public in coming weeks.

“IBM came to us and they wanted us to do that; we have been working with them for six months, and they have approved our delivery, and the customers have approved IBM’s delivery, and it’s already been taken into use,” said Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner in an interview.

QNX, developed by QNX Software Systems Ltd., is well suited for Internet appliances that lack the power of a PC, said von Tetzchner.

“They need a browser that works well, that doesn’t use a lot of memory, and that makes the use of hardware that is somewhat limited.”

Opera has experience with similarly limited hardware, he said, citing browser versions the company has released for Symbian Ltd.’s EPOC operating system for handheld devices, for Be Inc.’s BeOS operating system for desktop machines and for Linux embedded devices.

Opera is also releasing its final version of Opera 5.0 for Linux Wednesday, the company said in a separate announcement. Similar to the company’s Opera 5 for Windows browser, the new version can be downloaded for free in an advertising-supported version, or users can opt to register for an advertising-free version for a fee of US$39.

The privately held company has attracted a small but loyal following for its line of browsers, which it calls faster, smaller, and more standards-compliant than other browsers.

Opera, in Oslo, Norway, can be reached at