Opera snaps up Skyfire to bolster mobile video and browser ambitions

first_imgOpera recently announced that it was doubling down its efforts in mobile browsing, and today the company announced a significant acquisition on that front. Skyfire has been snatched up, though it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Opera rather than being assimilated Borg-style. Opera offered up around $155 million in cash and stocks to seal the deal.It sounds like a match made in heaven. Like Opera, the Skyfire team has plenty of experience building mobile browsers that lean on the power of the cloud to provide users with an enhanced smartphone and tablet surfing experience. Skyfire’s stock skyrocketed after it landed in the App Store and brought Flash video to iOS, a slick trick that it later offered up to Android users as well. And like Opera does with Turbo, Skyfire also knows a thing or two about compressing content before serving it up to users.Integration is coming, and that means Opera Mobile and Mini users will be able to enjoy more efficient and more desktop-like mobile browsing than ever. Between the Skyfire acquisition and the recent announcement that the company was moving to Webkit, Opera will soon be a radically different browser than the one you can download today.Cloud know-how wasn’t the only thing that attracted Opera to Skyfire. Skyfire also knows about custom browser solutions, which it offers up to carrier partners in the form of Skyfire Horizon. Horizon is a version of the Skyfire browser that carriers are free to modify and extend — and they can even do it on the fly. If that sounds a tad creepy, that’d because it is.It means that if a carrier wants to, it can slap a new toolbar or button on the customized browser whenever it wants to. No app update is required, it’ll simply show up the next time you use the app. Opera is also excited about the “exciting monetization opportunities” that Horizon offers carriers, and it no doubt planned to bolster its own mobile ad business and carrier partnerships with this acquisition, too.last_img

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