Even Free Can’t Complete with Free

Being mostly bedridden with the flu for the past four days (and counting), I’ve amassed a lot of daily reading. Catching up on computer software news, I found a piece on the Opera web browser.

That piece isn’t what’s important. The comments are what’s important. Then I’ll relate this to anime.

[Opera] didn’t take off because it initially wasn’t free. Even when it did become free it had ads. Had they released Opera to the masses for free originally, it could have very well been what Firefox is now.

Opera was originally US$40, I believe, with free ad-supported and text ad-supported versions.

Over at OSNews, a couple more comments:

Opera should have been free from the beginning …


By the time it was free, it was too late, people already hated Opera and got their revenge with Firefox which was free of charge and with no ads. Freeing Opera: Too little, too late.

I see these arguments come up every time I find an article about Opera. Even if it’s something as simple as “Opera releases new version, adds new feature,” there will be replies along the lines of “I’m not using Opera because it’s not free.”

Many people use iTunes for convenience. Often I hear it said that people will pay for a better product. For the longest time, Opera was the better product (although it’s not for everybody). I used it with text ads for a short time, but didn’t care for it. I tried it again later (in its 100% free days), but didn’t care for it. I tried it again later, and the version out by then was just right for me.

Even when free, Opera cannot compete with free. So, when it comes to anime, even if anime companies were to (as an example) provide anime at a super-low price for download, will it actually be able to compete with free? Or will too many people have the attitude of “It’s not free”?

But I’m feverish still, so this is probably nonsensical rambling.

2 Responses to “Even Free Can’t Complete with Free”

  1. Author Says:

    I’m sorry, but Opera is garbage. I keep one around for testing purposes (9.25, the latest). When I use it to visit Yahoo Mail, I must wait until it settles, because clicking into inbox will confuse it greatly. And wait I do, because it must be the slowest Javascript implementation on the market.

    Opera these days turned their efforts towards the embedded market, and it shows. Nobody notices if it’s slow or non-compliant, because we expect mobile devices to be crippled. I have a perfect sample of their handiwork in the shape of my DS.

    The question is, if it ever was good except in the pink-tinted memories of good old days. I think it wasn’t.

    I don’t think the example of Opera teaches us anything about downloadable anime.

  2. Chris Says:

    Wow, that’s certainly a different view than I have of the browser.

    Mind you, I don’t use Javascript when browser web sites, and I trust my e-mail to KMail to download. Otherwise, Opera is simply faster to load the program and faster to load tabs and doesn’t start lagging the same as Firefox 2 does for me, on Fedora Linux, Kubuntu Linux, and Windows Vista all three alike. Further, the interface is less cluttered than Konqueror, and more responsive than Internet Explorer 7. At least, for me this is the case.

    I’ve never used Opera on am embedded device (only on PC’s, laptops, and the Nintendo Wii), so I’m surprised to learn it lacks snappiness so widely (although I’d read about its poor showing on the DS in the past).

    I’ll continue to use Opera as long as it’s the quickest, snappiest browser with the best memory usage available to me. I’d also pay for it if it still required it, as I find it to be the superior browser.

    I think a lot of people, on the other hand, won’t even give it a chance because it used to have a price tag. I still get the impression from many people, in general, that any cost is too much.

    But, then, I also hang around the open source software world, where if you even think of suggesting someone should ask for a penny to use the software they spent the last year non-stop writing, you’ll be boo’d off the ‘net as Microsoft cronie.