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Opera asks its browser users what they want

It's not often that a company comes forward to ask its customers what they really want to have in a forthcoming product. Some people have found that in many cases, companies like Intel and Microsoft have in the past included or put emphasis on ‘features’ that the majority of users have ultimately shunned.

The Pentium ID fiasco and the more recent Windows Genuine Advantage imbroglio are reminders of how one's own customers can react negatively.

It is therefore refreshing that Opera, which develops the eponymous browser, has turned to its user base and asked them exactly what they wanted to add in the forthcoming tenth edition of Opera and the support has been enthusiastic to say the least. More than 600 replies have been posted with some very interesting suggestions.

Customers are the users who are more likely to give you a true picture how well your product is actually performing. Opera did something that other companies in the IT sector should emulate. Listening to customers in product development can not only reduce development costs but also cut the TTM (Time to Market) and generate buzz about forthcoming products.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.