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The startup joining Google and Microsoft in the web browser market

Vivaldi Technologies is launching a new web browser that aims to lure users away from the Opera platform.

The startup’s chief executive Jon S. Von Tetzchner, who previously worked at Opera, believes that despite the competition from Google Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer there is room for another web browser offering something different.

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"Most browser makers in the market are trying to make a limited browser, maybe with extensions. But that is not what everyone wants," von Tetzchner told CNET. "As an example, there are still about 20 million people using Opera 12, even though that browser is more than three years old. There is a need for a browser for the tech user, the user that wants more from their browser."

Von Tetzchner’s decision to target dissatisfied Opera users in particular emerges from his own experience at the company and also the public reaction to a number of Opera changes. Last year, the company closed its My Opera site, leading Vivaldi to launch its own community site to accommodate the displaced users.

Vivaldi’s Technical Preview 1, which was unveiled today, incorporates a number of features not found in the most widely used web browsers. It allows users to issue written commands, annotate web pages and group their tabs into stacks for better organisation.

Although von Tetzchner specifically refers to his old company, stating that he aims to “provide a browser for those former Opera users that want more from their browser,” he is well aware that competition in the market is fierce. Opera is currently in fifth place in the industry, with 1.4 per cent of worldwide Internet users, with Apple’s Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer all competing to come out on top.

Von Tetzchner, who confirmed that a mobile version of Vivaldi’s browser is also in development, believes that despite the competition there is a market for another web browser.

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"The browser market has always been challenging, but we are ready for that challenge," he said.