New Microsoft Phones to Get Opera Mini as Their Default Web Browser
Current users of Microsoft phones will also be encouraged to move to the Opera Mini browser, according to Opera officials.New Microsoft mobile phones will now be loaded with the Opera Mini Web browser as the default browser on the devices under special licensing with Microsoft. The move was announced in an Aug. 21 story by Reuters, which also reported that Opera had signed a deal to begin running the browser unit of Microsoft's Nokia division. "We have signed a strategic licensing deal with Microsoft," Opera CEO Lars Boilsesen said in a statement. "We are basically taking over the browser building department in Nokia. This means that Opera Mini will become the default browser for Microsoft's feature phone product lines and the Asha phones product lines." That means that all new Microsoft phones in the Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha software platforms will come with Opera Mini preinstalled and that current Microsoft phone users will be encouraged to move over to the Opera Mini browser on their devices from the current Xpress browser that has been installed on the devices, the story reported. "This is a great deal for us," Boilsesen told Reuters. "We have dreamed of this for more than 10 years."
The news follows an announcement in July that Microsoft will be slashing 18,000 jobs over the next year, including some 12,500 jobs at its recently acquired Nokia cell phone unit, as part of an integration of the two companies. Part of the process includes consolidating the Smart Devices and Mobile Phones business units into a single phone business unit headed by Jo Harlow, a former Nokia executive in charge of Smart Devices.