Opera Bravery: Johan Borg


    So, today, our guest is Johan Borg , vice president of Opera Software , who has recently been responsible for the postal business at the company. To whom he is responsible for this very direction in the company there, it’s not very interesting for us, but it’s curious to know that he will answer the questions asked by the habrachiteli a little earlier. I must say right away that I did not apply any censorship and sent questions almost everything that was asked - naturally, only concerning the topic of the interview. Let me remind you that this is a purchase by Opera Software of the Australian mail service FastMail.FM and the consequences of this acquisition both for the company itself and for us users. Now let's move on to the answers themselves.

    image1. Why in 2010 do you need mail as a separate program or part of a browser? All major email services have a convenient web interface. And setting up an email program, a difficult quest for many users ( PokimonFromGamedev )

    In fact, there are still things that are easier to implement as a native client, although we and other browser developers try to make the user experience with web services as comfortable as possible. And now we are implementing both directions: both the integrated email client and the new online email web service.

    2. First of all, I wonder if the conditions and tariffs of the mail service itself change? I was a little puzzled by the restrictions when creating an account, okay, the limitation of the place and domain depending on the cost of the account, but to limit the login length or prohibit POP3 (IMAP-only for free-users), and EVEN SMTP ... About advertising in sent letters (from a free-account ) generally keep quiet. Maybe she’s just used to a freebie, do not judge strictly, the “normal” account by the standards of free mail is only $ 5 per year, yes ( Imenem )

    All FastMail.FM premium services will work as usual, and in addition we will offer free services for Opera users .

    3. Secondly, if a change in tariffing is not provided, due to which competition with the same g-mail will be built. I found the full list of tariffs onthis fastmail.fm page if anyone is interested. ( Imenem )

    When we started developing the Opera browser, the most popular question was: “guys, how are you going to compete with giants like Mosaic?”. But we were sure then and do not lose this confidence and now that if you do something well, there will always be a certain number of users for whom our service will be more convenient than similar developments of other companies.

    4. Thirdly, if it’s not a secret, what will be the main meaning of the “symbiosis” of the browser (with built-in email client) and mail? What products are supposed to be created? ( Imenem )

    Many users already have an Opera account, which is used for synchronization (Opera Link), Unite applications or communication on My Opera. By adding the mail service to this list, we can offer users the creation of a one-click mail account directly in the desktop version of the browser (after all, it is already connected to the Opera account).

    5. To be honest, I learned about the service and the deal from this topic, looked on the network - there are predictions that this purchase will create a convenient email service for users of mobile devices. Please comment separately, I would like to hear about plans for Opera Mini and the web client for mail compatible with it. ( Imenem )

    Of course, we will integrate the new mail service with our other software products, but it’s too early to disclose all the details;)

    6. Fourth, what current Opera services will be integrated with the mail - Unite, Links, Bookmarks, etc.? It would also be interesting to hear about integration with an advertising service purchased by a company earlier (if it is supposed to create a service for mobile devices), what will be the business model (banners, targeted advertising, etc.). ( Imenem )

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. A discussion of a specific business model is beyond the scope of this interview;)

    7. Fifth (from the realm of science fiction), as far as I remember, in Opera, in addition to the email client, there is an RSS reader and IRC chat, and fastmail.fm provides the ability to communicate through Jabber. Does this mean that we can also expect XMPP support in Opera? ( Imenem )

    We are watching with interest the fate of XMPP - recently, this protocol has received good support from VKontakte and Facebook. As in the case of email, XMPP can be used to provide interaction between web services and client applications, but at the moment we do not have any specific plans in addition to maintaining support for XMPP servers for FastMail.FM clients.

    8. Are you planning, in connection with the purchase of FastMail.FM, a more or less serious refinement / modernization of the current mail client in order to expand its capabilities or improve usability? If so, in what direction are the work being carried out? ( fo2rist )

    We plan both to improve the functionality of the email client built into the browser due to the useful FastMail.FM solutions, and to implement successful finds of the browser mailer in the online service.

    9. Will it be able to use M2 to access mail servers through proxy? I mean, for the guys who have made even a web server working through such connection (Unite) it seems to be a piece of cake to get just a client connection working. Eg through the Turbo servers with an additional bonus of traffic compression. Btw, the Turbo for mail would be a sweet bonus itself. ( Chamie )

    Opera’s mail client has recently launched an “economical mode”, which helps reduce traffic consumption and supports IMAP COMPRESS technology. Whether it makes sense to use an additional compression proxy depends on how quickly mail services provide support for this technology. Obviously, FastMail.FM will be among the first;)

    10. Owning both a mail client and a mail server allows you to closely integrate them. At the same time, both opera and fastmail are supporters of open standards. Will the result of the merger in the opera include support for any features that are currently missing or not common for working with mail? How do you pleasantly surprise your users? ( arty )

    First of all, we plan to make a convenient and sound mail service. But, of course, it is very tempting to try to use the new web standards that are already supported by the Opera browser. Familiarization with the lists of changes in our internal browser builds gives a lot of room for inspiration;)

    11. What percentage of Opera users use Opera Mail? ( Shaddix )

    Millions of users.

    12. Interested in where the FastMail mail server is physically located? It doesn’t come out that it will be loaded from Russia slowly? ( Writer )

    Actually FastMail.FM servers are located in the USA. All opera email services will use the capabilities of existing Opera Mini / Opera Turbo server farms located in several countries in order to optimize the speed and stability of the services.

    13. How does Opera plan to entice users to FastMail from other email services? ( negasus )

    900 terabytes to each user! But seriously, we plan to make a convenient and reliable service, tightly integrated with Opera browsers and our other developments. You will be able to use it as an additional one, and then, hopefully, you want to designate it as the main one for your needs.

    14. When can I see the HTML code in the letter in the opera? Better yet, use all the tools of the Opera for debugging. Now it needs to be saved for this, which is not very convenient.
    Will it be possible to configure all the folders in IMAP mail Opera? That is, what letters to receive, which not. ( GreLI )

    We have no plans to implement debugging features for mail messages. But further expansion of IMAP capabilities is being discussed.

    15. Does fastmail replace Operameil? operamail.com will just be an alias to fastmail.fm? ( Phaker )

    New services will use a different domain name, but all existing FastMail.FM users will be able to work with mail in the previous mode.

    16. Will individual settings, message headers downloaded via IMAP, and other specifics be transmitted via opera link? ( g0dlike )

    We are exploring the possibility of synchronizing contacts through Opera Link.

    17. There is such an observation that when a company begins to engage in a non-core business, this means that it does not know how to further develop its core. And this, in turn, almost always means the withering and early death of this main area. Actually, the question is: does Opera no longer see prospects in its browser? ( Q2W )

    Everything is exactly the opposite: at the moment, we continue to develop the browser, adding new features to it. So far, we only had a built-in email client, now a simple web-service is easy to configure and use.

    18. In addition to the questions already voiced about the integration of Opera and Fastmail services, she is interested in whether multilingualism (of course, I want Russian) will be added to the web interface, are there any plans for improving it in general and for rebranding Fastmail in general. ( Santiago26 )

    The first beta version of the new service will most likely be released with an English interface, but we plan to add at least a Russified interface to the final. There are no plans for rebranding FastMail.FM.

    19. Why Opera has been supporting its own mail service Operamail for so long with a mailbox size of 3 MB, and with a limit of one letter of 2 MB, this did not meet user requests. ( Pechkin1007 )

    That's why we bought a full-fledged email web service.

    Thanks for the questions!
    Johan Borg

    Well, the first pancake was not so lumpy, it seems to me. And in order to finish completely on an optimistic note, I can add that a special opera prize will be awarded to the author of the best question in each interview. And today, so lucky, according to Johan, was Chamie (question number 9). Honestly - not for the English language (Johan received absolutely all questions from me in the already English language form and chose the winner impartially). The holder of the best question receives a t-shirt and pen from Opera Software as a gift (I’m waiting for the coordinates for contact in PM).

    Congratulations to the winner and getting ready for the next series of interviews, the topic of which will be announced in the near future.

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