Vivaldi, the new Browser for Power Users

Vivaldi Technologies, a company founded by co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, has released a freeware web browser aimed at power users and tech enthusiasts. Vivaldi originated as a start page run by Opera Software for their web browser Opera, which currently maintains just under 2% of the world’s desktop browser market share. Usage for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is showing a steady decline, with Google’s Chrome browser now featuring more than 60% total market share. Vivaldi Technologies pose their new browser as an alternative to Chrome for the power user, with it’s focus on customisability and a search tool with a likeness to Spotlight in the latest versions of Apple’s OS X.

Market shares for major desktop browsers. Taken from gs.statcounter.com.
Market shares for major desktop browsers. Taken from gs.statcounter.com.

We wanted to know how the new Vivaldi browser compares to others, so we ran FutureMark’s PeaceKeeper benchmark, which tests the browser’s capacity at dealing with things such as DOM manipulation, rendering and JavaScript. The test is a little old now, but we believe it still yields important metrics in assessing a browsers capabilities as not all web content is using the latest and greatest technologies.

BrowserRendering ScoreHTML5 Canvas ScoreDOM OperationsTotal Result
Chrome 4976.9528.4612512.692632
Vivaldi 169.5529.1612878.092613
Internet Explorer 1183.2816.234798.851941
Firefox 4549.7340.8218316.593109

Our findings show a clear similarity between the function of Vivaldi when compared against Chrome, likely due to the fact they both run the webkit engine. Firefox surprisingly shows a marked improvement over the other browsers, though we suspect the difference would be less distinctive with a more modern benchmark.

Vivaldi to Focus on Customisability

The browser features enhanced customisability when compared with other major browsers, with key elements of the interface able to move and reshape based on the users preferences. Most notably, the position and form of browser tabs can be moved to work on top, below or at the side of the browser window in a multitude of ways. The browser also intelligently adapts the colour of the interface to match the content of a specific web page, enhancing context and feel when on the web.

Vivaldi browsing the MethodTech website.
Vivaldi browsing the MethodTech website.

Modern browsers face new challenges to stay relevant, with the features expected by the end user expanding on a daily basis – it’s difficult for software teams to incorporate solid features into their browser, with Firefox now facing many compatibility issues that once put Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

Firefox, the leading browser for power users before the advent of Google Chrome is now facing ongoing compatibility issues, when Senior VP Mark Mayo announced that Mozilla is working on a new browser that runs on webkit technology like Chrome.

Released on April 7th, the browser runs webkit, and is compatible with both Windows and OS X as well as Linux. You can download the new browser here.

Sources: [1] http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-browser-ww-monthly-201503-201603
[2] https://vivaldi.com/story/
[3] http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/04/vivaldi-browser-version-1-0-released/
[4] https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/04/12/2025215/the-future-of-firefox-is-chrome

About Matthew Hall 32 Articles
I am a developer and tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience working with a variety software stacks to create everything from websites to video games.

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