Microsoft, long considered the devil at Opera Software’s Oslo headquarters, is now its partner.
This morning, the Norwegian software maker announced that it’s data-saving browser, Opera Mini, will become the default web browser for Microsoft’s existing feature phones based on the Series 30+, Series 40 systems as well as its (Nokia) Asha phones portfolio.
As part of the surprising licensing agreement, people who use the current browser for these phones, Xpress, will be “encouraged to upgrade” to the latest Opera Mini browser.
Factory-new devices will, however, come with Opera Mini pre-installed.
That means Microsoft has essentially outsourced the development of mobile browsers for its entire line of low-end phones to Opera Software, with which it has long competed on the browser market.
It also means Opera Mini should get something of a usage boost, although we should note it already has approximately 250 million users (of which 100 million on Android smartphones).
“This is a great opportunity to spread the benefits of Opera Mini to millions more consumers in our core markets. There are still massive numbers of people who have not moved to smartphones, but Opera Mini can provide them with an amazing browsing experience right now,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software.