Opera 8 Surpasses 600,000 Downloads

Firefox may be garnering most of the attention as an alternative to IE, but Opera 8 has been met with a massive response from Internet users - so much so that new Opera download servers had to be installed. In just 48 hours since its launch, Opera Software says over 600,000 people have downloaded its new Web browser.

Opera 8 debuted on Tuesday boasting simplicity and security. The new release includes native speech technology, a new rendering technology that handles any type of screen size, built-in RSS news feeds, as well as a new security information field to better inform users of risks will surfing the Web.

"A lot of people had great difficulties downloading Opera 8 on Tuesday because the traffic on the servers was simply too high," says Opera vice president Carsten Fischer.

"When download numbers reached 120 per second one hour after the release, our servers had serious problems dealing with all the requests. We had prepared for heavy traffic, but this exceeded our wildest dreams."

Obviously enjoying the excitement surrounding Opera 8, company CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner said if downloads reached 1 million in the next 48 hours, he would swim from Opera's home in Norway to the United States. Opera's communications department took the opportunity to have some public fun with the promise.

"I am not sure he realizes how cold the Norwegian Sea is in April," said Anne Stavnes, Opera's Human Resource Manager. "However, having seen Jon in his red beach attire before, I am not sure if swimming to the USA is scarier than exposing people to this sight."

The four-day download figures of version 8 will be announced by Opera on Monday.

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