Most major browsers currently available on the market use Google as their default search provider. Mozilla continues to utilize the search engine in Firefox after announcing an agreement in December that will extend their partnership for at least three more years. Opera has just entered into a similar deal.
Opera Software has entered into a new agreement with Google. The Opera browser will continue to use Google search as the default until 2014. The deal contains a number of perks for both Google and Opera as they continue their mutual friendship.
It was revealed in Opera's quarter two report that the deal with Google will last until August 1, 2014. The deal will see Opera serving as a vehicle to promote various Google products and services. The agreement also covers Opera's desktop and mobile browsers in all global territories.
Opera's desktop browser has never really taken off, but its mobile browser is one of the most popular on the market. It plans to grow its mobile and desktop business throughout the year to gain more of a foothold in the highly competitive browser market. It remains to be seen if their agreement with Google will help the company realize its goal.
Opera itself runs a number of online advertising services that directly compete with Google's own AdSense. The agreement doesn't seem to be slowing down Opera's own expansion of their online advertising business. The company expects to generate far more revenue in mobile advertising in 2012 than it did in 2011.
The increased focus on mobile will definitely be a strong point for Opera this year due to their already popular browser. Compared to Google's mobile Chrome browser, Opera Mini can be installed on far more devices than any other competing browser. Google might be using that reach to advertise their own products and services through Opera's mobile browser.
Google's agreements with both Opera and Firefox will end around 2014. It will be interesting to see if these companies will still continue to use Google's search engine as their default or switch to a competitor. Another possible scenario would see Chrome growing so large that Opera bows out of the browser market entirely. The Web can change a lot in a year with such disruptions becoming more commonplace. We'll check back with Opera in 2014 to see how they're doing.