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Yahoo, Opera To Broaden Mobile Browser's Appeal

An Opera Mini browser that's in the works will be available through Yahoo Mobile and as a free standalone product.

Trying to cash in on what's becoming an increasingly lucrative market, Opera Software and Yahoo are partnering up to deliver a version of the Opera Mini Mobile Web browser for a broader range of smartphones.

Yahoo officials said they plan to begin distributing the Opera Mini browser both through Yahoo Mobile but also as a standalone product that can be downloaded free of charge from Yahoo's various mobile Web sites. Officials from the companies didn't say specifically when the product would become available.

Both Yahoo and Opera plan to offer mobile users full access to the Internet on a varied range of devices. For its part, Opera officials said they will take advantage of Yahoo's distribution network thereby allowing tens of millions of users to access Opera Mini. They hope to offer mobile users close to the same kind of experience on their phones that would get sitting in front of their desktop PCs.

"Yahoo Mobile and Opera Mini gives users a cost-effective way of getting the Internet delivered to your phone, and we think it can deliver the full Web experience to your phone, similar to how you know it from your desktop computer," Opera Software CEO John von Tetzchner said.

In related news earlier this week, Opera announced its intention to tailor a version of Opera Mini for Vodafone, which specializes in low- to midrange-priced phones. Vodafone officials, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, said it would pursue those users logging on to the Internet for the first time using a mobile phone.

Yahoo just introduced Yahoo Mobile this week at the Barcelona conference. The new application is expected to serve as a portal for applications and news on smartphones. Company officials announced Yahoo Mobile for iPhones scheduled for March with a Java-flavored version due in May.

Web browser security has become an issue of late. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).

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