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12/10/2009
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Opera Offers Unified Mobile UI Tool

The cross-platform framework will enable businesses to deploy Opera browsers with a consistent user interface across multiple handsets.

Opera introduced a cross-platform user interface framework Thursday that will enable carriers and handset makers to offer a consistent experience across multiple handsets.

The company produces the most popular third-party mobile browsers in the world primarily because they can work on a variety of platforms including Android, Java, BlackBerry, LiMo, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. The browsers use server-side compression technology to minimize hardware and bandwidth requirements as well.

The UI framework can help businesses deploy Opera's browsers with a unified experience across platforms, as well as reduce implementation costs, Opera said. It can also be used for branding purposes. More information on the framework can be found on Opera's Web site.

"Our mobile UI has already been deployed on millions of handsets, and the rave reviews we've received tell us that Opera has succeeded in creating a unique and visually stunning Web experience that's easy and compelling for users across the board," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software, in a statement.

The move comes as the competition is heating up in the mobile browsing space. Most customers use the on-deck browser like the Chrome-lite browser on Android or the mobile Safari on the iPhone. Research In Motion is also trying to improve the browsing experience on BlackBerry smartphones, and it plans to have a WebKit-based browser by the middle of 2010.

Opera is also seeing multiple third-party browsers vie for market share, as Skyfire recently introduced a new version of its mobile browser that enables users to interact with Web sites that use Flash, Silverlight, and other technologies. Mozilla is also trying to replicate the success it had on the desktop with its Fennec mobile browser, and it offers support for extensions and full touchscreen integration.

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