Browser maker Opera Software is announcing a milestone today: 100 million people are now using Opera’s browsers. Interestingly, half of the audience are using the mobile version of Opera’s Browser, Opera Mini. As of March 2010, 50 million unique active users were browsing on Opera’s desktop offering on Windows, Mac and Linux computers and 50 million people were using Opera’s mobile browser.
While user growth of Opera’s desktop offering has increased over 30 percent from last year, Opera Mini is growing much faster in terms of usage. In February, Opera Mini saw a 145 percent increase in users from the previous year. And Opera Mini’s growth is steady. Each month, the conclusion is always the same: mobile web usage around the world keeps on growing and growing. Clearly, the most significant growth is taking place in Opera’s mobile offering.
But it’s always a positive sign when a browser company is seeing an increase of usage in both of its products. Earlier this year, Opera saw a spike in downloads of its latest desktop browser (10.5) after Microsoft started offering Windows users in Europe a choice in browser with a so-called ballot screen. And Opera just submitted an application for an Opera Mini app for the iPhone, which it claims is up to 6 times faster than the native browser thanks to its compression and server-side rendering technology. It’s unclear if the app will be approved.