O is for Opera, the scrappy underdog
Its user base still loves it, 'cause it's not a
From its unusual beginnings as a Norwegian telco's research project, Opera has developed something of a cult following. It entered the market as a Windows browser in 1996 and earned fans for its early adoption of features the big guys didn't think about till later, including cascading style sheets and tabbed browsing.
Opera's fans tout its smart architecture, including a 2006 core retooling that made it easier to port to different platforms, as a reason for its longevity. Perhaps that's why Nintendo picked Opera for its Wii and DSi machines. (Shown here: Opera 5 circa 2000.)
Opera users may account for only about 3% to 5% of Net traffic, but they're a loyal group, and as they say backstage, it ain't over till the fat lady sings.