Mini browser to be installed on Microsoft phones
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[August 21, 2014]
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian
software maker Opera signed a deal to take over the
browser building unit of Microsoft's Nokia mobile phone
unit and reported second-quarter earnings above
expectations on Thursday, sending it shares sharply
"We have signed a strategic licensing deal with Microsoft. We are
basically taking over the browser building department in Nokia,"
Opera Chief Executive Lars Boilsesen said. "This means that Opera
Mini will become the default browser for Microsoft's feature phone
product lines and the Asha phones product lines."
The deal will be profitable from the start, he added.
Opera shares rose 6.5 percent to 80.45 crowns a share by 0304 EST on
the deal and the earnings report.
"All the current user base will be encouraged to upgrade to Opera
Mini and all the new phones will come with Opera Mini pre-installed
as a default browser. This is a great deal for us. We have dreamed
of this for more than 10 years."
In a separate statement, Opera said the licensing agreement applies
to mobile phones based on the Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha
"As part of the agreement, people who use the current browser for
these phones, Xpress, will be encouraged to upgrade to the latest
Opera Mini browser. Factory-new devices will have Opera Mini
In the second quarter, Opera's adjusted earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 24 percent to $27
million, beating forecasts for $24.7 million in a Reuters poll of
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The firm said it now sees full-year EBITDA in a range of $117
million to $124 million, up from a previous guidance for $110-120
million, and it sees revenues at $480-500 million versus a previous
forecasts for $435-460 million.
(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg, writing by Terje Solsvik; Editing
by Balazs Koranyi)
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