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MS, Opera sign browser deal

August 22, 2014

Reuters



Opera Mini will become the default browser on Microsoft's feature and Asha phones.

Norwegian software maker Opera signed a deal to take over the browser building unit of Microsoft'sNokia mobile phone unit and reported second-quarter earnings above expectations yesterday, sending its shares sharply higher.

"We have signed a strategic licensing deal with Microsoft. We are basically taking over the browser building department in Nokia," Opera CEO 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% 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," said Boilsesen.

In a separate statement, Opera said the licensing agreement applies to mobile phones based on the Series 30+, Series 40 and Asha software platforms.

"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 pre-installed."

In the second quarter, Opera's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 24% to $27 million, beating forecasts for $24.7 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

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 revenue at $480-500 million versus a previous forecast for $435-460 million.


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Source: ITWeb


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