Earlier this month, Opera decided to use WebKit as its rendering browser engine and V8 as its JavaScript engine. Unfortunately for around 91 people, that means the browser maker no longer requires their particular skills.

In its Q4 2012 financials, Opera stated, “At the end of 4Q12, the company had 931 full-time employees and equivalents. … Excluding employees associated with the organizational restructuring, the company had 840 full-time employees and equivalents at the end of 4Q12.” Or, in simpler terms, 91 folks got the boot.

WebKit is the open-source software behind a few other modern browsers you may know — Chrome, Safari. In its attempt to keep up with those fast-moving Joneses, Opera had to let go of its own rendering engine, Presto.

“It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium rather than developing our own rendering engine further,” said Opera chief technical officer Håkon Wium Lie.

“Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches to improve multi-column layout.”

While some developers were sacked in the switch, others working on Presto chose to leave of their own accord when their skill sets and job descriptions became less than useful to the company.

The company also just shipped Ice, a new mobile browser for iOS and Android — again, WebKit-based.

With around a 2-percent share of all web traffic, the small company is clearly hoping these strides forward will help it keep pace with competitors and remain in the browser game for a little while longer.


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