Web browser engines may not be particularly exciting, but they sure are in the news a lot as of late.

Yesterday Google announced it was ditching the WebKit mobile browser engine in favor of Blink, its own in-house fork. That move was as much about speed as it was control: By developing its own browser engine, Google says it can accelerate development (and also maybe control the direction of the mobile web).

Now, rival browser maker Opera is following in Google’s footsteps, the company confirmed today.

“When we announced the move away from Presto, we announced that we are going with the Chromium package, and the forking and name change have little practical influence on the Opera browsers,” an Opera spokesperson told The Next Web.

Image (1) webkitsss.jpg for post 90251Essentially, nothing has changed for Opera, which announced in February that it was adopting WebKit for its own mobile browser. But the company also pledged support for Chromium, the open source counterpart to Chrome — which is why it’s going with Google rather than sticking with WebKit.

Opera’s confirmation comes the day after Samsung announced it was teaming up with Mozilla to develop Servo, a browser engine designed to take advantage of multi-core devices.

It’s all a tad confusing, but here’s the gist: Developing your own browsing engine gives you more influence over the browsers that use it. This means control, which is becoming increasingly important in the growing world of the mobile web.

While it’s too early to predict what will happen with all of these browsing engines, we do know that developers are going to have quite a time working with all of them.

Photo: Flickr/Johan Larsson


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