Opera boss orchestrates the handheld web
It's got to be one web, wherever it goes.
He adds that there's a lot of work going on at Opera to improve the desktop browser, not least to keep up with - or ahead of - the others. It has had tabbed browsers for many years, but now IE7 and Firefox have the same, for example.
"You have to remember that the core function of a browser is browsing," he says. "Site compatibility is a problem, especially is the site is coded only for IE. Then you're looking at speed - we have rewritten the engine to be faster and smaller.
"There's lot of improvements in the mail client - we actually have users who use Opera because of the mail client. A big part is the ability to use large amounts of data, for example to find email by sender or a keyword.
"It's fast search too, because we put all emails into an underlying database. The ability to synchronise bookmarks and the searchable history is also very powerful."
A better mousetrap
But how do you develop a better user experience? All too often it seems that hardware and software is developed by technologists who have no real concept of how the average user thinks.
"We do have some ergonomics people," says Tetzchner, "and my background is in computer science and user interfaces, but the most important thing is to listen to users. If they don't like something they're going to hammer us."
And he adds that just recently he has seen signs that the rest of the market is coming round to Opera's view that the right way to go is to put the standard Internet on a mobile device.
"Competition is heating up in the mobile space, with the iPhone coming out," he says. "We have been competing with WAP, and we were a lone voice saying 'The web works', but now we have Apple saying it too."
At the same time though, there is a huge opportunity still to be filled. There's lots of devices out there, but few are Internet-enabled yet and those few are mostly email-only.
"The mobile side is a numbers game," Tetzchner says. "Microsoft sells 10-20 million devices a year, that's just 1 percent or so [of the total available market]. But in most companies, mobile is still only email and they haven't mobilised other applications yet."