Back in January the Opera Desktop Team started to collect some anonymous usage stats about how people use their Web browser. They prompted 1 in 100 users to enable the usage collection setting, and I was one of the people to jump on the bandwagon.
Unlike most companies who collect the stats, they wanted to share some of the interesting findings they saw. So what could they have possibly found? These are the ones that I found interesting:
- 51% actually change the home page address
- The status bar is quite popular, so we consider turning it on by default again.
- When using the Master password, about half of our users want to be asked every time needed, the other half once per session. Only one in 5000 users set a fixed interval instead. It sounds like a useful choice, but in practice the two basic options are enough.
- A lot of people hardly use bookmarks at all (30 bookmarks and less). A lot of people use bookmarks a lot (300 bookmarks or more).
- Folders are actively used for bookmarks (the average number of folders is 17)
- Only 1.8% ask Opera to confirm exit. Since most people only use a single window, this setting is very close to the warning in Firefox that you are about to close a window with more than one tab. The low number might indicate that asking by default (like we used to do and like Firefox still does) is annoying more people than it helps.
I actually fit into the "norm" on just about all of those. I do have more than 300 bookmarks although I clean them up often, so my bookmark trash can is always pretty full. It’s nice having a trash can for your bookmarks because you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting a bookmark that you needed.
One of the stats that I know they collected but failed to report on is the minimum and maximum number of tabs you have had open, as well as the average. I would say that my average number of tabs is about 15, and my maximum is probably about 60 or 70 at one time (that’s normally in the morning when I’m reading through news stories). It would have been fun to hear what other Opera users average for the number of tabs they have open, although I suspect that it would be rather low (less than 5).
As the Opera team continues on the journey to version 9.5, they have made a pre-release version of 9.22 available. This includes some BitTorrent optimizations as well as Silverlight compatibility.