We have already spoken several times about Opera GX and, personally, I think a most intelligent and well thought out proposal. And it is that designing a web browser aimed especially at the gamer community, with multiple functions and integrations of elements of that world, and also added to an aesthetic design very in accordance with the canons of that world, can arouse the interest of many users who they had never heard of Opera, and therefore were up to that point out of their reach.
Probably one of the highlights of Opera GX is the integration of third-party services in its sidebar, something that greatly facilitates the simultaneous use of two or more of them. For example, for some time now, it has become quite common to use Twitch and Discord at the same time, which in normal conditions requires having two windows open (each one with one of the services) and constantly “jumping” from one to the other. to another. Aware of this, those responsible for Opera GX integrated Discord into the browser, thus avoiding this need.
Opera GX, however, has the same problem as its older brother, Opera, and that is that they are browsers that they like, they like a lot, but despite this, and for decades, they have not managed to climb positions in the ranking of the most used. I remember having conversations about it about 20 years ago, and the situation has hardly changed, no matter how much those responsible have done the unspeakable to create an innovative and reliable browser (it was the first to have tabs, to give just one example). .
With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft has focused on its application store, Microsoft Store, a repository that, let’s face it, has never had much support from the developer community, nor has it attracted much interest from users. Those in Redmond seem determined to reverse this situation and, consequently, are carrying out multiple changes that, if they work properly, could be of help in this regard.
A key point has to do with web browsers, and that is that so far the company established limitations regarding the engine that they had to use to be accessible from the store. This is no longer the case and with this change came, a few weeks ago, a first and striking news in this regard, the landing of Firefox in the Microsoft Store, something that until recently was unimaginable. And now Opera and Opera GX have been added, which, as we can read in Softpedia, can be downloaded and installed in Windows, both 10 and 11, through the Microsoft Store.
When the availability of Firefox was announced in the Microsoft Store there was an interesting debate that, surely, will be reproduced when talking about Opera GX, What do browsers gain by joining the Windows store? It is a question with substance, which is worth giving a couple of turns.
First of all, we must remember that there are quite a few systems in which, either by the version of Windows or by the security policies defined in it, software can only be installed from the Microsoft Store. We are not talking about a massive number of users, but probably enough for Firefox, Opera and Opera GX to do what is in their power to become accessible to those users.
On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, those from Redmond are putting the focus on their app store, which will probably cause more users to access it. In other words, Microsoft Store is a showcase that until now has had a very limited size, but that could grow in the short and medium term, thus giving more visibility to the software available in it. Opera and Opera GX, which have a significant problem with visibility, could benefit greatly from this possible change.
But here not only Opera GX and the other browsers win, of course. For its part, Microsoft Store needs to grow its catalog with attractive software that makes users more interested in the platform. Adding applications that have a lot of prestige, such as Firefox and Opera, is undoubtedly a very smart move in this regard. And it is not much use to have a store with an exceptional location, if then what you sell in it is not interesting for all the people who pass by, right?