Opera is that company that everyone knows about but never really stopped to understand why it is so important. The Norway-based company has always been an ankle-biter, pushing the envelope and calling out the big guys for injustices put upon web developers and Internet surfers. It’s not a sexy position to be in, but Opera has always stood its ground.

Opera-LogoToday, Opera has announced that it will be slowly abandoning its own web-rendering “Turbo” engine in lieu of WebKit, the core development platform used by Chrome and Safari. In a way, today is a sad day. The company might have fallen on its own sword for the greater good, one final time.

By never having the pole position in the “browser war,” Opera had the freedom to try new things and make noise about the issues that really matter, including being able to choose your default browser on the…

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