Opera pokes fun at Chrome speed-test video

Jabbing at Google's elaborate Chrome speed test, Opera counters with low-tech browser video involving potatoes and kinetic energy.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland

Opera, ever scrappy in its effort to promote its browser over larger rivals, is poking fun at Google's recent video boasting about the speed of its Chrome browser.

"The Opera browser is much faster than a potato," concludes Opera's low-budget video, which features herring-obsessed caricatured Scandinavians rolling the tubers into a pot of water at the same time Opera loads a Web page.

The video is a not-so-subtle dig at Google, which promoted Chrome's speed using elaborately staged stunts recorded with high-speed videography. The first example: involved shooting a potato through a grid to make french fries, with a Web page loading in scene as the sliced potato pieces whizzed by.

Joking aside, browser speed is important: people use Web pages more when the pages load and respond faster. All five of the top browser makers--Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Google, and Opera--are working as hard as possible on minimum launch times and page-load times and on fast execution of Web-based JavaScript programs.