Skyfire and the Skyfire browser will continue to operate as is for the time beingOpera is revealing some more of its plans, it has bought Skyfire, the maker of the mobile browser with the same name, a company that also offers video optimization services.
These should fit right in with Opera Mini and Opera Turbo, both of which optimize web usage to drive down data transfers.
The deal could be worth $155 million when finished, depending on how well the company performs over the next three years, Skyfire investors are getting only about a third of that upfront.
In its announcement, Opera put the emphasis on Rocket Optimizer, the video optimization software, so it should be fairly obvious that this is what interested Opera the most.
Even if it's giving up on building its own desktop browser and its own HTML engine, Opera has plenty of experience in the browser business so the Skyfire browser probably wasn't near the top of priorities.
That said, Skyfire's claim to fame was that it served Flash video without needing the plugin, something that could prove useful if added to a Opera browser.
However, for the time being at least, Skyfire will continue as a wholly owned but independent subsidiary of Opera and will continue to offer its full range of services and products, including the Skyfire browser.
That makes sense even if Opera plans to replace Skyfire, since it doesn't have any of the "next generation" Opera browsers ready, the Android version is coming in a week or so, but the iOS version is going to take a lot longer than that.
"The two companies envision a powerful new set of joint products to be released over the coming year by combining their talents and know-how," Opera explained
"In particular, they look to expand on Opera’s Web Pass offering, which allows consumers to purchase innovative data plans such as an unlimited ‘day pass’ of popular apps and web sites for an affordable price, thanks to video and data optimization. WebPass can enable new business models for operators, such as toll free data, ad-supported data, and more," it added.