Opera officially announces move to WebKit, Opera Ice confirmed

Back in mid-January, Pocket-lint exclusively revealed that Opera is in the process of developing a new mobile and tablet web browser called Opera Ice, and posted an internally shot video of the software in action. We also revealed that the browser had been developed using the open source WebKit engine rather than its own Presto platform.

Now Opera has officially confirmed our revelations, that it is switching to WebKit, and openly admits that "many of you got a peek" at one of the projects "codenamed Ice", referring to our former story.

It has also said it will be using Chromium. "The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better. It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need," said Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software.

"It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further," he explained. "Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout."

The company will be demonstrating its wares at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month, but won't be demonstrating the Opera Ice browser. It will be in a celebratory mood, however, as it has also revealed that its browsers are now used by more than 300 million people a month.