SuSE has announced that it will include an ad-sponsored version of the Opera Web browser in the next distribution of its Linux desktop software.
Extending its strategy to focus on niche segments of the browser market, this is the first deal of its kind that the Norwegian-based Opera Software has entered.
"Being included in Linux distributions opens new doors for Opera," said Dean Kakridas, vice president of desktop products, Opera Software ASA. "Distribution from the operating system itself will put our browser readily available for everyone, exposing thousands of users to a unique Internet experience."
It will also place the browser in competition with popular open-source browsers Mozilla, Galleon and KDE project's Konqeror.
"It's an intriguing move but not one that I think will be extremely popular," Sydney Linux Users Group president, Jeff Waugh, told ZDNet Australia.
Waugh believes that free software hobbyists will have little interest in a proprietary Web browser and Opera won't be able to compete with recently released Mozilla 1.0, which he described as an "incredibly powerful".
"Adding ads to non-open-source software makes quite an annoying prospect," Waugh said.
Everything Linux managing director Anthony Rumble isn't surprised to see another browser added to the handful that are already included in the SuSE distribution, but he's curious to see which will be the default browser.
"We won't know that until the new package comes out," said Rumble.
The Opera browser will be available in SuSE 8.0.