Opera today "revealed" that security concerns have prompted record downloads of its browser.
In a schoolbook of example of "don't send a press release if you've got nothing to say," the company sent out a press release for the sake of sending one.
The "revelation" isn't based on anything, as the reader will find out. It just combines two findings: more than one million copies of Opera 8.51 have been downloaded in the past week and Internet Explorer keeps getting pounded by security vulnerabilities. But Opera doesn't provide any data to back up the claim that there is a link between the record number of downloads and security concerns with Internet Explorer users (aren't the downloaders more likely to be upgrading from older version of the Opera browser?)
Add a link to the Secunia security website (deceivingly suggesting that the link will show the reader an independent test to verify Opera's security claims) and a generic CEO quote and you got yourself a case study for PR gone wrong.
Opera might have a decent (although far from perfect ) security track record, today's news release only sought to capitalize on the holiday shopping craze and the sad state of online security. Suggesting a link between unrelated facts is better left to the sellers of real snake oil.picture of a snake oil ("Dr. Gard's remedy") salesman in the good old days)
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