Opera is moving to WebKit. This means Opera, Safari, and Chrome will all use WebKit. Firefox stays it’s sticking Mozilla’s rendering engine.
In announcing the news, Opera said,
“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,” says CTO of Opera Software, Håkon Wium Lie. “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. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout.”
Sometimes having a monopoly on something, even a browser rendering engine, is a bad thing. In this situation, where we are dealing with an open source tool, I think it helps make keeping up with changes easier for everyone. I’m not saying competition isn’t good for innovation, but with open source you eliminate some of that concern for a loss of innovation.
With devices sizes all over the place, and responsive design/responsive images best practices scrambling to keep up, having major browsers all on the same page could be a good thing. Plus, browser prefixes be damned!