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The latest offering from Opera stacks up nicely against Firefox, IE

Opera made waves earlier this year, releasing its 9.5 "Kestrel" version of its desktop browser.  The Norwegian company has grown a small but loyal contingent of users over the years and continues to provide a solid alternative to an Internet Explorer versus Firefox world.

Also known for its Wii and Nintendo DS browsers, Opera today unleashed the 9.6 iteration of its desktop browser on the world.  The browser is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows computers.  It comes in 38 languages, including for the first time Indonesian, Ukrainian, Estonian, Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, and, like its competitors, is free of cost.

The new browser offers up many new features as well as some older popular ones.  Among the most anticipated new features is the Opera Link tool, which allows you to synchronize your browser's bookmarks and preferences from any location.

Other more subtle improvements are also welcome, such as new visual previews of RSS feeds, which will let you see what you're subscribing too.  For users who work on older machines, Opera's newly optimized "low bandwidth mode" for its mail utility will offer superior performance.  The email client also has new message prioritizing features.

Overall the speed has also been turned up from version 9.5.  The speed loading pages with scripts is very competitive compared to Firefox 3, Google's new Chrome browser, and the beta of Internet Explorer 8.

Opera Software's CEO Jon von Tetzchner was enthusiastic about the new release, stating, "We believe in making the Web available for people everywhere. The people who use Opera need it to adapt to their needs and we’re proud to continue that tradition today. Our improved e-mail client is now the ideal communication tool. Opera Link gives you more flexibility to take your personal browsing identity with you to any computer. The new Opera 9.6 gives more people around the world new reasons to choose Opera."

One possible improvement that still remains to be implemented is support for Firefox add-ons.  One perpetual reader comment about the Opera browser is that they love the browser and its features, but could not go without Firefox's valuable add-ons such as NoScript and AdBlock.

Still, for a basic browsing experience Opera offers a solid alternative to the bigger names in the browser business.  To check it out for yourself, go here.

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Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/8/2008 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 1
...the only browser to ever innovate anything.

I just wish that there wasn't that 0.5% of all websites that just don't seem to work right. Maybe this release will fix that, but I won't hold my breath.

I've used Opera for years - even paid for it in it's original incarnation. But I still have to have Mozilla and/or IE around for the occasional website that refuses to work with Opera.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By CCRATA on 10/8/2008 3:52:20 PM , Rating: 4
You're right. All features in the new browsers are just copies of Opera. Opera invented the internet and was the original browser. /s

You can like Opera, but please refrain from making outlandish fanboy comments

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/8/2008 5:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
K. Outside of Mosaic, virtually all the hip new features that Mozilla and IE have touted over their last few releases were done first in Opera.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By CCRATA on 10/8/2008 5:56:37 PM , Rating: 3
and most of those feature were extensions or add-ons or plugins to Mozilla or IE before they were part of opera.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By adiposity on 10/8/2008 6:46:56 PM , Rating: 1
What? Tabbed browsing is probably the biggest one I can think of, and Opera had it first by a long shot, although it was technically more like "windowed" browsing in early versions, because the individual tabs could be minimized inside of opera.

What extensions are you thinking of that were first on Mozilla/IE?


RE: Hooray for Opera...
By CCRATA on 10/8/2008 7:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
I had tabbed browsing through a wrapper on top of IE 4 (which wasn't true tabbed browsing it just hid the IE windows within the tabs. Visually and Functionally equivalent), which would make it around 1997. AFAIK Opera didn't get it until 1999

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Zurtex on 10/8/2008 10:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, IE was the first to get tabs with an add-on. Opera was probably the first to natively support it and Firefox popularized it.

But as the post said, most features come from add-ons or extensions before they hit browsers natively, this is just as true of Opera as it is of IE.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By artemicion on 10/8/2008 11:56:19 PM , Rating: 5
Arguing which browser first "invented" tabbed browsing is like arguing who first discovered America.

Interesting for some, but as long as I can sustain multiple streaming pornos in the same browser window, I'll quietly enjoy the benefits of living in the land of the free.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By murphyslabrat on 10/9/2008 12:53:07 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa, he mentioned Porn here guys and he isn't a 6 yet, what gives?

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 1:12:15 AM , Rating: 1
Arguing which browser first "invented" tabbed browsing is like arguing who first discovered America.

...except that it's pretty obvious that Opera was doing it for *years* before anyone else. By the time Mozilla and IE picked up that effing obvious functionality, it was so old hat as to be not newsworthy. It would be like you driving through some po-dunk town and the motel's main feature is "color TV". Well no kidding. Welcome to...30 years ago.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By frobizzle on 10/9/2008 9:40:03 AM , Rating: 3
And they all have NCSA Mosaic to thank for the first true graphical browser!

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Spivonious on 10/9/2008 10:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
I remember switching to Mosaic from the text browser I had before...I want to say it was Netscape, but I'm probably wrong. Whatever it was, it couldn't display images. Mosaic had a little progress bar at the bottom with a count of how many images were on the page and how many were loaded. Ah, the days of 2400 baud modems.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By William Gaatjes on 10/10/2008 4:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
At that time, Opera was for sure the better browser.
All those nice activex websites and other malware sites loved IE and hated Opera. Early users of Opera have always encountered very few website related malware. When i jumped ship from ie to Opera at that time, random crashes where gone. Not using IE and OE with windows 95 and 98 made those operating systems very reliable and difficult to almost impossible to crash for me. It was like running an NT5 or higher kernel.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Jioklo on 10/8/2008 6:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. I remember when Opera came out with the idea for multiple processes for multiple tabs. oh wai..

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 1:14:27 AM , Rating: 2
...which would be nice if it did Chrome any good. It just blows up and goes away, despite the seperate processes per tab. What was that supposed to do then?

...and yes, I know what it was *supposed* to do, and I wish it worked more betterly. And I wish that Opera did it, and did it correctly. But...meh. Operationally, don't see a whole lot of benefit. Especially since Chrome just blows up entirely anyway.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hooray for Opera...
By homernoy on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Clauzii on 10/8/2008 8:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
I've tried Opera, and it's just as usable as any browser out there. It didn't attract ME, but I don't see why other mainstream (isn't there a better word?) users wouldn't get to like it, like at least 1-2 million users already do?

Personally I'm caught by the fox. So easy to customize almost(!) into oblivioun :D

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/9/2008 12:02:25 AM , Rating: 5
Well yeah don't get me wrong, its a serviceable browser. But the facts are it still doesn't render as fast as Firefox and IE. Notice the article says its speed is " competitive ", which is a flattering way to say " not really as fast ". Also more pages will fail to load or not display properly under Opera.

Also I think there must be a reason why 9 out of 10 people who actually develop web pages HATE Opera's guts.

But the biggest turnoff in my opinion is the Opera community.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 1:18:33 AM , Rating: 1
I create/maintain many websites. Opera is my main browser. Never had a problem with any of them. Never heard from any of my friends of colleagues who do web stuff that they have a problem with Opera.

9 out of 10? If I told you once, I told you a million times that you exaggerate too much.

I'd be surprised if 1% of all web pages didn't work right with Opera. I run in to them...sure. I'd wager it's more like those people coding for IE's non-standard weirdness than Opera's failings, but it wouldn't matter to me either way. I use Opera 99.5% of the time, and the other .5% I use IE or Mozilla and everything's just ducky.

...but I would like that last .5% to just effing work, whichever way the problem points.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/9/2008 12:52:58 PM , Rating: 1
Look we get it man, your a fanboi. Thats great.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Clauzii on 10/9/2008 12:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know with the new version, but in the ACID Webtest, Opera is the browswer (out of IE, FF3 and Opera) that gets the highest percentage ie. displays most code correct.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Clauzii on 10/9/2008 12:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Btw. FF 3.03 gets 71% (FF2 was ~65%)

Here is the test:

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 12:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
...I just went there with the latest Opera - 85.

Latest FireFox got 68.

Latest IE is a total effing disaster...the display is horribly garbled (not surprising, knowing how little IE conforms to standards). If I managed to read the score right, it got a 12.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/9/2008 1:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
...heh. An outdated version of Chrome I had scored 79. Better than FF.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Daemyion on 10/11/2008 9:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
Weird but after reloaded the test page three time I've gotten 3 different results (77,78,79 - all Chrome). Not exactly sure what they're testing over there, but it doesn't seem quite, erm, mathematical.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Clauzii on 10/9/2008 9:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
My FF 3.03 (Denmark) says 71%..

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Staples on 10/9/2008 1:24:01 AM , Rating: 4
These posts were from over 2 years ago. Hardly valid anymore.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Motoman on 10/8/2008 7:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
...not sure what the deal is with that guy. I have had excellent experiences with Opera for many, many years. It's just that one odd website once in a while - that's it. Otherwise two thumbs up.

The only thing that's interesting about Chrome is the seperate thread per tab. Although I've seen Chrome crash in it's entirety, despite the seperate so much for that idea, I guess.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By bongsi21 on 10/8/2008 9:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Kudos! for Opera they continue to improve and improve the trend of internet browsing. I have been using them since they created tab browsing >_< up to until now it's a blissful experience.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Staples on 10/9/2008 12:55:38 AM , Rating: 1
Opera is still the best browser but only by a little nowdays. With the much faster development of Firefox and IE along with them copying all the features that make Opera so great, now Firefox and IE8 are starting to look like actually compatitors in the features count.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By Staples on 10/9/2008 1:04:09 AM , Rating: 2
And as far as websites not working with Opera, there are a few which look at the browser and will not serve the page unless they are netscape, IE or firefox. The simple way to get around it is to make the server think you are using IE. Opera can imitate IE and Firefox. In the custom toolbar, I placed a drop down menu so I can always make it immitate IE if the site does not work with Opera. Works 100% of the time now.

RE: Hooray for Opera...
By PetesEscapade on 10/9/2008 8:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
You've got this backwards. It's not incumbent on Opera to fix websites that won't work on their browser. It's up to the web authors to update their crappy sites to standards compliant HTML/XHTML, and CSS. Opera is one of the best browsers for implementing web authoring standards.

By on 10/8/2008 3:54:10 PM , Rating: 1
This is the 2nd unleashes headline today for a lame technology. Unleashes should be saved for something like umm... the Segway / IT / Dean Kamen's next stupid idea.

Thanks for your time.

By napalmjack on 10/8/2008 4:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's simple: if you don't like it, don't read it.

FATCamaro. That's clever...

By SteelyKen on 10/8/2008 4:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have the feeling the days of providing valuable insights with your present moniker are numbered.

By on 10/8/08, Rating: 0
By sgw2n5 on 10/8/2008 4:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
At first I was like WTF...

Then I looked at the user name and I lol'd. Nicely done and spot on.

By on 10/8/2008 4:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't think it was that funny.

By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 4:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
You really need to get laid...

Then again anyone who is willing to impersonate someone online on a constant basis is probably compensating for something...

By StevoLincolnite on 10/8/2008 5:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
Or Perhaps Fit's "Captain Winky" Is worthy of it's own audience?

By on 10/8/2008 9:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
ill give you a quick demo if you want?

cause beleive me, it is ;)

By omnicromx on 10/8/2008 11:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
This dude is probably hung like a lightswitch.

By on 10/9/2008 9:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
This dude is probably hung like a lightswitch.

Powered by a GENUINE mini nuclear reactor.

By on 10/9/2008 3:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, we're just trying to FIT in.

By Clauzii on 10/8/2008 8:05:22 PM , Rating: 2
This is beginning to get the worst case of schizophrenia I've ever come across.

UNLESS - the REAL FITCamaro finally made a human replicator PC - which, by the thought of it, he probably didn't, You are either getting annoying, pretty laughable OR both?

By Clauzii on 10/8/2008 8:08:21 PM , Rating: 2

At least change Your name to some Identifiable one - FUDLamero perhaps?

By on 10/9/2008 3:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's a good idea actually.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 7:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just reveling in how pitiful these guys lives must be.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 7:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
And honestly I'm just loving the fact that I've pissed someone off so much that they're trying to impersonate me.

*checks it off on his bucket list*

By on 10/9/2008 9:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to that BROTHER.

By on 10/9/2008 9:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just reveling in how pitiful these guys lives must be

Me too.

By on 10/8/2008 9:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
my funny bone wasnt tickled either

By on 10/8/2008 9:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Don't hate the playa, hate the liberal.

By Spivonious on 10/9/2008 10:07:31 AM , Rating: 2
Notice how his name is F|TCamaro, not FITCamaro.

By on 10/9/2008 9:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
I blame this mistake on Al Gore and all of the global warming idiots. Now if the Oera browser was powered by nuclear power, then we'd have a story

I second that.

By ebakke on 10/8/2008 5:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
I hate your username, and by association, you.

By pauldovi on 10/8/2008 8:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone explain this to me because I am VERY confused right now.

By on 10/8/2008 9:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
well, that FATCamaro is a imposter, ignore what he says

myself, on the otherhand, am the real FI7Camaro.

By pauldovi on 10/8/2008 3:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
Firefox has become to "mainstream" for techno elistists so they they flock to Opera.

RE: Elitists
By SanLC504 on 10/8/2008 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's the MySpace Indie Rock Band of Browsers!

RE: Elitists
By Gul Westfale on 10/9/2008 12:37:33 AM , Rating: 1
myspace is lame.

on the topic of opera... i have tried it on the desktop and don't quite see the point of switching over from firefox... however my new archos 5 comes with an opera browser and i quite like it.

Firefox add-ons support???
By thartist on 10/8/2008 6:06:36 PM , Rating: 1
"One possible improvement that still remains to be implemented is support for Firefox add-ons."

Isn't that like saying "i wish apples tasted like roast-beef"? ...i guess one company's code has nothing to do with the other's...

RE: Firefox add-ons support???
By on 10/8/2008 6:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that like saying "i wish apples tasted like roast-beef"? ...i guess one company's code has nothing to do with the other's...

No it isn't. Nor is it like saying I wish my Chevy drove like a Porsche. Ok just kidding it is. Especially because Firefox extensions require XUL support. And having Opera running XUL on top of it sounds absolutely awful. Thats not to say I don't like Firefox, or its extensions.

RE: Firefox add-ons support???
By on 10/8/2008 9:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
spot on. great post. will read again AAAAA+++++++

AdBlock? Well ...
By keitaro on 10/8/2008 4:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't use AdBlock. I just go to:

to download the host file, put it where it is used, and add new hosts when needed. Works just as well and I don't see any ads.

Not too sure about the NoScript part though. I don't go rummaging through questionable sites and even if I do, I just turn off JavaScript altogether before I enter and that's it. Opera should have the same optional user setting as well so that should not be a problem to those wanting to disable JavaScript.

RE: AdBlock? Well ...
By on 10/8/2008 6:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
Neat thanks!

It works on Win98 !
By perzy on 10/9/2008 2:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
As the ONLY major browser it works on WIN98, which some of us is still using. Remember that there are a lot of old computers out there!
Maybe the old computers don't amount to so much trafic in percentages and such, but for many ppl an old comp with win98 is their only internet access!

And it works really really good too.
As said before, there is a very small number of webpages that dont work but thats are VERY few.

RE: It works on Win98 !
By Iger on 10/9/2008 4:12:03 AM , Rating: 2
<cough> I'd REALLY be quiet about the fact I'm using win'98 today ;)

Come on now
By aos007 on 10/11/2008 3:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
No need to press other people's + and - buttons. Opera is certainly the browser that had pioneered the most features. Tabbed browsing, speed dial, mouse gestures to name a few. I use it as my primary browser because it provides ALL features in one package - it can check mail and RSS feeds and it does so in a very nicely organized manner that has been fine-tuned for many years. It can even download bittorent files which may not be that useful under windows but for sure is when you have a new or unfamiliar machine (e.g. linux running netbook) and need to get it going FAST - all you need to do is install Opera, which is fairly small by the way.

However it DOES have problems with some websites. My bank website - RBC, one of the biggest Canadian banks - has a small but annoying problem where it rejects login twice, first time because "your browser doesn't accept cookies" and after that because "your session has expired". It is pretty annoying to type in long client numbers and passwords THRICE every time I want to bank. This is obviously a bug in Opera which hasn't been fixed for 2 years now. And I have seen occasional mangled pages every now and then. Not often, but often enough to be aware of it.

It is also not as fast as Chrome. Chrome speed is just insane on websites I visit - computer stores, forums, all of which are dynamically generated and have tons of stuff on each page. And separate process per tab is a long-awaited feature that will finally help utilize all those idle cores. It certainly helps speed up things further when you load browser and start loading all those tabs at once. A nice, clean, no-nonsense "this is a browser and nothing else" interface is very appealing too.

IE8 beta 2 is frankly, a steaming pile of crap. Pretty much no website I use loads properly and that's after you let it go at it for minutes. No kidding, try loading website and see how many minutes it takes to render - compared to mere seconds for Chrome. And even after 4-5 minutes majority of images will be still missing. Sure it's beta, but so is Chrome.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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