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Opera's third beta of its 10.0 browser brings more speed improvements, better thumbnail previews, and more.  (Source: NeoWin)
Beta is mostly solid with a few rough edges

Over the last few years Opera, a veteran player in the browser industry, has been turning heads by delivering increasingly user-friendly products.  While such praise is typically lavished on Firefox, Opera's Speed Dial and synchronization features help set it apart.  In fact, the president of Futuremark, Oliver Baltuch, admits that while Opera isn't the fastest browser, he finds it the most pleasant to use for his personal use.

With Opera's first two betas of its upcoming 10.0 browser, it came a long ways to closing the speed gap between it and Chrome/Safari.  In the popular SunSpider benchmark, though, the third Opera beta still lags behind Firefox 3.5.  Nonetheless, the third beta does offer noticeable speed increases, as well as new customizations.

The exciting thumbnail preview feature, similar to Aero Peek in Windows 7 and a canceled feature of Firefox 3.5, is now customizable and can appear to the right or left and on the top or bottom of the screen.  The browser's crash logger has been improved, as has the turbo mode, a feature which uses Opera's servers to compress data for faster browsing.

The new beta also features improved language support -- 38 languages are now supported.  Other popular features present in the other betas return, including inline spell checking, an integrated email client, and a web feed reader.  The browser also scores a perfect 100 on the challenging Acid3 test, thanks to its strong standards support.

Still, the browser does have its rough edges.  Security is rather poor, though much of Microsoft's protections (such as anti-phishing, and detecting malicious URLs) typically are not needed by more web savvy users (though you can't always count on your friends, family, or a significant other being as knowledgeable). 

Furthermore, some pages that have been designed around the Firefox/IE 8 duopoly may have minor quirks.  For example, dynamically resizing Office-like windows in blogs sometimes experience an odd glitch where they get stuck in an infinite downscroll when the typed text hits the bottom of the box (triggering a resize in Firefox).  Again, this probably isn't the fault of Opera or its rendering engine (Presto), but rather is an unfortunate inevitability of being a smaller player in the browser market.

Nonetheless, Opera 10.0 beta 3 seems a sign of good things to come.  With Opera a leading player in the smartphone browser market, and currently on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DSi, the company appears to be moving in the right direction.  And for experienced users, the new beta, like the last couple, is definitely worth taking for a ride.



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RE: And still nobody uses it
By Iger on 8/14/2009 9:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'll keep using Opera. Now what was your point..?


RE: And still nobody uses it
By omnicronx on 8/14/2009 11:03:30 AM , Rating: 1
I think his point is pretty clear, you are the minority. Chrome was only released last year and already has more users than Opera.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By PrinceGaz on 8/14/2009 11:40:09 AM , Rating: 3
Probably because anyone who has Google as their home page and use IE gets a link recommending them to install Chrome. My father (a computer novice) asked me if he should click on it when he saw it-- if I hadn't told him to ignore it, he would be using Chrome as well by now. A lot of Chrome users are probably IE users who assumed it was a good idea to use that link from Google.

People who use Opera on their desktop system are almost always doing so as a result of a deliberate informed choice, rather than clicking a link and not even realising why their browser looks a bit different afterwards.

Anyway, it is in the mobile field where Opera is most concerned about, and it is doing very well there. I just wish it were available for my iTouch... grrr, stupid Apple.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By omnicronx on 8/14/2009 12:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
That's half the problem, Opera does not actively advertise their browser. Opera could have teamed up with say Yahoo years ago. Little do most people know, it is actually the oldest gui based browser still in production (yes its older than Netscape and IE). That's 15+ years and hardly anyone knows about them, and thats just in inexcusable.

They obviously have some very good programmers, but their marketing department might as well be non existent.
quote:
Anyway, it is in the mobile field where Opera is most concerned about
Can't agree more, Opera mobile is showing great promise and is definitely the best mobile browser available. Can't wait for a refined version of Opera 9.7 to come out, as it is blazing fast, even on old hardware and definitely blows mobile Safari and other webkit based browsers out of the water.(9.7 renders faster on my Diamond with an older lower clocked processor than the 3GS). 9.7's rendering is pretty amazing at the different zoom levels too, quick, and amazing formatting that no other mobile browser can touch right now.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By T2k on 8/14/2009 11:30:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Little do most people know,


...perhaps because it's not true at all ...?

quote:

it is actually the oldest gui based browser still in production (yes its older than Netscape and IE).


Complete and utter BS - Opera debuted in 1996, TWO YEARS AFTER Netscape and a YEAR AFTER IE .

quote:

That's 15+ years and hardly anyone knows about them, and thats just in inexcusable.


Porbably because it is NOT TRUE at all, as I said...

Just like Netscape Opera also grown out of a research project started in 1994, TWO YEARS AFTER Mosaic's (predecessor of Netscape) development started at NCSA and a whole year after NCSA Mosaic, the world's SECOND GUI browser - first was TBL's WorldWideWeb in 1991 running on Next - debuted.

I'm from Europe but I had enough of all this deliberate BS mis-information campaign that's lately flooding from the Opera camp.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By WTFzilla on 8/17/2009 12:26:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's half the problem, Opera does not actively advertise their browser.

Actually, they do.

quote:
Opera could have teamed up with say Yahoo years ago.

They did. But all their users complained about it, so they had to switch back to Google for searches.

quote:
That's 15+ years and hardly anyone knows about them, and thats just in inexcusable.

That's just nonsense. Opera has only been free of charge for 3 or so years. It has 40-50 million desktop users, and is also the dominant mobile browser. And so on.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By comnut on 8/23/2009 7:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote:
That's half the problem, Opera does not actively advertise their browser.
Actually, they do.


well how about an example??? eg, one that is NOT on the web???? I see plenty for others, but none for opera, except maybe an article about it once every year or two in a big mag (not in a smaller one...)


RE: And still nobody uses it
By WTFzilla on 8/17/2009 12:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyway, it is in the mobile field where Opera is most concerned about

WRONG. They are fully focused on the desktop as well. In fact, the desktop version makes up 1/3 of their total revenue! And their desktop revenue has increased more than 100% several quarters in a row.


RE: And still nobody uses it
By WTFzilla on 8/17/2009 12:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
Chrome does not have more users than Opera:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-2008...

In fact, in Europe Opera has more users than Safari and Chrome combined.

Also, Chrome has been spammed all over the web, on all Google's sites, and through AdSense. And yet it has failed to even make a dent in Firefox's market share.


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