Print 53 comment(s) - last by comnut.. on Aug 23 at 8:33 PM

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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No Thanks...
By OCDude on 8/14/2009 9:58:26 AM , Rating: 1
I'll never try Opera again. I'm not going to support a company that whines like a baby because they cant achieve market share on their own.

RE: No Thanks...
By Norseman4 on 8/14/2009 5:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'll try 10 when it's out of beta, but their whining got me looking for FF plugins that would match the functionality in Opera that I had come to rely upon.

Once I found those, FF was/is my primary browser of choice for both personal and work (formerly IE)

All-in-One Gestures, disabling everything but rocker gestures for dimple mouse-click navigation
Speed Dial - which blows the Opera 9.(whatever) version out of the water.
Firebug - What ever made me think that the Opera version was any good?

(Opera had been my primary personal browser for many years, between O and IE(at the time) there was no comparison other than O was better.)

RE: No Thanks...
By comnut on 8/18/2009 6:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
well when you find all plugins to make opera do what opera does, then I might think of using FF for more than just 5% of the time... eg..

Have you heard of cascade, minimize, tile, restore, n
maximize ?? linux, windows and mac will do this with its windows, and Opera will also, with the web pages it has open inside - very helpful for organizing pages to compare, and other stuff..
Firefox needs a plugin just to do the above!!!!

and before you groan, I usually have up to 100 tabs open, and tanks to tab preview I can see the contents of all of them with out clicking through menus as in FF..

spelling - no need to even download and activate it, Opera has it already going (it checks your system language, no need for you to have find one yourself, like in FF..)

themes/skins... sure you can download them for FF, but Opera is open to customization straight away - all parts are movable & changeable!!

look at this list..

RE: No Thanks...
By jonmcc33 on 8/15/2009 4:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
That's because their product doesn't offer anything special. The last time I tried it out a few years ago it was highly annoying.

RE: No Thanks...
By WTFzilla on 8/17/2009 12:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to support a company that whines like a baby

What, you mean like Mozilla?

Or Microsoft and Google? Both of them have filed antitrust complaints against each other and other companies, remember.

But could you give me one specific example of Opera "whining"?

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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