In case you weren’t aware of it, there are more browsers than just Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Chrome. A lot more. One of those less-popular browsers is something called “Opera,” a web browser that has more age and experience than some of the others, but not quite as much popular appeal. Having just received, a new design and a complete overhaul, Opera may be back to winning its way into the hearts of browsers worldwide. Or not.
Just today, the Norway-based software development company announced the release of Opera 10, which had been it RC-mode for about a week. Opera claims that their “newest browser is packed with innovations” and displays “an elegant, fresh interface.”
So far, Opera hasn’t been able to pull the populace away from their affection for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla. So far. But Opera does have a small group of users who are passionate about their devotion to the software.
To its credit, Opera does have some fresh features that warrant a second or third glance. Every browser will claim that it is faster than the average bear, but Opera has a slick new feature that may give it true bragging rights. In a trick that sets it apart from the standard browsers, Opera contains a turbo mode, an option you can enable when you sense that your connection is getting slow. For example, you’re in a crowded Wi-Fi hotspot, trying to load several information-intensive web pages, but are experiencing the pain of slow connection speeds. Opera automatically acknowledges your frustration and recommends that you flip on Opera Turbo. When you enable Turbo, the browser begins to compress pages, shrinking the size and amping up your browsing speed. After performing lab tests on the feature, Opera felt confident enough to boast that “Opera Turbo gives up to eight times faster Web surfing over slow connections than other browsers.”
Opera is also building on the tab innovation, originally spearheaded by Mozilla. The browser gives you the flexibility of resizing tabs, getting thumbnail views of open tabs, or even putting tabs on the side or bottom of the browser, rather than stuck at the top.
In addition to these innovations, Opera has an array of additional features that will please those who have a finicky demand for a pretty interface. The smooth look of the browser and the flashy speed dial both look very cool.
But do cool looks and high speeds mean that Opera will become the world’s favorite web browser? In the blunt words of von Tetzschner, Opera’s CEO, “we think everyone should try, because we all will face a slow connection at some point. Now, there is a solution, and it is absolutely free.” But despite his optimistic opining, it’s going to be a long uphill battle.