A couple of days ago Opera released a new labs version of their Opera browser.
I was incredibly eager to try the latest version of Opera’s browser. For quite a long time I have been using Opera 10 as my primary browser. It may not be the fasted browser out there, but it does a good job, is very stable and comes feature packed. It is also one of the few browsers that scores a perfect 100/100 on the Acid 3 test.
- The Vega graphics engine now handles everything that appears on screen. Vega also supports hardware acceleration.
- Opera 10.5 visually integrates better with the operating system. This means that in Windows 7 there is support for Aero Peek and Jump lists. The theme is similar to that of Google Chrome, so as to reduce the amount of space wasted to menus and buttons. For the Mac the browser has been re-written on Cocoa, and supports multi-touch gestures.
- Private browsing is now supported within Opera as in many other browsers. However something different from other browsers, is the ability to have private tabs.
- Non-Modal dialog boxes. This allows you to switch tabs or windows while the dialog is still displayed.
- Better HTML 5 support.
Issues (This is a pre-alpha browser so it is understandable)
- Opera Unite is disabled by default.
- No Linux version.
- Creating hyper links on this article in WordPress did not work (CSS pop-ups).
- Opera Link does not work.
- Memory usage is very high.
- Random Crashes.
I know this is an unstable development build, so should not be relied on for everyday use. It is however a great show case for what is to come in the not too distant future. This browser has more features than any other, except maybe for the number of extensions of Firefox.
Opera has come a long way. It doesn’t have a particularly large market share at the moment. I do wonder if it can compete with the might of Microsoft, Google and Mozilla. Only time will tell.