Opera seems to have become the forgotten browser. in 1996, when the world was starting to learn about the World Wide Web, version 2.0 of Opera was publicly released. Two years later, they had already initiated the portable branch, bringing the browser to a wealth of portable devices (anything that supported Java). I had previously discussed using the mobile version for the ultimate portable web experience. It comes as no surprise that by the turn of the century, the Norwegian software company had made its browser available on every major operating system, and across all devices.
Unless you’re granted unconditional loyalty through anti-trust strategies (such as the case with the hard workers at Microsoft), with experience comes significant improvements, and the 10th release of Opera brings together a flock of neat features to the table. The most notable of which:
- Opera Turbo: a compression technique that allows websites to be rendered rapidly. Particularly useful for users with a slow internet connection, or hand-held devices with a limited WiFi card or are on a slow network
- Interface: The tabs have a unique visual aspect to them, and the overall design reminds you that we are no longer in the 20th century
- Customizable toolbar: Allowing you to resize the search bar, and choose your preferred search engine
- Enhanced Speed Dial: Those who rely on the Speed Dial extension on Firefox might not take notice of the development with the configuration related to this feature, but it is nevertheless a positive change allowing users to customize how their favorites’ thumbnails appear
- Fully standards’ compliant: Unlike Internet Explorer 8, the newest release of the Opera browser is a pleasant experience to designers and developers, as well as the users themselves
You can find the complete list of features at the Opera website.
More importantly, Opera gives you the ability to have your email client, widgets’ sidebar, notes space, torrent and download manager, all in one place. Those who have an email account which they would rather use an email client for might appreciate Opera’s convenience in bringing all of the services in a single pile.
The downside might be the initial period required for someone without previous experience with the Norwegian browser to become comfortable with it, but Firefox wasn’t a swift shift either, and it was a lot closer to IE than Opera is to any of them.
If you are not planning on taking advantage of the diverse integration within Opera, then you are better off with your choice of Firefox extensions and stick with the open-source browser. But whatever you do, do not use Internet Explorer.