June 20, 2006 8:38 AM PDT

Curtain rises on Opera 9

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Opera Software on Tuesday released the newest version of its popular browser, which is designed to offer several improvements over its predecessors.

Opera 9, which had been in beta since April, includes features designed to improve the efficiency of Web surfing, enhance security and allow users greater control over the content they view.

Opera 9 Opera 9 aims to allow users to relaunch their browser where they last left off, as well as block advertisements on a site-specific basis. Other content-related features include widgets, or small Web programs, designed to help users organize their browsing preferences, play games or follow sports teams.

(To read a review of Opera 9, click here. To see a slide show, click here. A copy of the browser software is available Download.com.)

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Video: Latest salvo in browser wars
Opera fine-tuned and released

A security bar has also been added to Opera 9, a response to the prevalence of phishing scams and identity theft. The security bar aims to reduce users' encounters with phishing scams and also includes technology to strengthen blocking of pop-up advertisements.

Opera 9 also offers a thumbnail feature, which enables users to mouse over an open tab to see a thumbnail preview of the page

Opera 9, which is offered as a free download, runs on a variety of platforms, from Windows to Mac to Linux. It also supports BitTorrent's file distribution technology.

"For Opera 9, we worked hard to push the limits of what people expect from a Web browser," Jon von Tetzchner, Opera Software chief executive, said in a statement.

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Opera browser, Opera Software, BitTorrent, phishing, Web browser

7 comments

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Silly Reviewer
I just wanted to say that Robert Vamosi's review (and video review) of the browser, as can be read via one of the links in this article, is ridiculous. He's a typical Firefox user who expects things to work like they do in Firefox automatically, without taking the time to look into what things are for or how to use them in anything else, because in his opinion, Firefox will always be best.

He downplays and practically knocks the whole bittorrent feature just because there aren't many legal downloads available for it yet. How can you knock a browser feature based on what particular people might download with it? I use it for videocasts all the time. Opera is miles ahead of the competition by including support for this ever growing technology.

He also mentions that you can't get a list of previous sites via your back button, but this is merely because he's trying to use Firefox commands to do it. You have to hold the mouse button on the back button to get the list of previous sites. It isn't lacking the feature, he was just doing it wrong.

He also said the Rewind button was the "double-back" button, and apparently has no concept of how the buttons work. If you go to a site which is coded with "next" and "prev" link rels, using the rewind and fast-forward button will actually navigate the site for you. On Google, for example, if you press the forward button, you go to the next page of the results automatically. On certain forum software, you can go from topic to topic this way without going back to the index. You can get even more navigational aids which work in this way with the Navigation Toolbar.

Overall, I think his review of the browser was shoddy at best, giving people who expect a review to be honest and fair a lesser opinion of the product. And unfortunately, it means most folks will continue to use the buggy and vulnerability-prone Firefox.
Posted by FyberOptic (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Buggy and Vulnerability-Prone Firefox???
Now who's being silly? What are are you using an Alpha version? There are few bugs and vulnerabilities in Firefox 1.5 and that's a fact. Are their bugs? Yes, but that's true for all software even Opera. BugZilla makes it easy for anyone to see what know defects are out there.
Posted by mstrclark (62 comments )
Link Flag
He didn't give it a fair shake.
I totally agree. He could not have been more close minded and judgemental. It was obvious he had made up his mind the moment he started to "review" Opera, even though he had very little idea what he was talking about.
Posted by NerdyNick (3 comments )
Link Flag
Shoddy Reporting
I just wanted to say that Robert Vamosi's review (and video review) of the browser, as can be read via one of the links in this article, is ridiculous. He's a typical Firefox user who expects things to work like they do in Firefox automatically, without taking the time to look into what things are for or how to use them in anything else, because in his opinion, Firefox will always be best.

He downplays and practically knocks the whole bittorrent feature just because there aren't many legal downloads available for it yet. How can you knock a browser feature based on what particular people might download with it? I use it for videocasts all the time. Opera is miles ahead of the competition by including support for this ever growing technology.

He also mentions that you can't get a list of previous sites via your back button, but this is merely because he's trying to use Firefox commands to do it. You have to hold the mouse button on the back button to get the list of previous sites. It isn't lacking the feature, he was just doing it wrong.

He also said the Rewind button was the "double-back" button, and apparently has no concept of how the buttons work. If you go to a site which is coded with "next" and "prev" link rels, using the rewind and fast-forward button will actually navigate the site for you. On Google, for example, if you press the forward button, you go to the next page of the results automatically. On certain forum software, you can go from topic to topic this way without going back to the index. You can get even more navigational aids which work in this way with the Navigation Toolbar.

Overall, I think his review of the browser was shoddy at best, giving people who expect a review to be honest and fair a lesser opinion of the product. And unfortunately, it means most folks will continue to use the buggy and vulnerability-prone Firefox.
Posted by FyberOptic (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Opera More Stable For Me Than FF
I switched from Firefox to Opera about 6 months ago because of repeated crashes of Firefox v1.5x. Oh yes, I did the whole FF uninstall, disable extensions, reinstall, upgrade Java, business and it still crashed (Win XP, SP2). In frustration I switched over to Opera. I made the leap to Opera 9 beta shortly thereafter. Opera would crash at least once a day, but at least I could recover all my sessions after restarting it using the Resume feature. Within the past month the stability of Opera 9 has increased tremendously. I do not believe I have had any crashes in the last week, but since I installed each new build almost daily I cannot vouch for its extended stability. I am happy using Opera, and do not plan to ever switch back to FF. Occasionally I must use FF because of site incompatability, and sometimes I must use IE for ActiveX, but I am now an enthusiastic Opera supporter.
Posted by maxwis (141 comments )
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