April 20, 2006 8:18 AM PDT

Opera releases beta of latest browser

Opera Software on Thursday released a beta version of its free browser, Opera 9, which offers features such as small Web applications and content blocking.

The beta for Opera 9 will include six new features ranging from Widgets, or small Web programs, to support for download technology BitTorrent to customization of search engines.

"Opera 9 brings powerful new features to enhance the Web browsing experience and empower Web 2.0 developers," Jon Tetzchner, Opera chief executive, said in a statement.

The small Web applications will range from streaming news to games to multimedia capabilities and allow developers to also create their own and share them, without regard to the operating system.

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Video: New Opera Web browser debuts
CNET's Robert Vamosi looks at the newest version of the browser.

Opera 9 also aims to allow users to click a torrent file and begin its download without having to rely on a separate BitTorrent application for downloading large files.

Users will also have the option of customizing which search engine to use with their browser and the ability to block content, such as certain ads or images, on a particular Web page. Other features are designed to enable users to open a number of tabs at once in Opera 9 and view the contents via a thumbnail preview or image.

See more CNET content tagged:
Opera browser, Opera Software, BitTorrent, beta, Web 2.0

7 comments

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Sounds like feature bloat
Sounds like feature bloat to me
Posted by bdkennedy1 (58 comments )
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Sounds like feature bloat
Sounds like feature bloat to me.
Posted by bdkennedy1 (58 comments )
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Which is it ?
Is it useful additional functionality or Bloat ?

Personally, when I tested IE7, Opera, Safari & Firefox - once I opened my homepage in the browser, Opera released more memory (or if you prefer it retained less) than any other browser. So on that basis, I would NOT call it bloat. I also like integrated solutions - why should I use my browser to locate (Torrent) downloads, but be unable to download same with the browser ? This is easier.

As for HD - I have about half a terrabyte on 5 drives (2 as a RAID 0 array) - what do I care about HD usage ?
Posted by DryHeatDave (79 comments )
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Beta Has Been Out For Several Months
Actually, Opera Beta 9 has been out for several months and I have been using it. It is very fast and renders most pages well. I have had a problem with random browser crashes, but fortunately when you restart Opera it asks if you want to continue from the prior session. If you click Yes, it reloads all the tabs you had open before the crash.

Today's announcement is just a later build of the previous 9.0 beta. As for bloat, Opera writes very tight code. The application files add up to about 4 megabytes, vs. over 9 megabytes for Firefox. Remember, Opera run on embedded devices like cell phones too, so they have experience writing tight, efficient code.
Posted by maxwis (141 comments )
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