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Rebuilt Opera Browser Arrives on Desktop With User Backlash

By - Source: Opera | B 15 comments

Opera is seemingly starting over with the new browser release, and many users aren't happy.

Opera's Sebastian Baberowski reports that Opera 15 for the desktop (PC, Mac) is now available to download and install, the first stable release based on the Blink web browser engine developed by Opera and Google as part of the Chromium project.

That said, Opera 15 is not the browser of yesterday, but a new web surfing experience built from the ground up. The launch also introduces a new rapid-release cycle which means the company will produce a new Stable version every couple of weeks. That's certainly good news for long-time users who are currently firing back at Opera over missing features.

Like Google's Chrome browser, Opera has introduced two new release streams for the adventurous in addition to the Stable channel: Opera Next and Opera Developer. The former build is updated more frequently than Stable, and is the feature-complete candidate for the Stable channel. It's ready for daily use, but could still feature a few bugs. Meanwhile, the Developer version is "bleeding edge" full of "fancy stuff" and a bowl full of possible bugs. This is where all the new features are tested and ironed out.

"When you install Opera from a particular stream, your installation will stick to it, so Opera Stable will be always updated to Opera Stable, Opera Next to Opera Next and so on," Baberowski said. "You can choose for yourself which stream is the best for you. You can even follow a couple of them at the same time!"

The "stable" Opera 15 browser contains a refreshed Speed Dial to allow users to group entries into folders and filter them easily, and a new Discover feature which brings new content with just a simple click. Users can also add pages to their Stash and create a visual list of any web content for comparisons or to revisit later on. The UI is even completely new, built from the ground up and "deeply integrated with the platform".

Unfortunately, its arrival has generated complaints from long-time Opera users who say Opera 15 can't do everything that Opera 12 could: it's a shadow of its former self. Opera Link synchronization support currently isn't in the new browser, and the Opera Mail client has been ripped out and set aside as a separate download. Opera 15 is also not as customizable as the former versions: users can no longer personalize toolbar buttons, the bar can't be widened to show page thumbnails, bookmarks are missing and more. Themes can't even be installed from the Chrome Web Store because Opera 15 currently isn't recognized as a supported browser.

After the browser went live, the Opera team reportedly spent part of the day fielding complaints regarding missing features. According to Andreas Bovens, extensions product manager and developer relations lead at Opera, the team decided to start with a basic layout and planned to re-add features through its rapid-release scheme.

"You'd be surprised how much work goes into making a browser. We've built the UI with native code for instance, so we had to re-implement a whole bunch of things," Bovens wrote. "That's why we're starting with a basic feature set on day one, that's why not all extensions APIs are supported yet, etc."

As Baberowski noted in his blog, the team is currently focusing on synchronization (AKA Opera Link), enhanced tab management (visual tabs and so on) and support for themes – just a few items users can expect to see reappear in the next several releases.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    unksol , July 4, 2013 7:18 PM
    Man I hate this retarded new forum software
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , July 4, 2013 6:26 PM
    When it gets anywhere near the Presto version, I might switch. But it's missing everything that made it better than Chrome/FF.

    I don't really want to contribute to a WebKit/Blink monocuture either.
  • 3 Hide
    unksol , July 4, 2013 7:02 PM
    The Android version update was a disaster. Everything stopped working. Even basic websites. And it was an auto update. I had to go get an old APK.
  • -4 Hide
    unksol , July 4, 2013 7:17 PM
    The Android version update was a disaster. Everything stopped working. Even basic websites. And it was an auto update. I had to go get an old APK.
  • 10 Hide
    unksol , July 4, 2013 7:18 PM
    Man I hate this retarded new forum software
  • -1 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 4, 2013 9:23 PM
    opera had promise but after it didn't work well with most of the websites i frequantly went to i had no choice but to go to chrome
  • -4 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 4, 2013 9:49 PM
    opera had promise but after it didn't work well with most of the websites i frequantly went to i had no choice but to go to chrome
  • 5 Hide
    svillav , July 4, 2013 9:50 PM
    I've been using Opera since the 3.0 version, and everything I liked and use from the previous versions are simply absent from this Opera 15 that is only a Chrome clone.
    . I`ll keep using Opera 12.51 that is the last instance of the classic Opera browser.
    The tool bars, the lateral panels, the incorporated mail,etc is all gone. If I were to use a Chrome clone I'd rather use the real thing.
  • 0 Hide
    mariusmotea , July 5, 2013 2:31 AM
    I like the speed of the new browser, but also miss some features. On last version of opera 12 the tomshardware website cause some big lags, and i see the new version run without problems. I understand this decision, Opera is a wonderful browser, but with a very low marketshare, they need to change something to be accepted by more people.
  • 2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , July 5, 2013 2:55 AM
    "opera had promise but after it didn't work well with most of the websites i frequantly went to i had no choice but to go to chrome" - This just sounds like a bot posting!
  • -1 Hide
    grumpigeek , July 5, 2013 4:07 AM
    I only used Opera because they had a 64-bit version.

    With Opera 15 just being a clone of Chrome there is no longer a 64-bit option.

    By the end of 2013, Opera will no longer exist.
  • 2 Hide
    kartu , July 5, 2013 4:10 AM
    I use opera as my main browser not because of some silly render/javascript tests (even though it does well in those) but because it has a bunch of many comfortable things like "pinned" tabs, quick undo on history, one button shortcuts, mouse gestures, MRU tab navigation, most of which was missing in Opera 15 preview when I've checked it a week ago.

    Unless they add all these, it's just "yet another web kit based browser".
  • 1 Hide
    Cryio , July 5, 2013 9:40 AM
    "Like Google's Chrome browser, Opera has introduced two new release streams for the adventurous in addition to the Stable channel: Opera Next and Opera Developer"

    I hate this type of journalism. At LEAST check your facts. Opera had its Next channel, which included pre-alpha, alpha, beta and RC long before Chrome even existed. The developer channel was existent even then, but the lab builds were few and far in between.

    Like, you know, the 2008 lab-build of Opera that presented the world hardware acceleration in a browser? ....
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , July 5, 2013 1:16 PM
    Opera 15:

    Pros:
    - Fast , or very fast compared to the 12.xx on pages with many pictures (Facebook, 9gag.com etc)
    - minimalistic design

    Cons:
    - I don`t get it why they discarded the Bookmarks (kinda replaced it with Stash)
    - the zoom slider is now hidden under the drop down menu
    - limited start options, usually i don`t want to start a new session with the last opened tabs.
    - hugelol.org is seeing the browser as a mobile platform and tries to redirect but with no use .. technically this site cannot be accessed trough Opera 15 or Next.

    Other thoughts:
    Though for some users the other things like mail, opera unite etc were useful for the likes of me they were just bloatware.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 5, 2013 6:03 PM
    Well.... then Opera 15 shouldn't have been release yet until more of those features have been made. Opera 12 is kick as in functionality, not so in compatibility. opera 12 does things that Chrome, ff, IE cannot do... which makes it a dream to use the second you run it the first time.

    Been a full time Opera user since version 8.
  • 0 Hide
    ronch79 , July 6, 2013 4:51 AM
    Opera just abandoned their loyal fan base. I've been using Opera as my main browser for many years and recently tried Opera 15 and found that it's nothing but a re-branded Chrome browser with a few modified bits here and there. So I uninstalled Opera 15 and re-installed Opera 12, but also downloaded and played with Firefox 22 as a contingency measure in case Opera bottoms out. I still wanted to stick with Opera 12 while 15 gets worked on and have FF handy on the side, just in case. Problem is, O12 keeps NAGGING me to update to the latest version which I already uninstalled so I imported all my bookmarks in O12 to Firefox, uninstalled O12, and now I'm pretty much settled in on Firefox. Thanks for the memories, Opera!
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