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Opera Adopts Browser Rapid Release Cycles

The features in this next browser are not really blowing our socks off, but it is worth noting that Opera is now also embracing an accelerated product release cycle.

The version posted is a preview or alpha version of Opera 11.5. the big deal was, of course, the expected arrival of hardware acceleration, which was originally promised for Opera 11. However, we are told that the browser will not get hardware acceleration in 11.5 since the feature isn't done yet. Instead, the developer had some other features that were ready to be released and no one wanted to wait for hardware acceleration.

This strategy is very reminiscent of the accelerated browser release cycles at Mozilla and Google and we expect Opera now to release its browser versions much faster than before. Opera is in a slightly different position as Mozilla, which is closely following the Chrome release model, but has trouble attracting enough people to beta-test a new browser. Opera's market share is much smaller, around 2%, according to Net Applications, and it may be even tougher for Opera to go this direction.

The significant new feature in Opera 11.5 appears to be the addition of Speed Dial Extensions, which lets users display apps as speed dials. Opera can display apps such as weather reports or image collections, which enable a user to “collect” images viewed on the Internet in one place.

  • belardo
    Really people.... Opera 11 does kick butt. IE9, Chrome and Firefox 4 are coping the features of Opera 9 and up.

    Tab-stacking is VERY VERY useful. Tab-browser history is Such a life-saver for me... it allows me to work in ways that IE, FF and chome don't.

    When I power up my desktop or notebook, open Opera... all of my TABS I had open when I shut down, are there when I come back! Chome - nope. FF - nope.

    Open 10 tabs, close out your browser... what happens? Opera can crash (like any browser) and when it comes back up, all MY tabs are there. Also, the browse history is still valid after restarting Opera. You can go back various pages... like nothing happened.

    The TEXT search feature of Opera is the BEST (but I have it customized like Opera 9 - its ALWAYS on at the bottom). ZOOM feature still better than IE8+

    Speed dial is great... Which Safari Kind of copied - but does it automatically from your last pages. Chrome just shows little icons of your last few visited sites.

    Opera deserves more than 2% of the market share because it really is a great product. Its customizable beyond anything else out there. Its interface is still better than IE9 (which is vastly improved over IE8 - just gotta fix the TABs onto their own bar... idiot MS)

    So folks... try Opera for a week or two. What would it hurt? Its free only a 10mb download.
    Reply
  • cloakster
    I love this competition between browsers, it has made them all soo good :)
    Reply
  • molo9000
    I've been using Opera as my browser on my Windows machines since Version 8 and I've never looked back.
    Opera is always a few features ahead of the competition.

    The current version is rather unstable on my machine though....
    I blame Adobe Flash ;)
    Reply
  • Thunderfox
    FF can remember your tabs by default, or ask you every time you close it if you want it to. It also remembers your last session if it crashes. I never cared about things like speeddial because I have bookmarks for the things I visit regularly, and for everything else I tend to leave the page open in a tab until I don't need it any more. What is superior about Opera's text search? FF's is at the bottom as well.

    Opera doesn't have much market share because there is no one big promoting it. Every other browser is owned by some big company that everyone has heard of, and those people are constantly promoting their products. Opera is just Opera, so it's got no advertising machine behind it.

    Also you still hear the occasional report of a site not working right or looking right with Opera, and while Opera people might like to claim that that is the fault of the people who made the site for not strictly adhering to standards, the other browsers have to work around such things, so Opera should too. If they refuse to acknowledge that not everybody does things precisely by the book (or agrees with them about how to interpret the book) then they are just shooting themselves in the foot.
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  • choirbass
    maybe opera will provide an update beyond version 5 finally lol.. might be worth using again :)
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  • belardo
    ThunderfoxFF can remember your tabs by default, or ask you every time you close it if you want it to. It also remembers your last session if it crashes.Yeah, its easy to click that off. But yeah, as long as the user make that choice - otherwise it'll wipe out the tabs, which is what most users do by clicking "just quit". The Crash part is not really a feature, just something I was stating.

    Other cool OPERA TAB features not found on some other browsers:
    - Tab views (see thumbnails in all main tabs) - kind of ugly, somewhat useful.
    - Thumbnail view (hover you mouse over the tab), very much like Windows7 Tasks buttons.
    - Tab Stacking. Group tabs together in an easy to mange single tab. It will open up with thumbnails like Windows7 task bar to choose the tab to use). For example, my car developed a problem and I have 4 browsers tabs with parts & help issues - but they are grouped under a single tab. I do work on two different websites, so I now group 3-4 tabs into one now. This is freeing up my browser window in many ways - its great.

    Chrome has gone through "10" versions, yet you can't tell by functionality the different... other than added standards for HTML5, etc.

    ThunderfoxI never cared about things like speeddial because I have bookmarks for the things I visit regularly, and for everything else I tend to leave the page open in a tab until I don't need it any more.Bookmarks are a text base menu listing of sites. We may have dozens of not hundreds of favorites/bookmarks. Speed Dial is a visual aide for the top sites you may want to view. When you open a new TAB, its there. I don't use IMDB, newegg and a few other sites everyday... but I can open a tab, click a single button and I'm there. You can choose 6~24 buttons. Its handy - better than having even MORE tabs open... :( Of course it can set to a single home page.

    ThunderfoxWhat is superior about Opera's text search? FF's is at the bottom as well.
    When you use it... then you'll know what makes it far superior to anything else. The bottom location is NOT "a feature". I had to add it to the bottom because I use it everyday. Since Opera 10, they removed it for a cleaner look. Otherwise, like FF or Chrome, you CTRL-F.
    But Chrome has recently changed their text search to work very much like Opera... 8~9.

    I'd give text search scores to the browsers as:
    Opera 11 = A
    Safari 5 = A+ (it pops a bit more, recently works like Opera)
    Chrome 11 = B (recently works like Opera)
    IE 8 = B (recently works like Opera - since IE8)
    FF 3.x = D

    Point is, Operas text search style has been around longer than the existances of the other browsers.

    ThunderfoxOpera is just Opera, so it's got no advertising machine behind it. Also you still hear the occasional report of a site not working right or looking right with OperaYou are right about that. They don't have MS, Apple, Google or GNU/Netscape/AOL to pay for and support those browsers. Opera screwed up big-time by wanting to CHARGE for their browser. Very difficult to SELL a program when IE & Netscape were free.
    Then Opera 5~8.5, they made it free - but with AD-BANNERS... which made the brower ugly and people would constantly hack out the advertising. Since about Opera 8.5 - it has been a free browser.
    About the time of 8.5, FF had hit 2.0 and IE7 was released. I was an IE user since 3.0. I went with FF 2.0 and it didn't do many things right (the way I need them to - and they still don't) I used FF 2.x on and off for 2 weeks but kept going back to IE6.
    Then I saw TomsHardware announce that Opera 8.5 was free. And with that, I was about to switch OFF of IE as my primary browser since day one. Just changed to a custom skin that looked more Windows-MCE like. :)
    Opera 10, they finally fixed 95% of their printer issues (still weaker than IE) - but the UI was amazing. I even joined the beta program and with thousands of others - we helped made Opera what it is today. (There were weekly beta releases for us).

    Yes, there ARE standards. And as a web developer, IE always broke things. IE6 not compatible with IE7, IE8 etc. Stuff that works for Opera, FF, Chrome - breaks under IE8.
    When I develop for webwork, Chrome and Opera are my benchmark... As long as IE doesn't completely screw something up, I let its errors be. *I DON'T* design for IE. I make stuff that works on desktop, iPads/tablets and iPhones/Androids. And yes, IE is the dog.
    Ask any web developer... we HATE IE. The only reason I have FF, Safari and use IE is to check for problems.

    IE 9, the latest from MS - still doesn't include a spell checker... how stupid is that?

    For almost ALL websites, Opera has NO PROBLEMS. There are about 2-5 sites I use that don't or refuse to work with Opera. Some developer tools are not certified - so I use Chrome. Others are because the developer purposely look up the brower type and refuse to load onto Opera - which is BS when its a city public site. :(
    ((Just in, just checked my city site, Opera 11 works in all sections now - not perfectly as the errors on on the site)) These problem sites tend to be MS (of course) and those using ASPX (MS webservers) Opera has the option to "fake" being IE or FF - which is now more buried as in the old days, many Opera users pretended to be IE.

    Tomshardware have run all these browsers through various tests, and Opera is constly at the top for compatiblity. Chrome is top. FF is a bit lower, IE is always at the bottom.
    My experince with IE9 is very limted... I already like it over IE8, but I'll be sticking with Opera. IE is still bad about tab-browsing, with pop-ups and addition windows opening up a whole new task bar item - which is WRONG. FF, Opera and others know how to keep the tabs where they belong.
    By all means, I want to see IE total market share get down below 30%. This would increase compatiblity between all browsers.

    Other than constantly improving on their brower (there are still areas of improvement) - Not sure how Opera can get the word out. Amazon.com installs it on Kindles or Facebook requires it?
    MS has Operating Systems. Apple has Macs and iOS devices. Google has a search engine and Android devices. FF has GNU / Linux.

    I and others can only recommend people to try and use Opera - there are tens of millions of us out there. Its free to try, so whats it going to hurt?
    Ah, FF 4.0 is finally public... guess I'll give it a spin.... I notice from the screen shots... it looks like.... more like OPERA... or actually like IE9. IE9 looks stupid with the big round Back button that is cut-off (Vista).

    I'm willing to try new software, never know if ya find something better. I use notepad++ which is 1000x the text editor that Windows notepad is (it has tabs and tons of tools - 100% free).
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  • belardo
    choirbassmaybe opera will provide an update beyond version 5 finally lol.. might be worth using again
    ??? Opera is version 11.10, it has gone through more changes in the past 2 years than the 10 versions of google's Chrome in the past 2 years.

    Opera.com - Not hard to try.

    Hey, I'm downloading FF4.0 now. And will update to IE9 in a day or so.
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  • Tamz_msc
    Opera has very interesting features by default, but you can add all of them, and even more with the addons FF has.
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  • phatbuddha79
    it's a huge shame Opera doesn't have higher market share than that. It is fast, almost as robust as FF, and also opens up way faster than FF. Chrome is good for light browsing(average user) and IE can kiss my a$$. don't get me wrong, my favorite browser is still FF(due to add-ons and customization level) but if only it opened up faster and has built-in session manager like Opera does it'd be even better. I thought FF4 was going to open up faster but I haven't noticed any difference.
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  • elfsun
    I love this competition between browsers, it has made them all so good .-----Agree with you, firefox, IE, chrome, opera, Avant browser all make some big changes in 2011.
    Reply