Well, well, Opera has just announced Opera 10 and all I can say is, Wow! It deserves a full 10.00 version release.
It's fast. Of the five browsers: Chrome, Safari, IE8, Firefox, and Opera; Chrome and Opera are the fastest, with Chrome just a notch ahead of Opera. With this release they have joined an exclusive club occupied by Safari and Chrome, Opera 10.00 now passes the Acid3 browser test for Internet compatibility with a score of 100 out of 100. Congratulations to the development team!
This Opera release does more than that though. It's appearance has been redesigned and it looks, as they claim, intuitive and sleek. Intuitive because the layout has been redesigned to make it easier to use. The default design is gorgeous, and there are different skins if you want a differenct look.
I found myself wanting a new tab button on the tool bar. I get tired of having to go file>new tab in all the browsers. Opera made it easy. Right click on the tool bar>customize>appearance>buttons and drag the New button to the toolbar, done. Click the icon and you have a new tabbed window. And when you mouse over a tab, a small screen appears showing a thumbnail of the page you would go to if you clicked the tab. That coupled with Speed Dial allows you quick access to your favorite sites.
Opera has some new features. One is Opera Link. For those familiar with Delicious, this is Opera's Delicious. You save your bookmarks to the Opera server, and they are then available on any PC you use. When you log into Opera Link your bookmarks are synchronized. So if you delete a bookmark in one browser, it will be deleted in the other browsers.
Opera also has something called Opera Turbo that will speed up slow connections by compressing images and data before it reaches your computer, the result is a speed boost on slow connections. This is just icing on the cake.
In all fairness, Firefox released a new version 3.5 last week. Their big thing with this release was their support for open video format. This allows you to play videos in your browser window, like "You Tube," without requiring plug ins. They also have improved their web compatibility by reaching a score of 93 out of 100 in the Acid3 test. There last version only got to 72, improvement, but not there yet. Meanwhile the new Microsoft browser update IE8, struggled to get a measly 20.
Our favorite browser of the five is Opera. It's fast and sleek and takes the work out of browsing the web. Although we have to admit for web development, we use Firefox exclusively. Why? Their web development tool plug ins are good, more specifically, because of their Aardvark plug in tool. If Opera had an easy to use, "Aardvark" tool, and beefed up their web development tools. Bye, bye Firefox.
Do yourself a favor, download Opera, and give it a try.