Next Opera Browser Will Resize on the Fly

Opera's full release of Version 7.60, set for January, will end the need for horizontal scrolling by rendering Web pages to fit a screen regardless of the screen size.

Opera Software ASA wants to make horizontal scrolling a thing of the past in the Web browser.

The Oslo, Norway, company announced Tuesday that its new browser release will include a feature for rendering a Web page to fit a screen regardless of the screen size. Called ERA (Extensible Rendering Architecture), the feature is available in the latest test version of Opera 7.60.

Most Web pages are designed for display on desktop or laptop computer screens with a width of 800 pixels or more, forcing users with smaller window or screen sizes to scroll across pages to fully view them, Opera said. ERA dynamically resizes pages to fit any screen size.

"Operas vision is to enable people to access their favorite Web sites on any device, and ERA means that users can have a great Internet experience on any screen regardless of a Web pages width, tables or frame," CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read an interview with von Tetzchner about Operas next moves.

Opera plans a full release of Version 7.60 in January, slightly behind its original target of late this year, a spokesman said. The new release also will include new voice browsing capabilities, performance improvements and a revamped user interface.

Opera makes the third most-popular Web browser after Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer and the open-source browsers from the Mozilla Foundation. It supports multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

With ERA, Opera is bringing together earlier rendering technologies that fit pages on the screens of mobile devices and televisions into a single architecture for its desktop browser.

The technology also solves a common printing problem, where part of a Web page is cut off because it did not fit a screen. ERA can resize a page to fit the papers width, according to Opera.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read an eWEEK Labs review of Operas last release, Version 7.50.

Voice browsing is a key addition to Opera 7.60 and is available in the latest technology preview. Opera in March announced a partnership with IBM to combine IBMs Embedded ViaVoice technology with the browser.

Speech-enabled browsing lets users speak commands to navigate Web pages as well as to have the content of pages read through text-to-speech technology. Opera initially is targeting the speech technology to English speakers and to its Windows browser.

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