With the April release of Opera 8.0, Opera Software shows that its still clearly No. 1 when it comes to Web browser innovation.
Many of the standard features found in the current generation of browsers, such as cookie management and tabbed browsing, were introduced in the Opera browser. And one of the most talked-about new features in Opera 8.0 is a simple whitelist tool that attempts to prevent the Web site spoofing common in phishing and other fraud-based attacks.
Opera does this by supporting only top-level domains that have controls over the Internationalized Domain Names technology that lets sites be described in their native languages.
Although this will help to stop some attacks, those who use international character domain names may run into problems.
Opera 8.0 also provides much more information about Web pages secured through SSL. When visiting a secure page, users can click on the new security bar to get detailed information about the page and a score on its security rating—3 being the highest rating .
One of the coolest—and, surprisingly, most useful—new features in Opera 8.0 is the inclusion of a trash barrel on the address bar. Clicking on the icon allowed me to see all pop-up pages that had been blocked and any pages or tabs that I had closed.
Another new interface feature I liked was the way Opera could be set to automatically resize the width of a page to fit within the window.
Currently, Opera 8.0 is available on Windows and Linux systems, and a Mac OS X version is expected in the near future. Opera is available in a free version with an embedded advertising window; without advertising, it costs $39.
For more information, go to www.opera.com.