Speedy Opera 10.5 Beta Browser Ships

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-02-11
 
 
 

Opera Software announced the beta release of Opera 10.50 for Windows, the latest version of its desktop browser.

Opera in a Feb. 11 release touted Opera 10.50 as "the fastest browser ever," as well as promoting its design and large browsing space.

The latest browser version boasts the fastest JavaScript engine and graphics library available and also features "great speed on limited networks" with its Opera Turbo technology, the company said, adding that its new Carakan JavaScript engine runs Web applications more than eight times faster than its predecessor. Moreover, Opera 10.50's new Vega graphics library "enables fast and smooth graphics for everything from tab switching to animation on Web pages," Opera said.

Opera Mini for iPhone will be previewed at Mobile World Congress. Click here to read more.

"Our previous JavaScript engine, Futhark, was the fastest when it was first introduced a few years ago, and the challenge for our engineers was to once again to make Opera the fastest browser on Earth," Christen Krogh, chief development officer at Opera, said in a statement. "We are proud today to show the results of the amazing work the team has done, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to the final release of Opera 10.50."

For developers, Opera has remained "at the forefront when it comes to supporting and implementing Web standards," the company insisted. "The new Opera Presto 2.5 [layout] engine in Opera 10.5 Beta provides enhanced support for HTML5 [and] full support for CSS 2.1 and much of the latest CSS 3, displaying Websites just as developers and designers intended them to look."

Also with the new platform, Widgets go native on Opera. The platform "allows Opera Widgets to move beyond the Web browser and into your desktop. Each widget can run as a separate process, independent from the browser, enabling them to behave as native applications."

In addition, "The new Opera menu in Windows replaces the menu bar and [Opera] 10.50 offers overall improved visuals such as Speed Dial, effects on visual tabs and more," the company said. And, "with private browsing in Opera 10.50, you can browse and leave no trace of the Websites you have visited or other actions you have performed. What differentiates Opera from other browsers is that you can create private tabs and private windows."

For simplified searching, Opera 10.5 enables users to use their search engine of choice directly from the address field. "The new address field also shows your matching results in your history, bookmarks and even actual content [of] the pages you have visited. You can use different search engines and Website searches from the new Search field," the company said. And Opera 10.5 also enables such options as "adding custom searches such as Twitter, looking at previous searches or finding something on the current page."

Opera 10.5 also integrates well with Windows 7, particularly with the Aero Glass effect of Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Opera 10.5's Windows 7 integration includes support for "Aero Peek, Jump List support and a completely reorganized and easier-to-use menu bar under the new Opera menu."

The beta of Opera 10.50 is "free and currently available for Windows users at http://www.opera.com/browser/next/. Mac and Linux betas are expected" to ship not long after the Windows release, Opera said. 

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