Opera 11 Beta Launches

Opera Software has released the beta version of its Opera 11 browser with new support for tab stacking.

Opera Software has released the first beta of Opera 11, with support for tab stacking.

In a Nov. 23 announcement, Opera introduced tab stacking, a better way to organize your open tabs. Traditionally, tabs were opened side-by-side, but now Opera users can stack their tabs, grouping them by site or by theme. Tab stacking reduces clutter and makes it easier to identify and work with sets of open tabs, Opera officials said.

"Tabs are the most popular feature in browsers today," said Jan Standal, vice president of desktop products at Opera, in a statement. "Because so many of us wrestle with tens or even hundreds of tabs, we wanted to find a better way to manage them. So, whether you are tracking positive reviews of your new album or researching the proper dimensions of Stonehenge, stacking your tabs is an intuitive way to organize and group your open web pages."

In a press release on the new features in Opera 11, Opera claims it is easy to stack tabs. Simply drag one tab on top of another. Hovering the mouse over a tab will cause the stack to expand in a visual preview. Clicking the arrow icon expands the current stack across the tab bar. This brief video showcases tab stacking in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hqSGGk1YTI.

Meanwhile, Opera 11 also introduces extensions, browser add-ons that enhance the capabilities of the Opera browser. In the three weeks since extensions debuted in the alpha release of Opera 11, more than 500,000 extensions have been downloaded. Fueling the growth in available extensions, developers submit between 10 and 20 new extensions each day. The full extension catalog is available here: https://addons.labs.opera.com/.

And with the new developer mode in Opera 11 beta, extensions are even easier to make, Opera officials said. Developers can use the developer mode to launch, test and package extensions quickly.

In addition, Opera has included its mouse gestures technology in Opera 11. Mouse gestures provide a simple and effective way to control Opera with a few mouse movements. Opera initially introduced mouse gestures in Opera 5. Yet, in Opera 11, a new visual interface highlights mouse paths and helps guide the discovery, use and mastery of these shortcuts. The full list of mouse gestures is available here: http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/gestures/.

Meanwhile, other highlights of Opera 11 include:

"??Ç The address field now hides unnecessary information and puts the security status of each page front and center. Now, badges explain the security state of the site, giving consumers clear information about the sites they visit.??Ç Plug-ins can be set to load on-demand. This can give as much as 30 percent performance improvement.??Ç Extensions and Opera Unite applications are updated automatically through Opera's update mechanism.??Ç Even more work has been done to boost browsing speed, particularly for Linux. Opera 11 for Linux is 15 to 20 percent faster on common benchmarks than Opera 10.63.??Ç Bookmarks are just a click away thanks to a new bookmarks bar that replaces Opera's personal bar.??Ç Opera 11 is 30 percent smaller than Opera 10.63, despite including new features."

Users can download Opera 11 from http://www.opera.com/browser/next. Opera runs on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.