New Opera Browser Takes Center Stage

Opera debuts latest version of browser, strikes new deal with Macromedia

Opera Software ASA has released the latest version of its namesake Web browser, featuring some minor improvements and bug fixes, and on Tuesday the company announced plans to work with Macromedia Inc. to develop an application programming interface for an embedded Web browser on Apple Computer Inc.s Macintosh platform.

The new version of the Opera browser, version 6.04, features automatic backup of bookmark files, optimized memory, improvements in displaying Flash animations and Windows Media files, and several bug fixes.

The new version also allows users to change the Opera application icon and support for English to Japanese and Japanese to English translations.

Operas new agreement with Macromedia will embed Operas browser in Macintosh versions of Macromedia Web application development tools. Developers can then test their applications in the embedded Opera browser. This will lay the foundation for further technological collaboration between the two companies in the future, Opera officials said, in Oslo, Norway.

This is the second agreement announced between the two companies in the past month. Last month, Opera announced it would bundle Macromedias Flash Player in its embedded browser for the Linux and QNX operating systems, used mainly for Web-enabled devices like handhelds and set-top boxes.

The company also announced this week plans to offer a premium Web mail service later this year, in addition to the free Operamail service it now operates, though it did not disclose specific features and pricing information.

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