Opera 11.50 Browser Offers Speed Dial, Other Features

Opera's 11.50 browser includes password synchronization and a streamlined design as new features.

The browser evolutions continue. Days after Mozilla issued its newest version of Firefox, Opera has launched a browser version with all-new features designed to make it stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

Those new features include the ability to synchronize your Website passwords across Opera browsers, a streamlined design, speed-boosting tweaks to the core rendering engine and software graphics engine, and Speed Dial extensions, which offer tiles displaying dynamic information from a selection of Websites.

Opera's longtime browser strategy has centered on supporting as many devices as possible. To that end, the company has maintained a continual release cycle of products such as Opera Mini 6 browser for iOS, capable of running both on the iPhone and iPad, and Opera Mini and Opera Mobile for Android devices.

With Opera Mini 6 for iOS, the company's engineers focused on speeding up the browser experience, with up to 90 percent compression of data traffic between the device and Opera's servers. Opera claims that the strongest base for its software exists in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia-places where the majority of devices present in a particular region might be outdated or operating on a slow connection, and could thus benefit from optimization.

That geographical location, Opera executives insist, leads to Opera being undercounted by many analysis firms, which tend to take their samples for browser market share from Western Europe and North America.

Despite Opera's focus on the newest technology, Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzschner told eWEEK in March that the company would continue to fully support older versions of its browser, the better to run on the more antiquated machines that continue to hold a presence in the company's key markets.

Part of Opera's development process, he said at the time, is to give "the best of care onto all devices as soon as possible."

That's a contrast to Microsoft, which is quite public about its burning desire to kill the aging Internet Explorer 6. Despite Microsoft's push, however, a number of users continue to rely on IE6 as part of Windows XP, another legacy platform the company wants the world to abandon in favor of Windows 7.

It also contrasts somewhat with Mozilla's recent behavior. With the recent release of Firefox 5, Mozilla essentially declared end-of-life for Firefox 4. Given the speedier cadence of Mozilla's recent Firefox releases, a number of IT administrators have expressed concern about their ability to test and deploy the browser in an enterprise environment.