Opera Offers Sneak Peek At Next Browser - InformationWeek

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Opera Offers Sneak Peek At Next Browser

The release follows last week's introduction of the latest version of Opera Mini, a mobile browser that the company claims also is faster than previous generations.

Opera Software on Thursday offered the first look at Opera 10, which the company is touting as much faster than previous generations.

The alpha version of the Web browser, available for download at the Opera site, gives people a sneak peek at the browser's Presto 2.2 rendering engine, which will be the foundation of all future Opera 10 products. The new engine delivers a 30% faster browsing experience as compared with Presto 2.1 introduced in Opera 9.5 in June, the company said.

Along with the new engine, Opera 10 has improved standards support and better technologies for building and viewing Web sites. Other new features include spell-checking as a person types and auto-updating to the latest versions as they become available.

"My favorite development in this release is the support for new Web technologies, which allows people to explore new ways of using the Internet," Johan Borg, VP of consumer engineering for Opera Software, said in a statement.

The Opera 10 alpha release follows last week's introduction of the latest version of Opera Mini, a mobile browser that the company claimed also is faster than previous generations. Opera also added to Mini 4.2 support for T-Mobile's Android-powered G1 phone, which ships with the "Chrome light" browser. G1 users would have to download Opera Mini from the Android Market.

Opera Mini is designed to provide fast access to the Internet no matter what device or network speed the user has, and it's available on handsets such as the Samsung Instinct, Windows Mobile smartphones, and BlackBerry devices. The Java ME-based browser works by rendering pages on a server and then sending them to the device, thus easing the connectivity demands of the phone. Opera said it has been able to improve speeds in the United States by 30% thanks to a new server park.

As of the end of November, the Opera browser was the fifth-most-used browser for accessing the Web, with a 0.71% market share, according to the Web metrics firm Net Applications. Microsoft Internet Explorer led the market, followed by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

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