In the wholly just browser battle to tear market share away from the ubiquitous yet terrible Internet Explorer, Opera has done better than most. It could be set to kick on now too following today’s first public beta release of Opera 9.
The latest and greatest version of the amiable browser now includes a raft of new features. Primary among them is the introduction of Widgets, small web applications (multimedia, newsfeeds, games, etc) that bare a striking resemblance to the identically named tools in Apple’s Tiger OS. Any web developer can create their own Widgets and share them regardless of operating system and they can be called up simply by pressing F6.
Just as fun – albeit more controversially – Opera 9 provides integrated Bittorent functionality eradicating the need for a separate client. Now users just have to click on torrent links to begin them downloading inside the browser. It doesn’t matter whether the torrent is legal, illegal or downright super naughty to anything other than your moral consciousness.
‘Content Blocker’ is also a cracking little tool which allows a user to block any part of a webpage he/she/it or Lindsey Lohan doesn’t want to see. Simply right click on any particular web page, choose ‘Block Content’ and never be bothered by irritating flash banners again. Of course, you’d never do that to us and our beautiful adverts… ;) Other nifty features include rich text editing (helpful when using blogging services) and real customisable search engines – i.e. ones that you can personally create for any site as well as thumbnail previews of any tab when a mouse pointer is hovered on it.
So Opera 9 adds itself to a long list of reasons which demonstrate that if you’re using IE6 you’re completely flippin’ barmy. Opera is holding sessions to erase this insanity here.