Following successful beta trialling since April, the ninth major incarnation of Opera’s popular web browser has finally been released.
Opera 9 is the most comprehensive version of the software yet (well, you’d expect that wouldn’t you…) with the introduction of OS X Tiger-esque open source ‘Widgets’, inbuilt Bittorent support, a ‘Content Blocker’ to knock out ads and flash banners (it…err… doesn’t…err… work with TR…err… honest), rich text editing and Firefox style customisable search engines.
For developers Extensive Rendering Architecture (ERA) helps designers make sure their sites work correctly over any web-enabled device and – in the event of a browser crash – Opera 9 can automatically save and re-open all your tabs so nothing is lost.
"For Opera 9, we worked hard to push the limits of what people expect from a Web browser, with increased speed, new Web standards support and innovative features such as widgets and BitTorrent," said Jon S. von Tetzchner, the head gorgonzola at Opera Software. "Even though we shaped this browser for the Web’s future, we have the powerful features people want and need for their surfing today. I truly feel Opera 9 has something for everyone."
He’s not far wong either. I’ve been messing around with Opera 9 since April and I’ll admit it certainly is the best incarnation of the browser yet… but I did still return to Firefox. That said I certainly think Opera 9 is the second best browser on the market today and its lowly 1.5 per cent market share (as of this month) does it no justice at all.
If you aren’t already snared by the ‘fox’ please do me a favour and bin that IE6 garbage or its equally pathetic successor IE7 (how laughable is its RSS and tab implementation?!) and head on over here. It’s the second best choice you could make…
In related news Opera has announced its browser for the Nintendo DS will be released in Japan on 24 July. It will carry a 3,800 yen (£17.95) price tag with US and European versions to follow. Opera has already tied up a deal to put its browser on the company's hysterically named next generation Wii console.