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Opera Gets 2D With SVG

Although Opera Software claims only a small share of the huge browser market, it is making big moves with new features in an effort to win over potential converts.

The Oslo-based company announced Wednesday that its latest browser will be the first to include "scalable vector graphics", called SVG, capable of reducing or enlarging Web pages to fit any sized screen, whether it is a cell phone or a wide-screen monitor.

"As the Internet is maturing, we see that most new Web sites are no longer static displays of information, but rather complex online applications that use advanced Web technologies to enable improved interactivity, speed, and services," Opera co-founder and Chief Executive Jon S. von Tetzchner, said in a statement.

The beta-version of Opera will offer the SVG software as standard option, rather than having users download as a plug-in.

SVG is an XML-based language for Web graphics developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, according to the company.

It allows Web developers to create the next generation of interactive and personalized Web applications in high-quality vector graphics instead of bitmaps, which are most often used on Web sites today.

"We believe SVG will enter mainstream Web design in the future and we are very pleased to add native support in the Opera browser", Haakon Wium Lie, Opera's chief technical officer said. "We will work with other vendors to ensure that SVG can be used interoperably on the Web."

Opera has released several updates of its browser, which it claims is the third most used browser by consumers, including version 7.6 released in December. As reported by internetnews.com, the company skipped the traditional versionrelease and opted for a full-scale launch.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is estimated to control approximately 90 percent of the market.