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Nokia Latest to Play Opera Mobile 10 Browser

Opera Software's newest version of the mobile browser for Nokia's Symbian OS-based handsets offers speed dial, tabbed browsing and a password manager.

The free beta version of Opera Mobile 10 debuts today for both touchscreen and keypad-style devices powered by the world's dominant mobile platform Symbian/S60 and boasts several new features and speedier performance, according to the company.

Opera's mobile beta for Symbian comes on the heels of the company's preliminary release of its version 10 Web browser in September.

Performance was optimized, and version 10 will be twice as fast as its predecessor in downloading pages, zooming and panning. It also includes integrated server-side compression technology called Opera Turbo, designed to save users time and money.

"Today's powerful smartphones deserve an equally powerful browser, like Opera," Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software, said in a statement. "This beta continues our work to extend the desktop Web experience to mobile phones, allowing users to surf the Web without limitations, even while on-the-go. No matter if the device is in use, Opera delivers a faster, easier and hassle-free Web experience."

News of Opera Mobile 10 comes at a time when Nokia is scrambling to regain the cache of an earlier era when rivals Apple and Research In Motion weren't threats to its global dominance.

Nokia pushing on many fronts

The Finnish phone giant will soon start selling a netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G, upgraded the SKD for its Ovi suite of offerings and has scooped up several complementary, boutique tech firms. It also just filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming that the company illegally used its patented technology in the iPhone.

Apple, which appears ready to fight the lawsuit, launched the iPhone 3GS in June, and several updates soon followed to its mobile OS as it continues to both encroach on RIM's enterprise market share and Nokia's worldwide prominence.

Meanwhile, RIM just introduced its signature consumer handset, the updated Storm2, and is expected to dramatically improve its browser experience with the purchase of Torch Mobile.