Opera Software said the latest version of its browser has so many new
bells and whistles that developers decided to skip the traditional version
release and opt for a full-scale launch.
“We were preparing for the 7.60 release, but as work progressed and
we kept adding improvements and functionality, it became very evident
that we now have a browser that is so powerful, secure and easy to use
that it exceeds the next logical version number and warrants a major
release,” said Jon S. von Tetzchner, Opera CEO, in a
The new version includes an updated and more prominent
RSS tool that appears in the address bar on sites that offer feeds.
New rendering technology was designed to adapt Web page content to fit
the width of a window, allowing users to have multiple windows open
with no horizontal scrolling.
Opera also includes voice technology that allows users to browse
the Web using spoken commands, such as “Opera next link,” “Opera back,”
or “Opera speak.” The command will make Opera read Web page content
and e-mail messages aloud, adding usability as either a screen reader
or advanced dictionary.
Other functions include integrated search, tabbed browsing with
saved sessions and built-in e-mail. And according to the company, Opera is
tightly coded to optimize speed and security while browsing the Web.
“A browser is much more than what meets the eye,” said Christen Krogh, vice president of engineering at
Opera, in a statement. “To maximize
speed, security and page handling, Opera’s core and supporting code
has undergone dramatic improvements based on the strict efficiency
requirements brought in from the mobile phone market. In addition, the new Opera browser
comes with an update check function to ensure that you will always have
the latest version for maximum protection and performance.”
The Norwegian-based browser maker would not disclose the latest
version name when it released the beta Thursday, but said those who have
licensed Opera 7 will receive free upgrades.