Opera 6 for Windows
Opera has announced its latest Windows version 6 Beta 1 with features that I was hopeful they’d add. Once I’ve had an opportunity to evaluate it, I’ll write a review here. In the meantime, though, it has an entirely new interface with many new features, including drag-and-drop bookmarks to the personal bar (I’ve been waiting for that!) and even more W3C recommendations support.
After a 30-minute test run so far my initial impression is that it’s no wonder Microsoft tried to shut out Opera from its site a week or two ago. This new version looks like major competition.
Here’s Opera’s press release today:
Opera 6.0 for Windows Beta 1 released:
New Opera 6.0 with Killer Features and Killer Looks
Las Vegas, NV—November 13, 2001
In connection with COMDEX, Opera Software ASA today unveiled Opera 6.0 for Windows Beta 1, introducing a browser with an array of new and improved features, including a completely new default user interface, skins, buttons and panels. With the release of Opera 6.0 for Windows, Opera reaches out to users accustomed to competing browsers' single document interface and targets users in regions that previously could not use Opera.
The last version of Opera, the popular Opera 5.x for Windows, the third most popular Internet browser in the world, has already been successfully downloaded and installed over 6 million times. With this release, Opera for the first time displays non-Latin characters, thereby opening up the local markets in the Asia/Pacific and Eastern European region to true browser competition.
One of the most noticeable feature changes in Opera 6.0 for Windows Beta 1 is the ability for users to choose between single or multiple document interface (SDI/MDI) in the start-up dialog or change this in preferences later.
"Even though Opera is best known for its multiple document interface, the single document interface makes it easier for Internet Explorer or Netscape users to migrate to Opera and feel at ease, and then graduate to Opera’s multiple user interface later on," says Hakon Lie, CTO of Opera Software ASA. "However, we think new and old users will notice that Opera’s single document interface is superior to the same feature in competing browsers, by letting users keep the same firm control over documents as in the multiple documents interface while not straining additional system resources."
Opera 6.0 for Windows Beta 1 comes with many new powerful features that will speed up and improve users' Internet experience.
"Opera 5 was the wake-up call for the competing browser-makers, and the recent targeting of Opera users on Microsoft’s Web properties was an acknowledgement of Opera’s increasing popularity. Opera 6 will unsettle the big two even more," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA. "And with a browser that looks great and has lots of new and improved features, we are sure both new and old users will find something to whet their browser appetite."
New features in Opera 6.0 for Windows
Please see the Reviewer’s Guide at www.opera.com/press/reviewer for more in-depth explanations.
Opera’s user interface has received a major overhaul with a new start-up dialog, default simple menubar (that can be enlarged to a full menubar by right-clicking), skin and panels in a blue and white color scheme. Users can choose default, classic Opera look or their own design.
Users can place their favorite Web pages in panels that are displayed in the hotlist during their browsing session. Web pages for panels have to be optimized to the hotlist size. Panels are available at my.opera.com.
Single/Multiple Document Interface
At start-up, users can select a single or multipledocument interface (SDI/MDI). Opera is most known for its multiple user interface, but users of IE and Netscape may feel more at ease in the single document interface, and can graduate later as advanced users to the multiple document interface.
Double-click a word or right-click a selected phrase and a pop-up menu is displayed full of powerful features including search, encyclopedia look-up, and translation.
Users can organize and personalize favorite bookmarks and searches in one place.
New pagebar in the single document interface mode (SDI) lets users keep track of visited Web pages and drag bookmarks from the Personal Bar to the pagebar.
Users can search bookmarks or sort them by title, date created, when visited or customize their own ordering.
Drag and drop
Drag and drop bookmarks between hotlist and the Personal Bar.
Preferences section has been reorganized and has a new look. For quick access to important preferences, simply press F12.
New keyboard shortcuts in addition to the many popular easy full keyboard shortcuts already in Opera.
For the first time, Opera supports the Unicode Worldwide Character Set, makingOpera available in local languages for the Asian/Pacific and Eastern European regions.
Run more than one Opera
Users can now run more than one instance of Opera at atime, thereby letting different users of one computer use separate preferences for set-up,e-mail, bookmarks, etc.
Improved window handling
Switch easily between document windows with the new Ctrl+Tab feature.
New import update lets users import e-mail from Microsoft Outlook accounts. Added Transport Layer Security (TLS) support for POP and SMTP accounts increases e-mail security.
Opera 6.0 for Windows Beta 1 is available for free in an ad-sponsored version at www.opera.com/download. After download, users can register the browser for USD 39 to remove the small banner ad. However, all registered users of Opera 5.x for Windows are entitled to a free upgrade to Opera 6.0 for Windows.
About Opera Software
Opera Software ASA is an industry leader in the development of Web browsers for the desktop and device markets, partnering with companies such as IBM, AMD, Symbian, Canal+ Technologies, Ericsson, Sharp and Lineo. The Opera browser has received international recognition from end-users and the industry press for being faster, smaller and more standards-compliant than other browsers. Opera Software ASA is a privately held company headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com.
Opera Software ASA
Pål A. Hvistendahl
Tel: +47 99 72 43 31
PR Manager Americas & Asia/Pacific