Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Thu

29

NOV

2001

Opera 6 for Windows Now

OperaOpera’s recent Windows beta testing has proven to be quite successful, with over 500,000 downloads since its launch two weeks ago, according to their new press release below. They’ve now released the full version.

As soon as I’ve had an opportunity to explore some of the new features more, I’ll be writing a review here on this new version. For the moment, though, my initial impressions have been quite good. They clearly concentrated on improving the interface for this new version, and it shows. I’m especially happy to see that there’s now a personal toolbar, a feature that I’ve relied on heavily in Internet Explorer and Netscape and missed in previous Opera versions.

[Opera 6 Hotclick feature]A handy tool is the Hotclick feature to highlight a word on a Web page and have a pop-up window appear, from which you can click on the dictionary and get its definition, run a search, check an encyclopedia, quickly get a translation in a variety of languages, and more, as shown in the screenshot here.

While there are many user friendly features like this, I like Opera the most for its stability, W3C support, and fast loading small program size. It’s not perfect, and no browser is, certainly, but it’s also a tool that I can use without even thinking about it because it works so well. It doesn’t crash, it loads quickly, it supports most everything available with newer browsers, and hums along smoothly and effortlessly all day long. That’s more than I’ve experienced with any other browser on my system, so naturally I’ve become quite a fan of Opera.

The following press release reviews the new features and details. By the way, Opera is available for Mac, PC, Linux, and others, and is also available in quite a few languages, too.

Opera 6.0 for Windows Launched After Record-Breaking Beta

Oslo, Norway—November 29, 2001

Opera Software ASA today unleashed Opera 6.0 for Windows, a browser with an array of new and improved features, including a completely customizable user interface, and new speed boosting features for improving users' Internet experience. The previous beta version launched at COMDEX November 13, has broken all records for a beta release, with more than 500,000 downloads in the two weeks since the launch.

Opera 6.0 for Windows reaches out to users accustomed to competing browsers' single document interface (SDI), by offering an enhanced version of SDI as an added option on top of Opera’s traditional multiple document interface (MDI). Opera newbies that are not used to browsing in MDI can now start in familiar surroundings, immediately making use of Opera’s power-user features, and later have the option to change to Opera’s more advanced MDI environment.

Opera 5 for Windows was downloaded and installed over 6 million times.

"Opera 6.0 was received with tremendous enthusiasm all over the Internet," says Dean Kakridas, VP Desktop Products, Opera Software ASA. "Opera 6 gives worldwide users of all levels an alternative to IE and a better Internet experience on multiple desktop platforms. We will continue to work extremely hard to provide the home, corporate and education markets the best browser solution possible."

With this release, Opera for the first time also displays non-Roman alphabets, opening up the local markets in the Asia/Pacific and Eastern European region to true browser competition.

"Opera 5 was the wake-up call for 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 tremendous and has lots of new and improved features, we are sure both new and old users will find something to whet their browser appetite."

Download Opera 6.0 for Windows here.

Opera for Linux 6.0 Technical Preview 1 was also released this past Monday.

New features in Opera 6.0 for Windows

Please see the Reviewer’s Guide at www.opera.com/press/guides/reviewer for more in-depth explanations. The Reviewer’s Guide has been expanded with a new "Power Tools" section since the Beta release.

Speed boost

As always the Opera team has focused on making Opera faster. Significant portions of the code have been optimized for increased speed, including the image code and general display code, leading to faster displaying of Web documents.

Improved memory utilization

Opera 6.0 makes better use of the memory resources available on your machine, compared to earlier versions.

New look

Opera’s user interface has received a major overhaul with a new start-up dialog, default main bar (that can be enlarged to a full main bar by right-clicking), skin and panels in a blue and white color scheme. Users can choose default, classic Opera look or their own design.

Panels

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 multiple document interface (SDI/MDI). Opera is most known for its multiple document 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.

Hotclick

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.

Personal Bar

Users can organize and personalize favorite bookmarks and searches in one place.

Pagebar

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.

Bookmarks

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

The preferences section has been reorganized and has a new look. For quick access to important preferences, simply press F12.

Keyboard shortcuts

New keyboard shortcuts in addition to the many popular easy full keyboard shortcuts already in Opera.

Unicode

For the first time, Opera supports the Unicode Worldwide Character Set, making Opera available in local languages for the Asian/Pacific and Eastern European regions.

LiveConnect

Opera now has support for LiveConnect, to enable scripting of Java applets and plug-ins through JavaScript.

Run more than one Opera

Users can now run more than one instance of Opera at a time, 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.

E-mail

New import update lets users import e-mail from Microsoft Outlook Express accounts. Added Transport Layer Security (TLS) support for POP and SMTP accounts increases e-mail security.

Standards-Compliance

Opera continues its commitment to the standards as laid out by the W3C. Opera 6.0 for Windows supports the following technologies: 128-bit encryption, TLS 1.0, SSL 2 and 3, CSS1 and partial CSS2, XML, HTML 4.01, HTTP 1.1, ECMAScript, JavaScript 1.3, WAP/WML and partial support for DOM.

Availability

Opera 6.0 for Windows 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 users who registered and paid for Opera 5.x for Windows are entitled to a free upgrade to Opera 6.0 for Windows. Users who registered and paid for Opera 4.x and who were entitled to a free upgrade to 5.x, will not receive a free upgrade to Opera 6.x but can upgrade at a discount.

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 is available on Windows, Mac, Linux/Solaris, Symbian OS, and QNX. Opera Software ASA is a privately held company headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com.

Contacts

Opera Software ASA
Pål A. Hvistendahl
Communications Director
Tel: +47 99 72 43 31
E-mail: Pal at opera dot com

Katherine Barrios
PR Manager Americas & Asia/Pacific
Tel: 1-888-624-4846 (Press only)
E-mail: uspress at opera dot com

08:49 pm, pst29 November, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Browsers, CSS, Press Releases, Reviews, Software, Standards

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