New Opera Web browser offers more tab options

Jun 03, 2009 By ANICK JESDANUN , AP Technology Writer
Opera Software logo

(AP) -- Web browsers from the Norwegian company Opera Software ASA have been better known for their innovation than their usage.

For instance, they sported the ability to open multiple tabs in a single window long before that became standard practice. Now a new version available as a "beta" test lets you work with those tabs more easily.

A resizable tab bar in 10 lets you stretch the row of tabs at the top so that mini, "thumbnail" versions of your open pages appear inside. That way, you can choose which tab to switch to based on the appearance of the Web page, not just its name.

Thumbnails aren't new to browsers. Corp.'s offers them, as do previous versions of Opera. But Opera 10 lets you see those thumbnails up top while you continue to browse a Web site normally in the larger space below. IE lets you do one or the other.

Opera 10 retains the Speed Dial feature, which displays thumbnails of your favorite sites, not just your open ones - similar to what's available on Inc.'s Chrome and Apple Inc.'s Safari browsers. You simply click on any thumbnail to load the full site.

The new version is more customizable: Instead of just nine Speed Dial sites, you can choose four to 25.

The new Opera browser also has built-in compression technology that can help improve browsing speeds, particularly for those with dial-up Internet access. Such technology is commonly offered by Internet service providers, but not by browsers.

It's not clear whether any of these features will significantly improve Opera's market share, which is tiny compared with market leader Internet Explorer and the increasingly popular Firefox. Unlike IE, though, Opera has versions for Mac and computers as well.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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donjoe0
not rated yet Jun 04, 2009
"Opera 10 retains the Speed Dial feature, which displays thumbnails of your favorite sites, not just your open ones - similar to what's available on Google Inc.'s Chrome and Apple Inc.'s Safari browsers."

I think our dear Anick meant to say:

"... displays thumbnails of your favorite sites - an idea borrowed also by Google for its Chrome and Apple for its Safari browser."

... because Opera invented this feature too, as it did many others in the area of usability. (Answer me this: what other browser natively offers the option to block advertising banners per-website, never to display them again? Yep, you got it.)