Although not my primary browser, I have always had Opera installed as a backup to Firefox. At times, Firefox simply will not display a page correctly, and Opera will often work.
The latest beta release of Opera 10 is quite impressive. Some of the built-in features like “Speed Dial” and form filling have to be added to Firefox via extensions. There is not much not to like in this browser and I suspect that it will be a significant contender against Firefox and Google Chrome. Eventually, when the bugs are worked out, it might become my primary browser.
Opera began life as commercial software. My memory says that it cost about $30 at one time. Then it became a hybrid. You could run it free with annoying advertising and paying for it would kill the ads. Finally, they got smart and realized that few, if any, people would pay for a browser in today’s world. Advertising would pay for it if it was good, magazines learned that decades ago.
Yes, it’s a beta and there are bugs. In the two times I tested it I had a system crash. A very big crash as X-Windows would not restart and networking was corrupted. A crash report has been submitted and hopefully there will be a bugfix as I like this browser very much.
Other reviewers have commented that Opera does not support Flash. This is incorrect. The Adobe Flash plugin does not automaticcally install into Opera’s” plugins” folder. One must copy or link to the plugin file in Opera’s plugins folder. Granted, this is a nuisance, but not a showstopper. Anyone needing help with this can email me, but I would advise waiting for final release before installing.
In other news Google has finally releaed a developer version of Chrome for Linux and Mac. I have run Chrome in a virtual machine, and again, there is not much not to like. It’s sort of a hybrid between search engine and browser. When they get the bugs out, this will be another contender! The browser wars are reignited!
Finally, and somewhat off-topic, Microsoft has released the Bing search engine. As expected, Microsoft has copied a bunch of Google’s features. But wait, they’ve added some goodies. I have not personally tested this but Kim Komando reports that videos can be previewed in the search engine. Kim says that this can bypass porn filters and is a BIG problem. I say that it’s NO problem and I might actually use the thing occasionally.
The winner in all this conflict is YOU!