Opera Software today released version 8.50 of their great browser, and with this release they’ve the removed ad-banners and licensing fee, effectively making Opera a free browser! That’s free as in free beer, not as in free speech by the way… Still, for those who have wanted to use Opera full time but have been put off by the ads there’s now no excuse! Go ahead and download it!

Opera - feel free

Opera – Feel Free

Apparently they are doing this to increase their user base over time, and while they will lose quite a bit of revenue from doing this, they hope to gain it back in the long run from increased use and building of their brand. I’m not too sure how clever this is economically though, since my opinion is that that Opera will remain a browser for the more technically adept, while casual computer users are often put off just by the sheer amount of options and the small number of complex sites who don’t work.

But – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Opera in the future and that the number of people using opera will grow with this bold move.

Opera Software are celebrating their 10th anniversary today… and they’re having a big party where they also are giving away free licenses for their browser as long as the party lasts! While you’re there you can have a look at the milestones page for a rundown of company history, and also see how the browsers look has changed over the years.

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

I’ve used the Opera browser since version 5, which came out in 2000, and been a registered user since 2001. In my opinion Opera surpasses every other browser I’ve tried in terms of speed, usability and customization options, and now there’s no way I’m using anything else for browsing the internet.

Happy Birthday Opera – and all the very best wishes for the next ten years 🙂

[Jon Tetzchner swimming]

Jon Tetzchner swimming

Last week, in a bold (and quite foolhardy if you ask me) statement, Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner declared that if the download numbers of the new Opera 8 Web browser reach 1 million within the first four days of the launch, he will swim from Norway to the USA with only one stop-over for a cup of hot chocolate at his mother’s house in his home country, Iceland.

Today it was revealed that the one million downloads goal was indeed reached, so at the moment I guess Mr. Tetzchner is preparing for the cold swim across the atlantic. Keep abreast of the latest news at Opera’s 1 Million Download Challenge page. Will he actually take the (literal) plunge?

Opera Software today released the Opera web browser version 8.0. I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, since the first beta version was announced in late 2004.

Opera 8 released!

Opera 8 released!

Major improvements include:

  • Voice support using XHTML+Voice. I’m probably not going to use this feature much myself, but I’m sure there are many people who would love to play with it.
  • Support for the XmlHttpRequest object, which means that Google’s Gmail service is now (almost) fully supported. This feature has been quite important to me, and now I’m finally able to use Opera for GMail.
  • Improved standards support, including support for Scalable Vector Graphics, which is pretty cool.
  • New and improved security measures, with a special “security bar” to better detect spoofing attacks.

Full list of improvements are available in the changelog as usual.

Since I actually bought a license for Opera (7.2) in September ’03, I can use it to register the new version as well which is great news to me. And it sure seems that demand for the new version is high, since the Opera website has been down for most of the day because of all the traffic…

I was recently given an invite from a friend to test the new web-based email service from Google; GMail . Among its main features are 1 Gigabyte (1000 Megabyte) storage space with advanced searching and indexing of all your email, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity. The new service has also received a bit of criticism over accessibility and privacy concerns, so I was keen on finding out what all the fuzz was about.

Trouble is, the excellent Opera is my main browser of choice, which is not supported by Gmail. I soon found out that logging in using Opera was a no-no; I just get a blank screen after typing in my username and password. However, I had no trouble using it in Mozilla or Internet Explorer though, and it looks very nice and fast. On the other hand, having to open another browser just to check email is too much of a hassle, so I doubt my account will be used much until this is fixed.

Before GMail goes public, which is probably soon, I hope they are able to get their act together and start supporting common web standards so it can work with other browsers as well. Apparently they have plans of making a plain HTML version, so I keep my fingers crossed …

Opera Software today released the latest version of their excellent web browser, Opera 7.50. I’ve used Opera as my primary browser for several years, and completely love it. It works for almost all sites I visit, it has an indispensable pop-up blocker, easy tabbed browsing, cookie manager, and tons of other technical advantages over other browsers.

The security of Opera is also excellent, especially compared to that huge security hole, Internet Explorer. The latest version is a major leap forward in usability and features, with an improved user interface, an RSS reader, IRC chat client, and lots of other improvements – have a look at the Change Log for the full list.

Download it today – I promise it will change your experience browsing the web, for ever!

Opera Software today announced the first public beta of the new Opera version 7. It comes with a new email/news-client, support for the W3C DOM, as well as a brand new look and many other features. You can download it here (only for Windows at the moment).

They announced that they were working on this new version several months ago, so the wait has been long, but it looks like it’s been worth it. The final release, as well as versions for other OSs will probably be ready some time closer to christmas. In the meantime I’m really gonna enjoy testing it!