Opera 10 review

The final version of Opera 10 has arrived. Can its unique features help it compete in an increasingly crowded browser market?

These advanced features point to a fundamental difference in philosophy between Opera and other browsers: while the likes of Google Chrome and Safari try to keep life as simple as possible, Opera caters for the more engaged user. So, for example, when a page is loading, Opera shows not just a progress bar but a numeric count of loaded page elements. Right-clicking on a web page brings up a plethora of advanced settings, including automatic reloading, HTML validation and the option to view it in a different browser.

And if you dig into the "Advanced" preferences panel, you'll find all sorts of options for customising tab behaviour, notifications and security settings the sort of options that Firefox hides away in its inscrutable "about:config" panel, if indeed it offers them at all.

advanced features

Best of all is Opera's handling of stored credentials. Like most browsers, when you log in to a secure site, it will offer to learn your user name and password; but it also learns how to submit them, so next time you visit that page it takes just a single clock on Opera's "log on" button to enter the site.

With so much on offer, you may be wondering why Opera hasn't been more successful. Partly it's down to a lack of user awareness: Opera Software is a small Norwegian company that simply doesn't grab mainstream attention in the way Google or Apple can.

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