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Opera gears up for new browser performance with latest beta

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Browser company Opera is preparing its star of the browser stage for its latest performance: Opera 9.5 Beta 2. Is Opera’s latest beta... better?

Codenamed Kestrel, Opera’s latest browser is no medieval minstrel, but a modern day diva taking on its competitors from Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Aiming for the high notes, the new Opera has found itself revved up with the latest performance enhancing tricks to soup up speed and security, while refining its stellar features that set Opera apart from the competition.

Now, while use of Opera 9.5 beta 2 is only recommended for those who enjoy bashing around with betas, it’s now happily installed on my computer and it veritably flies across the web – in much the same manner as Firefox 3 and the latest Safari have also enjoy speed boosts.

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Hands on: Opera 9.5 beta 2 improves speed, adds features

Opera has consistently defied expectations about what a browser (and browser company) can accomplish. Begun back in 1994 as a research project at the Norwegian research company Telenor, the Opera browser was first released as version 2.0 in 1996, and ported to multiple platforms in 1998. Originally a paid-for browser, Opera became ad-supported with version 5, but the ads were removed in the 8.5 release, bringing the browser to completely free status. Version 9 offered many improvements, and now the company has released a second beta preview of version 9.5.

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