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Opera Releases Browser Preview

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Opera Software Thursday posted a preview of its next browser, dubbed Opera 9, for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh users.

The Norwegian developer, which recently began giving away Opera in an attempt to grab more market share, said that the Preview 1 edition includes a new back-end for IMAP-based e-mail; stability improvements; support for several additional Web standards, including XSLT 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0.

"We are still at an early stage in the development of Opera 9 (code-name Merlin), however," wrote Tim Altman, an Opera employee, in a message to users.

Opera 9 Preview 1 also identifies itself as Opera to sites, rather than masking itself as Internet Explorer to boost Opera's rankings by metrics firms that monitor market share.

Opera 9 Preview 1 can be downloaded in versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X from the company's Web site.

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