First look: Opera 10 faster with new features

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First look: Opera 10 faster with new featuresToday, Opera has announced the release of the Opera 10 Web browser for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms. Are the new features and performance increases enough to beat out other popular browsers? The answer: it depends mostly on your choice of platform.

New features

Opera has a history of introducing new features long before they become mainstream, and often failing to receive credit for doing so. Opera was the first browser to have tabs—now considered an essential part of any browsing experience on any platform—and also led the way in supporting mouse gestures for navigation. More recently, Opera invented Speed Dial—a way to display visual bookmarks in a grid when opening a new tab. This feature has since been copied by Safari 4. Some features, such as a built-in and fully integrated BitTorrent download client, have not yet been adopted by Opera’s competitors.

With Opera 10, it seems as if the company is slowly running out of new features to add. The new release mostly improves on existing capabilities rather than unveiling a dramatic new interface. For example, the browser now has system-wide spell checking (with dynamic red underlining) on all platforms, meaning Windows users no longer have to install the GNU Aspell plugin to improve their posts. The Speed Dial page is more customizable, letting users choose from a 2x2 up to a 5x5 grid and select a custom background image.

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Also: Should Opera dump its desktop browser?

Opera 10 Arrives:

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