Opera 9.50

My usual web browser is, as I’ve mentioned once or twice, Firefox. It does what I need, and I find some of the extensions really useful. It’s also nice being able to run the same browser with virtually identical settings whether I’m on my Mac or a Windows PC. I gave Safari a reasonable trial, but it really wasn’t what I needed. At work, I have to use IE for various intranet applications, and I can tolerate that, so long as you don’t try to make me use the dreadfulness known as IE6.

But one browser I’ve never really used much, although it is available on both Mac and Windows, is Opera. It’s an odd thing – its recorded usage level on most sites is low to negligible[1], but it has a very vociferous fan club. I tried it quite some time ago, when it was still a product you had to pay for if you wanted to get rid of the huge advertising banner at the top of the screen. That rather put me off at the time, and although I’ve tried it a few times since then, it’s never really captivated my attention very much.

Anyway, the latest version, 9.50, has just been released, and I thought I’d give it a try. In my usual way, I’m typing this post in Opera, and everything appears to be working. In fact, the WordPress Write page is quite nice – Opera’s rendering has smaller buttons in the toolbar, and I think some other things are smaller vertically, which means I can see more of what I want to see, which is decidedly a Good Thing.

The new release may have been a bit more popular than they were expecting, judging by the screenshot which shows what I saw when I launched it for the first time. That’s either an overloaded server, or some severe borkage in their script…



I’ll give Opera a play over the next few days. Will it lure me away from Firefox? Probably not, but I’ll give it a chance.

[1] Though this is skewed to a certain extent by the ease of making Opera tell servers it’s something else. Necessary for badly written sites that try to block browsers they haven’t been written for…