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New Opera 9.5 Features

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One of the largest updates to Opera in quite a while. The whole look and feel was revamped a bit and it’ll be a little bit of a shock to old users. I haven’t had time to test and check out some of the new features, but I think 9.50 is mostly an attempt to visually differentiate Opera from Firefox and IE.

For those that haven’t tried it, in my experience, Opera offers superior speeds and memory management over both IE and Firefox. It’s initial memory footprint is larger than both Firefox and IE, but increasing the number of tabs while browsing is almost negligible. Whereas if you start to open more tabs in IE and Firefox, it is as if you are opening more instances of the program, Opera handles this nicely and the memory footprint hovers around the 50mb mark that it started with.

There are also many user friendly features found in Opera that you will quickly get accustomed to, and when using a public computer will find the ways that IE and Firefox integrate the same features a hassle.

Opera does come with a bit of a disadvantage over the other two mainstream browsers though. The marketshare of Opera, according to W3Schools.com, is only 1.4%. IE takes approximately 55%, Firefox at 39% and Safari at 2.2%. Although the user base is increasing, it is still not a very significant amount compared to IE and Firefox. Therefore, there are some sites that you will visit that will render incorrectly (pictures out of position, tables warped, etc), and even function incorrectly (buttons and fields don’t work together), so most Opera users don’t become completely independent of IE/Firefox, as many sights are never tested to be working on Opera.

I’ve been an Opera user for over 3 years now and it remains the first piece of software I install on any of my new/formatted systems. If you’re in the mood to try a new browser, the Opera experience will be so satisfying, you’ll find yourself convincing your friends to try it out (as I’m doing here).

As a side note, I did notice something funny about the 9.50 update, I have open new tab shortcut configured to be Ctrl+Shift+N, that still works, but when opening the new tab that way, it no longer focuses on that tab, but just opens it. Anyone else notice this, or find a fix?

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