Opera 10: Solid, Stable, Innovative



Right on schedule, Opera released Opera 10 for download last week, and, as expected, it’s a solid and lively performer — no major visible changes from the late betas and release candidate builds I’ve been reporting regularly. Opera 10 has been my default browser on all three of my production Macs for the past six months or more, ever since the first public alpha level preview was released, and it’s by far the best Opera yet.

Opera, which supports the Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms, is the fifth most popular browser on the planet according to NetApplications HitsLink stats for August, trailing Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google’s as yet Windows-only Chrome. But it’s not far behind Chrome if you include the Opera Mini mobile version with the main browser suite app. Given my abiding enthusiasm for this browser, I hope that this version 10 release will enhance Opera’s prospects even further. It’s well-deserved given Opera’s history of solid innovation.

It was one of the first, if not the first, with session restore, tabbed browsing, and tab thumbnail previews. Not to mention, its Speed Dial thumbnail bookmark feature was the model for Safari 4’s Top Sites feature. Some Opera features, such as its built-in and fully integrated BitTorrent download client and mouse gestures support have not yet been adopted by Opera’s competitors, and along with Mozilla’s SeaMonkey it’s the last of the suite browsers with a built in POP 3 email client module.


Opera 10 is speedy, with Opera claiming up to 40 percent better performance on pages such as Gmail and Facebook, however my seat-of-the-pants impression is that Safari currently has the speed edge and reportedly Chrome is even faster, but Opera 10 is certainly no slouch.

In terms of looks, Opera 10 gets a fresh look and feel, and a new application icon designed by Oleg Melnychuk. The red “O” will continue to represent Opera, but has now received a facelift.

Learn more about the features that make Opera unique here and go ahead and download it for free.



Opera is innovative and feature Rich. Go Opera.. Go Opera..
Nice posting. Thank’s for info sharing ^_^

Charles W. Moore


Should have specified that I have tested Opera 10.0 with OS 10.5.8 (both Intel and PPC versions) and OS 10.4.11, but not Snow Leopard yet, which I’ve been procrastinating about ordering.

As for Opera’s appearance, Beauty is on the eye of the beholder. I like Opera 10’s new default interface look, but there is a vast selection of downloadable interface skins that can change the look.

Personally, while I do use Safari as well, I think it’ has the dullest-looking browser interface among the browsers available for OS X.

As for the learning curve, for me the advantages provided by Opera made the effort worthwhile, and while Opera does include an email client, it’s still a relatively svelte application, the compressed disk image being just 16.3

MB compared with 40.2MB for Safari 4.0.3 Leopard, and the Mail module stays out of sight unless you want it.


James Dempsey

It took me longer to figure out all the features and preferences of Opera 10 than I care to spend on a browser. It just shouldn’t be that much work.

Seriously, Opera has way too much garbage and it’s an utter mess. There’s a reason Even the folks at Mozilla broke apart Netscape Communicator into pieces. When you cram a bunch of different tools into one, none of them work as well as they should.

While I did find it to be somewhat speedy, I wouldn’t say it’s any faster than Firefox, and certainly not more than Safari.


What features and preferences were hard to figure out? Is it taking longer than it takes to study, download and install extensions?

The time you spend on a browser that is causing you so much work, is that so you can do bare bones navigation? Or is this for more advanced features? If it’s the latter (which I assume)- what’s wrong with spending time? What’s the point of having competing user interfaces if they all act in the same way? I’m a usability analyst, and I certainly have a lot of respect and understanding and statistical data to validate what you’re saying (consistency is key!), but seriously, let Opera have their <%1 market share with a different UI. I personally have LOVED the native mouse gestures and cached web page history that Opera does better than other browsers, I wouldn't touch another browser without those two features (FF extension on mouse gestures doesn't feel as fluid or responsive as Opera's but they are pretty much just as good)

and I think it's funny that Opera is an utter mess with way too much garbage, but then you say it's on par with Firefox's speed, So why complain? mail client and IRC all the widgets and Opera Unite, I never use those features and they don't get in the way. I never even notice them…period. Mail doesn't even show itself in the UI at all except a "set up mail" link.

That said, I understand the UI is not for everyone, and frankly the "skin" isn't all that great, I agree there.

I personally though can't imagine anyone would enjoy browsing without mouse gestures. I understand that I'm very much in the minority on this, but finding that tiny "back" button on the top of the screen every time I want navigate around, or the little "x" on the tab seems a terrible waste of my "locus of attention." I find it more than ironic that people haggle so much over milliseconds of javascript rendering times, but pay not attention to the amount of movement they do with their mouse to interact with the UI widgets.

Captain Jack

I disagree with Opera 10 being stable. My version would crash at random times for no reason. At first I thought it was the sites I was visiting. Nope. I could leave it on a blank page and in like 5 minutes it would close out. I since went back to version 9.6 and that version has been very stable for me. Not one hick up. I’m very disappointed because I really enjoyed the new upgrade. Spell checker is much easier to use. Buttons and windows are nicer.
Oh well I’ll just have to wait for the patch…..


Good article.

This will sound pretty trite, but I don’t use Opera just cause it’s too darned ugly. Sometimes I think Opera is the poster child sort of speak for a design mistake called “unnecessary differentiation” although FireFox does this as well. The idea is that because they don’t want to be hit with the accusation of copying, they purposely make the thing look and work differently from all other browsers, when in fact there may only be one “right” design in some cases.

If you like clean, minimal design (and most designers do), there’s nothing that beats Safari. The more I use Safari, the more the others strike me as Safari wannabes, but with a few extra do-dads and add-ons so as to look different.

Matt Rix

It’s possible for two designs to be different and both be good. I don’t know what the last version of Opera you used was, but Opera 10’s default theme is really clean and minimal.

I’ve been using Opera as my default browser for a couple years now. It’s got tons of truly useful features, but my favourite is the build in synchronization. I’ve got Opera on my macbook, my windows desktop, my netbook, and the computers at my work. All of them are synced together so they have the same bookmarks, settings, and even history. It’s awesome.


I was going to install it several hours ago, but read there’s an issue with Snow Leopard which makes it really slow (http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=288711), so I decided to wait until 10.10 is released.
As I see you had no problems with Opera 10.0, but are you running Leopard or Snow Leopard? I’d like to know if there’s people who have it working fine in Snow Leopard.

Michael Aguiar

I’m a web developer, and need to test every browser. So I have Opera 10 installed on Snow Leopard right now and it works great, Safari is still my browser of choice, Firefox after only for the development tools, but it runs great on Snow Leopard from what I’ve seen so far.


I actually paid $20 for Opera back in the ’90’s, when I was still using Windows and there was good reason to call MSIE “Exploder”.

I keep Opera around for the sites that just refuse to render correctly in Safari (fewer and fewer, these days), but it suffers from the same problems that other cross-platform programs do – it doesn’t fully integrate into the OS X environment.

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