Opera 11 Beta Introduces Tab Stacking, Extensions

stacking

The beta of Opera 11, released today, continues Opera Software’s long tradition of innovating in the browser space by introducing a neat new feature: tab stacking. The idea is that users can stack tabs to group them by site or by theme, reducing clutter; something that “taboholics” should appreciate.

Tab stacking is a good idea that’s been implemented well. It works in a very intuitive way: just drag one tab on top of another to build a stack. Hovering your mouse over a tab will cause the stack to expand in a visual preview (as shown in  the screenshot above), while clicking an arrow icon expands the current stack across the tab bar. Tabs can also be dragged from the stack back to the tab bar. Here’s a video of it in action:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hqSGGk1YTI]

In addition to the new tab stacking feature, Opera 11 introduces browser extensions, visual mouse gestures, better HTML5 support and greater performance. Extensions are a very welcome addition, although I find it somewhat surprising that it’s taken Opera this long to include them. Obviously, it will be some time before opera can come anywhere near matching the huge extension ecosystems of Firefox and Chrome that make those browsers so useful. Extensions can be downloaded here.

To test the claims of better performance, I ran the new beta through Mozilla’s Kraken JavaScript benchmark and compared it with 10.63, the current version. Opera 11 beta scored 15227.0ms on my Mac, compared with 10.63’s 15488.2ms. That’s only a fairly small improvement, but Opera is already one of the fastest browsers currently available, so it’s good to see that Opera is continuing to squeeze even more performance out of it.

You can download the beta of Opera 11 here. It’s available for both Windows and Mac.

Let us know what you think of Opera 11 beta in the comments.

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