The first preview version is here.
For better or worse, Opera has just released the very first build of its WebKit based web browser that aims to blend some of the key Opera features with a far superior rendering engine.
However, before you start giggling like a little school girl, it should be noted that this is a very basic build that lacks tons of features, including basics such as: bookmark importer, bookmarks (that could be replaced with a “Stash”) and other, lesser used features like RSS Reader, customization options, Opera Link, Linux builds and so on. Also, since it uses WebKit, there are no 64 bit builds for Windows.
Basically, what we are saying that this is indeed a preview build.
Ironically, the first link I opened turned out to be a mess due to the tiny fonts, or that’s what I thought. Turns out, this is how text is supposed to look like as the latest browser builds from Google, Microsoft and Mozilla rendered them like this:
Reality can be hard sometimes.
Opera has also decided to remove a mail client from its desktop build and release it as a separate program, which, at least for us, makes no sense. Basically, if you’ve been using Opera to read RSS feeds, you are better of switching to something else (or just keep using Opera 12). Why? This is how it used to work:
Opera > RSS Feeds > Click on a link > Read article > Close tab > You are now reading other RSS items
And this is how it works now:
Opera Mail > RSS Feeds > Click on a link > Opera browser opens > Read article > Close tab > Nothing happens > You now have to navigate back to Opera Mail and waste your time > Click on another link and you are back to the Opera browser
Whoever thought this loop was a good idea is insane.
Anyway, not all is doom and gloom for Opera yet. The team managed to do a pretty good job at porting some of the key features like Speed Dial (now with folders!) and even add new ones. Particular, a feature called “Stash” looks pretty neat, think of it as a way to temporary save great pages without overloading your tab bar. Most importantly, pages load much faster and there are no rendering issues that always bugged Opera users.
So what do we think about Opera 15? Project reboots are hard and require tons of resources (just look at the Windows Phone 8, which still lacks basics that were introduced 10 years ago in Windows Mobile like VPN support, separate volume controls, etc.). Given the timeframe, we are pretty happy with the build that they have managed to come up with and as long as this is not the final build, you should reserve your judgment for the future.
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About (Author Profile)
Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.