Even though I have written a plenty of what someone might call “Opera bashing” articles, the truth is: it’s my default web browser and have been so ever since version 7.
So what could possibly make me choose Opera over any other web browser? A couple of things.
One of the main reasons why I prefer Opera is a freedom of customization. In fact, if someone would compare the default and my web browser setup, you would find quite a few differences.
Picture Source: BetaArchive
There are no speed dial, Opera Turbo, Opera Link, blue dots, menu or even new tab buttons. Address bar navigation is cut to the minimum (back button (holding it, that is) is used only when some weird redirection script kicks in, making it impossible to go back to the previous page), search engine boxes are removed and my keyboard shortcuts are closer to Opera 9.2 than 11.
There is not much to say there other than: I need a built in RSS reader.
Speed, Security, Extensions and ACID3
I don’t really care about that.
Does it mean that Opera is a flawless web browser? Absolutely not.
Ever since version 10 there has been some changes that I don’t necessary agree with.
Up until this day, the redesigned menu bar makes little to no sense for me and up until recently, I still had trouble finding things I wanted.
There were no such issues with any other software I had to use since the PC era began.
For example: Firefox 4 new menu bar made perfect sense the second I saw it and I could instantly find any required functionality.
I don’t know why blue dots can only be disabled by modifying skin files, but hey, at least they can be disabled in one way or another.
Automatic/manual tab stacking can’t be disabled. It always happens by an accident and sometimes ruins my web experience.
P.S. I only mention features that can’t be disabled. For example: bright red O logo that distracts you from the web page itself is perfectly fine with me, as I can disable it.
From the new users perspective, it’s probably not a very good thing. Especially default browser look (which includes a hundred and one thing).
Although Opera 11.10 is still in Beta, I have already expressed my frustration about the new speed dial (work under progress).
The new way of displaying site thumbnails is not practical and since I don’t use “Reload Every” function that often, they will remain that way.
Not all buttons are hidden with Speed Dial State = 2
In case such functionality can’t be changed, I probably won’t be upgrading from Opera 11 in the near future.
As you might have noticed, latest versions of Opera have lost some of its charm and no longer allow users to hide or disable some of the things. I really hope that this will change.
When it comes to things I need (customization and RSS reader that is), Opera blows every other web browser out of proportion. As you might have noticed, I am a big fan of minimal design (just take a look at my Windows 7 screenshot).
As long as Opera allows me to hide pretty much everything (or other browsers do not) and RSS Reader remains, I can’t see myself switching anytime soon. And even though the frustrations list might look lengthy or even unappealing to you, it’s a great web browser (you should give it a try) and my love for the minimal design will always be the priority, always.
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.