Opera (web browser)
Opera is a multi-platform web browser developed by Opera Software. Opera is a Chromium-based browser. It distinguishes itself from other browsers through its user interface, functionality, and other features.
Opera 60 displaying the Wikipedia main page on Windows 10
|Initial release||10 April 1995|
|73.0.3856.344 (14 January 2021)|
|Engines||Blink (formerly Presto), V8|
|Operating system||Windows 7 or later, macOS, Linux, Android, (formerly FreeBSD and NetBSD)|
|Available in||42 languages|
Opera was initially released in April 1995, making it one of the oldest desktop web browsers still actively developed today. It was a commercial software for the first ten years and had its own proprietary Presto layout engine. In 2013, Opera switched from the Presto engine to Chromium, opening up support for Chromium-based plug-ins.
The web browser can be used on Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems. There are also three mobile versions: called Opera, Opera Touch, and Opera Mini. Additionally, Opera users have access to a news app based on an AI-platform, Opera News. A gaming browser called Opera GX was launched on 11 June 2019.
In 1995, they founded Opera Software AS. Opera was initially released in April 1995 and was first publicly released in 1996 with version 2.10, which ran on Microsoft Windows 95. Opera began development of its first browser for mobile device platforms in 1998.
Up to this point, Opera was trialware and had to be purchased after the trial period ended. Version 5.0 (released in 2000) saw the end of this requirement. Instead, Opera became ad-sponsored, displaying advertisements to users who had not paid for it. Later versions of Opera gave the user the choice of seeing banner ads or targeted text advertisements from Google.
With version 8.5 (released in 2005) the advertisements were completely removed and the primary financial support for the browser came through revenue from Google (which is by contract Opera's default search engine).
Among the new features introduced in version 9.1 (released in 2006) was fraud protection using technology from GeoTrust, a digital certificate provider, and PhishTank, an organization that tracks known phishing web sites. This feature was further expanded in version 9.5, when GeoTrust was replaced with Netcraft, and malware protection from Haute Secure was added.
On 16 December 2010, Opera 11 was released, featuring extensions, tab stacking (where dragging one tab over another allows creating a group of tabs), visual mouse gestures and changes to the address bar. Opera 12 was released on 14 June 2012.
On 12 February 2013, Opera Software announced that it would drop its own Presto layout engine in favour of WebKit as implemented by Google's Chrome browser, using code from the Chromium project. Opera Software planned as well to contribute code to WebKit. On 3 April 2013, Google announced that it would fork components from WebKit to form a new layout engine known as Blink. The same day, Opera Software confirmed that it would follow Google in implementing the Blink layout engine.
On 28 May 2013, a beta release of Opera 15 was made available, the first version of which was based on the Chromium project. Many distinctive Opera features of the previous versions were dropped, and Opera Mail was separated into a standalone application derived from Opera 12.
In November 2016, the original Norwegian owner sold his stake in Opera Software company to a Chinese consortium named Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund I Limited Partnership for $600 million. An earlier deal was not approved by Norwegian regulators.
In January 2017, the source code of Opera 12.15, one of the last few versions that was still based on the Presto layout engine, was leaked.
To demonstrate how radically different a browser could look, Opera Neon, dubbed a "concept browser", was released in January 2017. PC World compared it to demo models that automakers and hardware vendors release to show their visions of the future. Instead of a Speed Dial (also explained in the following chapter "Features"), it displays the frequently accessed websites in resemblance to a desktop with computer icons scattered all over it in an artistic formation.
Opera’s desktop browser includes access to social media messaging apps WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and VKontakte. Its gaming browser, Opera GX, also has built-in Instagram access.
Usability and accessibilityEdit
Opera includes a bookmarks bar and a download manager. It also has "Speed Dial", which allows the user to add an unlimited number of pages shown in thumbnail form in a page displayed when a new tab is opened.
Opera Software claims that when the Opera Turbo mode is enabled, the compression servers compress requested web pages (except HTTPS pages) by up to 50%, depending upon the content, before sending them to the users. This process reduces the amount of data transferred and is particularly useful for crowded or slow network connections, making web pages load faster because of lower total amount of data usage. This technique is also used in Opera Mini for mobile devices and smartwatches.
Privacy and securityEdit
When visiting a site, Opera displays a security badge in the address bar which shows details about the website, including security certificates. Opera's fraud and malware protection warns the user about suspicious web pages and is enabled by default. It checks the requested page against several databases of known phishing and malware websites, called blacklists.
In 2016, a free virtual private network (VPN) service was implemented in the browser. Opera said that this would allow encrypted access to websites otherwise blocked, and provide security on public WiFi networks. It was later determined that the browser VPN operated the same as a proxy rather than other VPN services.
Crypto wallet supportEdit
In 2018, a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to the Opera Web Browser was released, announcing that they would be the first browser with a built-in Crypto Wallet. On 13 December 2018, Opera released a video showing many decentralized applications like Cryptokitties running on the Android version of the Opera Web Browser.
In March 2020, Opera updated its Android browser to access crypto domains, making it the first browser to be able to support a domain name system (DNS) which is not part of the traditional DNS directly without the need of a plugin or add-on. This was through a collaboration with a San Francisco based startup, Unstoppable Domains.
Opera Software uses a release cycle consisting of three "streams", corresponding to phases of development, that can be downloaded and installed independently of each other: "developer", "beta" and "stable". New features are first introduced in the developer build, then, depending on user feedback, may progress to the beta version and eventually be released.
The developer stream allows early testing of new features, mainly targeting developers, extension creators, and early adopters. Opera developer is not intended for everyday browsing as it is unstable and is prone to failure or crashing, but it enables advanced users to try out new features that are still under development, without affecting their normal installation of the browser. New versions of the browser are released frequently, generally a few times a week.
Both streams can be installed alongside the official release without interference. Each has a different icon to help the user distinguish between the variants.
In 2005, Adobe Systems integrated Opera's rendering engine, Presto, into its Adobe Creative Suite applications. Opera technology was employed in Adobe GoLive, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, and other components of the Adobe Creative Suite. Opera's layout engine is also found in Virtual Mechanics SiteSpinner Pro. The Internet Channel is a version of the Opera 9 web browser for use on the Nintendo Wii created by Opera Software and Nintendo. Opera Software is also implemented in the Nintendo DS Browser for Nintendo's handheld systems.
The Opera browser has been listed as a “tried and tested direct alternative to Chrome”. It scores close to Chrome on the HTML5test, which scores browsers’ compatibility with different web standards.
Versions with the Presto layout engine have been positively reviewed, although they have been criticized for website compatibility issues. Because of this issue, Opera 8.01 and higher had included workarounds to help certain popular but problematic web sites display properly.
Versions with the Blink layout engine have been criticized by some users for missing features such as UI customization, and for abandoning Opera Software's own Presto layout engine. Despite that, versions with the Blink layout engine have been noted for being fast and stable, for handling the latest web standards and for having a better website compatibility and a modern-style user interface.
Opera browser platform variants:
- Opera Mobile: a browser for tablets and telephones
- Opera Mini: a browser for tablets and telephones
- Opera GX: a browser for gamers currently available on Windows and macOS.
- Otter Browser: an open-source browser that recreates some aspects of the classic Opera
- Vivaldi: a freeware browser created by former Opera Software employees
- "Opera version history — Opera 1 series". Opera Software. 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Opera 73.0.3856.344 Stable update". Opera Desktop. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Opera 74.0.3911.42 beta update". Opera Desktop. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- "Opera 75.0.3939.0 developer update". Opera Desktop. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Lextrait, Vincent (July 2010). "The Programming Languages Beacon, v10.3". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera system requirements". Opera Software. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- "About Opera - Innovation is our game - Opera". www.opera.com.
- "Opera Limited American Depositary Shares (OPRA)". NASDAQ.com.
- "Chinese consortium buys Opera browser for $600 mn". phys.org. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "Opera Touch is a solid alternative to Safari on the iPhone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- "Best web browser 2020: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera go head-to-head". PCWorld. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- "Opera is the oldest browser, and it is still surviving: Jon Tetzchner, founder, Opera software". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- "Opera update uses QR codes to sync data between PC and Android browsers". Engadget. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- "Opera launches a new mobile browser". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- Brügger, Niels; Milligan, Ian (10 December 2018). The SAGE Handbook of Web History. SAGE. ISBN 978-1-5264-5546-8.
- "Opera News Sets a New Record With 200 Million Users". MarTech Series. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- "Opera GX | Gaming Browser | Opera". Opera.
- "From Norwegian research project to global multiplatform browser. Opera company profile". Adsider. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
- Sengupta, Debjoy. "Opera is the oldest browser, and it is still surviving: Jon Tetzchner, founder, Opera software". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- "About Opera". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Affiliated Organization of Firefox and Mozilla" (PDF). Mozilla Japan. Mozilla Foundation. 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Milestones". Opera Software. 2007. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Can Opera Become to Mobile What Firefox has Become to the Computer?". Fast Company. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- Schenk, Mark (2010). "Opera browser version history". Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Lettice, John (6 December 2000). "Opera browser goes free with version 5.0 launch". The Register. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Baker, Loren (20 September 2005). "Opera Goes Free with Help from Google". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Goldman, Daniel (18 December 2006). "Opera 9.1 is out with Fraud Protection". Opera Watch. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Kleinhout, Huib (6 June 2008). "Malware protection". Opera Desktop Team. Opera Software. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Giving gamers two windows to the Web: The Opera Browser for Nintendo DS" (Press release). Opera Software. 15 February 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Nintendo DS Browser available to North American market" (Press release). Opera Software. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "A Web Revolution in the Living room: Opera partners with Nintendo to put browser on the Wii game console" (Press release). Opera Software. 10 May 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Play with the Web: Opera browser now available for download on Wii" (Press release). Opera Software. 22 December 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera 10.50 for Windows changelog (Final)". Opera Software. 2 March 2010. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Mateu, Roberto (1 January 2010). "Opera 10.5 pre-alpha for Labs". Opera Labs. Opera Software. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- De, Pallab (22 December 2009). "Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha Is Here and It Is Fast!". Techie-buzz.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Purdy, Kevin (22 December 2009). "Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha is All About Speed (and Private Browsing)". Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Protalinski, Emil (21 October 2010). "Opera 11 alpha out: developers, start your extension engines". Ars Technica.
- "Opera 11.00 for Windows changelog". Opera Software. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera 12.00 for Windows Changelog". Opera Software. 14 June 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Hey Presto, Opera switches to WebKit". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Opera Desktop Team - Opera Next 15 Released!. My.opera.com (28 May 2013). Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
- Opera Developer News - A first peek at Opera 15 for Computers. My.opera.com (28 May 2013). Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
- The Chromium-Powered Opera Is Finally Here. WebProNews (28 May 2013). Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
- Standalone Opera Mail Client Coming to Linux. Omgubuntu.co.uk (28 May 2013). Retrieved on 21 July 2013.
- "BRIEF-Opera Software says has closed $575 mln with China's Golden Brick". Reuters. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Lunden, Ingrid. "Opera renegotiates its $1.2B sale down to $600M for its browsers, privacy apps, Chinese JV". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "NewsWeb". www.newsweb.no. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "Opera browser sold to a Chinese consortium for $600 million". Engadget. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
- Presto engine source code available on GitHub (2017)
- Hachman, Mark (11 January 2017). "Meet Opera Neon, Opera's radical vision for the future of web browsers". PCWorld.
- Muchmore, Michael (11 January 2017). "Opera Neon". PC Magazine.
- "5 features Opera Browser did first". SlashGeek. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- Reimer, Jeremy (1 September 2009). "First look: Opera 10 faster with new features". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera has baked Twitter into its desktop browser". Engadget. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Opera's desktop browser now features quick access to Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Opera GX gets built-in Instagram, workspaces to keep tabs organized". Windows Central. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
- "Opera version history". Opera. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
Opera has a history of introducing new features long before they become mainstream, and often failing to receive credit for doing so. Opera was the first browser to [...]
- Meyer, Eric (June 1999). "CSS: If not now, when?". meyerweb.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera's company FAQ". Opera Software. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Opera Turbo". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "Samsung Gear S now features a full web browser". CompareSmartwatches.com. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Vivaldi, Opera, Brave: should you switch your browser?". www.technologymagazine.com. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- Palmer, Danny. "What is GDPR? Everything you need to know about the new general data protection regulations". ZDNet. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- "Help, Be safe and private". Opera Software. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Security and privacy".
- "Free VPN". Opera.com. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- "Opera Free VPN - Unlimited WiFi Security & Content Unblocking - Free VPN for online security, unblocking content and encrypting your web traffic". Opera VPN. 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Opera Settings > VPN: "Enabling VPN will disable Opera Turbo"
- Špaček, Michal (22 April 2016). "Opera VPN behind the curtains is just a proxy, here's how it works". Github. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- "The Opera browser for Android with built-in Crypto Wallet - OPERA - BROWSER" – via invidio.us.
- "Opera introduces first browser with built-in Crypto Wallet - Opera". archive.is. 14 December 2018. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018.
- "The Opera browser for Android with built-in Crypto Wallet - OPERA - BROWSER" – via www.youtube.com.
- at 07:04, Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 31 Mar 2020. "Sucks to be you, ICANN. We can go our own way: Opera to support sites using renegade top-level domain .crypto". www.theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Unstoppable Domains Partners With Opera Browser to Integrate Decentralized Websites". www.businesswire.com. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "Unstoppable Domains". Unstoppable Domains. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- "What is Opera, Opera next, and Opera developer?". Opera Desktop Team Blog. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Opera Developer official page". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Opera beta". Opera Software ASA. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- "Desktop & Tablet Browser Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
- "Powered by Opera: Opera Integrated with Adobe Creative Suite 2" (Press release). Opera Software. 4 April 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Goldman, Daniel (3 May 2007). "Dreamweaver uses Opera's Small-Screen Rendering technology to preview webpages for mobile phones". Opera Watch. Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Design Web Pages for the Desktop and Mobile Devices" (Press release). Virtual Mechanics Inc. 17 November 2008. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari: Which Browser Is Best?". PCMAG. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
- Stieben, Danny (24 May 2012). "5 Ideological Reasons Why You Should Try Opera". makeuseof.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Mason, Wesley (16 March 2000). "Software Review: Opera browser for Windows v3.62". Geek.com. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Berger, Sandy (3 November 2004). "Opera Web Browser". CompuKiss. Archived from the original on 12 November 2004. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Altman, Tim (31 August 2007). "Focus Areas during Kestrel Development". Opera Desktop Team. Opera Software. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- Dotzler, Asa (4 September 2007). "Firefox and more". Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "Changelog for Opera 8.01 for Windows". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Harac, Ian (9 December 2013). "Opera 18 review: This browser's seen radical changes… perhaps too radical". PC World. IDG. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Samson, Ted. "Blink-based Opera 15 strikes a sour note with users". InfoWorld. IDG. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Mathews, Lee (2 July 2013). "Opera 15 launches, turns out to be a crippled Google Chrome". geek.com. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Keizer, Gregg. "Opera 15 launches with WebKit backbone". Computer World. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Le Bihan, Alan (26 May 2014). "A browser that's free, comprehensive and innovative". Softonic.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Piccolomini, Pier Francesco (5 September 2013). "5 Alternatives to Internet Explorer". Softonic.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Hughes, Matthew (6 August 2013). "Opera 15 Is A Faster, Simpler Chrome, And Here Are 3 Great Reasons To Try It". Makeuseof.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|