Opera (web browser)
Opera 57 displaying the Speed Dial page on Windows 10
|Initial release||10 April 1995|
|60.0.3255.56 (April 18, 2019)|
|Operating system||Windows 7 or later, macOS, Linux, Android, (formerly FreeBSD)|
|Engines||Blink (formerly Presto), V8|
|Available in||42 languages|
Opera is a web browser for Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems, developed by Opera Software. Opera Software is a Norwegian software company publicly listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange , with the majority of ownership and control belonging to Chinese Businessman Yahui Zhou, creator of Beijing Kunlun Tech which specialises in mobile games and cybersecurity specialist Qihoo 360. Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.
Opera was conceived at Telenor as a research project in 1994 and was bought by Opera Software in 1995. It was commercial software for the first ten years and had its own proprietary Presto layout engine. The Presto versions of Opera received many awards, but Presto development ended after the big transition to Chromium in 2013.
Opera began in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. In 1995, it branched out into a separate company named Opera Software. Opera was first publicly released in 1996 with version 2.10, which only ran on Microsoft Windows. In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port Opera to mobile device platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000, included a new cross-platform core that facilitated the creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.
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 improved and expanded in version 9.5, when GeoTrust was replaced with Netcraft, and malware protection from Haute Secure was added.
On the 12th of 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 the 3rd of 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 the 28th of May 2013, a beta release of Opera 15 was made available, the first version is 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 of Opera sold his stake in the business to a Chinese consortium under the name Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund I Limited Partnership for $600 million. An earlier deal was not approved by 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, it displays the frequently accessed websites in resemblance to a desktop with computer icons scattered all over it in an artistic formation.
Opera has originated features later adopted by other web browsers, including Speed Dial, pop-up blocking, re-opening recently closed pages, private browsing, and tabbed browsing. Opera includes a bookmarks bar and a download manager. Opera 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. Speed Dial allows the user to more easily navigate to the selected web pages.
Usability and accessibility
It is possible to control some aspects of the browser using the keyboard shortcuts. Page zooming allows text, images and other content such as Adobe Flash Player, Java platform and Scalable Vector Graphics to be increased or decreased in size to help those with impaired vision.
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 or when there are costs dependent on the total amount of data usage. This technique is also used in Opera Mini for mobile devices and smartwatches.
Privacy and security
One security feature is the option to delete private data, such as HTTP cookies, browsing history, items in cache and passwords with the click of a button. This lets users erase personal data after browsing from a shared computer.
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 you 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 January 2007, Asa Dotzler of the competing Mozilla Corporation accused Opera Software of downplaying information about security vulnerabilities in Opera, (which were fixed in December 2006). Dotzler claimed that users were not clearly informed of security vulnerabilities that were present in the previous version of Opera and thus they would not realize that they needed to upgrade to the latest version or else risk being exploited by hackers. Opera Software responded to these accusations on the next day.
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. Either VPN or Turbo can be enabled, but not both.
In July 2018, Opera was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange  in New York City at an initial offering of $12 per share.
Crypto Wallet Support
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 December 13, 2018 they released a video showing many decentralized applications like Cryptokitties running on the Android version of the Opera Web Browser.
Opera Software uses a release cycle consisting of three "streams" (which correspond 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 opted to integrate 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.
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 praised for being fast and stable, for handling the latest web standards and for having a better website compatibility and a modern-style user interface.
Over the years, Opera for personal computers has received several awards. These awards include:
- About.com Best Major Desktop Browser - 2012
- About.com Best Major Desktop Browser - 2010
- Webware 100 winner, 2009
- Webware 100 winner, 2008
- PC World World Class Award, 2004 and 2005
- Web Host Magazine & Buyer's Guide Editors' Choice
- PC Magazine Testsieger (Test Winner), 2006
- PC Plus Performance Award
- PC World Best Data Product, 2003
- PC World Best i Test, 2003
- Web Attack Editor's Pick, 2003
- ZDNet Editor's Pick, 2000
- Tech Cruiser Award 4 Excellence, 1999
Related web browsers:
- Opera Mobile: a browser for tablets and telephones
- Opera Mini: a browser for tablets and telephones
- Otter Browser: An open-source web browser that aims to recreate some aspects of the classic Opera
- Vivaldi: A freeware web browser by former Opera Software employees who were not satisfied by the development decisions of the company
- "Opera version history — Opera 1 series". Opera Software. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Czajka, Joanna. "Opera introduces Reborn 3, the first desktop browser with Web 3, faster VPN and ad blocker". Opera Blogs. Opera Software. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
- "Index of /pub/opera/desktop/". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
- "Opera 59 codenamed Reborn 3 reaches beta stage". 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Opera 60.0.3248.0 developer update". 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- 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". 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.
- 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. 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. Missing or empty
- "Opera 11.00 for Windows changelog". Opera Software. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Opera 12.00 for Windows Changelog". Opera Software. 14 June 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 the 21st of 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 version history". Opera. 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 [...]
- "Help, Fast browsing". Opera Software. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Help, View webpages". Opera Software. Retrieved 12 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.
- "Help, Be safe and private". Opera Software. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Kerner, Sean Michael (9 January 2007). "Mozilla Takes Aim at Opera Security". Internetnews.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Kerner, Sean Michael (10 January 2007). "Opera Has Words For Mozilla". Internetnews.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "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"
- Meyer, Eric (June 1999). "CSS: If not now, when?". meyerweb.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "What is Opera, Opera next, and Opera developer?". Opera Desktop Team Blog. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Opera Developer official page". Opera Software. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Opera beta". Opera Software ASA. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- "Desktop & Tablet Browser Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
- "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)
- 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. 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.
- "Awards". Opera Software. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Web Browsers Poll Results". About.com. 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- Orgera, Scott (2010). "The 2010 Reader's Choice Awards Winners: Web Browsers". About.com. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Webware 100 2009". Webware.com. 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Welcome to Webware 100 Awards 2008". 2008. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|