Oslo, Norway – April 19, 2005
Opera Software today launched the highly anticipated new version of its browser, Opera 8 for Windows and Linux. Internet users can now surf the Web faster, safer and easier than before. Opera 8 is a substantial upgrade from previous versions, and includes new features such as a unique security information field that indicates the trustworthiness of banking and shopping Web sites and voice interaction capabilities. The new version of Opera also introduces an advanced page-resizing function that adapts Web pages to fit the width of any screen or window. Today’s release for Windows is available in English, German, Dutch and Polish, with more languages to follow. The Linux version is available in English, also with more languages to come. A beta version of Opera 8 for Mac (English) is also available today.
“The vast majority of Internet users have had to deal with a slow and insecure browser for too long. People are spending more time online, and with the increase in online fraud it is vital that they have a browser that is fast, secure and easy to use. That’s what we offer with Opera 8,” says HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. “We’ve been in the browser-making business for a long time and I can proudly say that Opera 8 is a major leap in browser innovation.”
Opera fans welcomed the previously released beta versions of Opera 8 with download numbers reaching nearly one million. The first beta version introduced XHTML+Voice with IBM WebSphere Multimodal Environment, which is designed to allow a user to navigate the Internet with voice commands. Testers of this beta also experienced ERA, Opera’s new feature that adjusts Web content to fit virtually any screen or window size. The two beta versions to follow introduced new security solutions and native support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG 1.1 Tiny) that enables rich multimedia content such as scalable maps. The final version of Opera 8 has undergone rigorous testing by Opera’s Quality Assurance department and devoted users around the world.
“With 10 years of listening to the needs of Internet users, we believe we have released a product that sets a new standard for Web browsing,” says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Security has long been a top priority for Opera. To further protect people online we’ve added the new security information field. Opera 8 is designed for all users, and it has a simple and intuitive interface that can be customized to fit anyone’s needs.”
What to look for in Opera 8:
Considered “the fastest browser on Earth”, Opera’s speed is the result of its tightly coded core and Opera’s rendering engine, which is designed to display the text of the page as quickly as possible. Plus, Opera offers quick navigation with keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures, as well as range of features for more efficient surfing, such as the option to open all your favorite pages at once.
Security on the Internet is an increasing concern as the public becomes more aware of vulnerabilities in other browsers. Opera makes security top priority and as a result, Opera 8 includes new and advanced security measures. A new security information field is automatically activated when you visit a secure Web site, indicating the level of security (1-3) and the certificate owner of the site. This allows users to better evaluate a site’s trustworthiness and minimize the risk of being subjected to online fraud, such as phishing attacks.
Opera 8 offers a simplified tabbed-browser user interface (UI). The default UI design is cleaner, more intuitive and allows for easy navigation. Moreover, users do not need to download additional extensions to access a wide range of features. Advanced features remain built-in and easily activated.
Opera’s Extensible Rendering Architecture (ERA) technology enables the “fit to window width” feature that adapts Web pages to fit to the width of the screen or browser window, eliminating the need to scroll horizontally. This is a great feature for small- and medium-sized screens, or to tile Web sites next to each other on the screen. Combined with Opera’s zoom function, users can magnify Web pages and still fit them on the screen.
The voice feature allows users to surf the Web by using voice commands and to have documents read aloud. Voice is currently offered in English and runs on Windows 2000 and XP.
By clicking on the gray trash can located in the upper right of the screen, users can access all the closed windows and blocked pop-ups from their Internet surfing session.
Opera includes native support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG 1.1 Tiny), an XML language for rich graphical content used to develop enhanced, interactive multimedia.
Opera 8 is available free of charge with an unobtrusive banner at the top of the user interface. To remove the banner users must register the browser for USD 39, though various discounts are offered.