Opera 10 RC takes a bow

Opera has unveiled the Release Candidate of Opera 10, and announced that the final build will be released on 1 September.

Opera 10 RC takes a bow

Development of the browser is barrelling along, with the company only unveiling the third beta 12 days ago. In truth, very little has changed with Opera touting a few bug fixes and tweaked performance. The browser certainly feels quick in casual use and the list of features introduced since Opera 9.6 remains impressive.

The most striking is the visual tabs that appear of the top of the browser, which offer a live preview of the page they represent. The tabs have already proved divisive, given how much screen real estate they consume, and Opera has introduced an option to shrink them down to text, or text and favicons. Users can also choose to sit the tabs bar on the top, bottom, left or right of the browser window.

The Presto rendering engine has come in for some serious attention, and Opera claims the latest version of the browser will deliver Javascript-heavy pages up to 40% faster than its predecessor. Indeed, speed seems to have been something of a watchword for Opera 10 with the browser optimised for low-bandwidth connections – a charge spearheaded by Turbo mode which uses proprietary technology to compress and serve pages.

Similarly, Opera Mail’s low-bandwidth mode can be set so that it strips out images, attachments and anything else that isn’t text from an email. It can also serve up a 100-word preview of an email message, allowing you to see whether it’s worth downloading.

We are carefully monitoring the development of new Unite Services in order to evaluate when we can move it to a beta level

Opera also claims Opera 10 is the only browser to score full marks on the Acid3 test, which was created to assess whether browsers comply with a range of web standards around features such as rendering and Javascript.

There’s still no sign of the company’s Unite technology making its way into the release, however. Unite allows PCs to act as simple web servers, performing services such as file and photo sharing and streaming video, but the company claims it still isn’t ready for the big time.

“Since the alpha release of Opera Unite in June we have gained a large number of people who are testing the service. We are carefully monitoring the external feedback and the development of new Unite Services in order to evaluate when we can move it to a beta level. We plan to include it in a final version as soon as it reaches the required quality level,” an Opera spokesperson told PC Pro.

She would not speculate on when that might happen.

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