Opera on Linux leapfrogs to version 8 beta

Opera has announced a beta version of its next browser for the Linux platform. Work being carried out on version 7.60 has developed into a major release.

The Norwegian company has been successful in the mobile and embedded market and has begun to retro-fit such advances into its desktop offering. New functionality includes: improved RSS handling, a Start Bar for access to main features, and automatic update checks. Usability changes include Fit-to-Window-Width and Fit-to-Paper-Width features.

The full version, of what should be Opera 8, is due out in a few months.

‘We were preparing for the 7.60 release, but as work progressed and we kept adding improvements and functionality, it became very evident that we now have a browser that is so powerful, secure, and easy to use that it exceeds the next logical version number and warrants a major release,’ said Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software

‘A browser is much more than what meets the eye, and to maximize speed, security, and page handling, Opera’s Core and supporting code has undergone dramatic improvements based on the strict efficiency requirements brought in from the mobile phone market where Opera is a leading player,’ added Christen Krogh, VP Engineering, Opera Software. ‘In addition, the new Opera browser comes with an update check function to ensure that you will always have the latest version for maximum protection and performance.’

You can download the beta from www.opera.com/download/index.dml?platform=linux

The final version of the browser – and its official naming – is scheduled for release in ‘early 2005’. It will be a free upgrade for licensed users of Opera 7.

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