Opera releases 9.6 web browser

Opera has released version 9.6 of its desktop browser, highlighting further speed and efficiency improvements plus a number of new features.

One of these, Opera Link, will save browser history and favourite search engines to the cloud', enabling users to access bookmarks and previously-visited sites from any computer. Meanwhile, Opera Mail offers a low-bandwidth' mode, designed for use on slow connections that will strip out attachments, unless specified. It will also let you choose to either follow or ignore contacts in a thread.

"Version 9.6 is an evolution of 9.5 that we released before the summer, Jan Standal, director of product management at Opera, told IT PRO. "It offers a more snappy user interface and faster loading pages. We worked on quality and fixed a lot of things. We believe that it's a very high quality browser release."

Opera has gained a very good reputation for its mobile mobile device browser, which has become the browser of choice in HTC's devices such as the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro.

"There's a perception that we've been struggling on desktop but actually we've seen fantastic growth, more than 50 per cent, over the past year. We've done really well on mobile, as we're small and light, but the desktop browser is our flagship product," Standal said.

"We're seeing some good spill over [of use] from mobile onto the desktop and the other way round."

The browser market has heated up of late, with Microsoft showing off early builds of Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla promising speeds boosts from Firefox 3.1, scheduled for the end of the year, and Google entering the market with its first browser, Chrome.

Opera 9.6 is available for download now from www.opera.com.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.