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Thursday June 16, 2005 10:39 pm

Opera 8 Released for Mac

Posted by Kristin Wenzel Categories: Internet, Software

Opera 8 MacOpera software unveiled Opera 8 web browser for Macintosh today, to moderate fanfare and a few raised eyebrows from those who wonder whether it can take on Firefox, or Apple’s native browser for OS X, Safari.

The features of the new version of Opera were detailed in a somewhat dubious press release:

“With Opera, Mac users can surf fast, comfortably and efficiently using a full-featured browser that is not tied to the operating system (OS),” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Rather than incurring costly upgrades to your OS to get the newest features, Opera allows Mac users to browse, e-mail, download and chat using one program, requiring minimal system resources due to Opera’s small size.”

Costly upgrades to the OS to get new features?  Since when?  Firefox is free, for crying out loud, and as far as I know, Safari doesn’t charge per update or anything ridiculous like that.  Obviously von Tetzchner hasn’t done his homework in this case — I can’t think of any browsers, regardless of platform, that require “costly upgrades to [the] OS” for new features.

Furthermore, he says that the small size of the program leads to less use of system resources.  Come again?  The size of the program really has nothing to do with the system resources it uses, especially if you are using it to chat, browse the Internet, download things, upload things, check your e-mail…  you get the picture.  So far, the press release has me very skeptical of this program.

It goes on to say:

Opera 8 for Macintosh includes the same functionality as Opera 8 for Windows and Linux. Opera 8 introduced innovative security solutions, such as the new security field that indicates the level of security and the certificate-owner of a secure site. Native Scalable Vector Graphic support (SVG 1.1 Tiny), introduced in Opera 8, is also included in the Macintosh version. Other features offered in Opera 8 include a “delete private data” option, a “trash can” that saves closed pages and blocked pop-ups during a session, and Opera’s Extensible Rendering Architecture (ERA) which automatically re-adjusts page content to fit the window width.

I don’t get why this “security functionality” of any importance to Mac users.  We get all that bundled with the OS in Safari. Are people actually excited about Opera 8 for Mac?  Why?  The press release makes it sound as though they’re trying to sell us on something made for windows, to address the problems that Windows and Internet Explorer have to deal with.  They also claim some pretty dubious “facts” in their press release, and any time I see that it makes me disinclined to download their product.

Read More | Opera Software Press Release

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