Opera 10 Alpha 1 released

December 5, 2008 // 12:03 p.m.

Tags: #acid3 #alpha #browser #opera #opera-10 #presto #presto-22 #standards #w3c #web #web-browser #web-standards

Software company Opera has announced the latest shake-up of the web with the public alpha of its latest browser, Opera 10.

According to CNet, the latest release of the popular browser has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, and while some are simply tweaks to bring the feature set closer to that of other modern browsers there's plenty of neat stuff for the company to crow about.

Firstly, the rendering engine – Presto – has been updated to version 2.2, and promises a thirty percent speed increase over Presto 2.1 as used in Opera 9.5. While this latest engine is only seeing a home in the desktop build at the moment, the company has stated that it will form the basis of both the desktop and mobile versions of its products – which promises 100 percent rendering compatibility on both handsets and PCs. Nice.

Perhaps the biggest addition is improved support for the standards compliance Acid3 test: while Opera has always led the pack with adherence to official web standards – sometimes to the detriment of the user experience – this latest build represents the first time it has been able to score full marks on the Acid3 test. According to the latest figures from CNet this puts it in first place amongst browsers, with its closest neighbours being Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 and Google's Chrome 0.4 with 89 percent and 79 percent respectively.

A nice new feature – although hardly ground breaking – is the addition of a built-in spell checker for text boxes: something that rival browsers have had for several versions now, but still a welcome addition – especially if you have a tendency to make as many typos as I do.

If you fancy giving the alpha a go – but remembering that it is an alpha, and probably shouldn't be used on a production system – then you can download it right now from Opera's website. Currently, only Windows builds are available.

Any Opera fans pleased to hear that the next generation will boost their browsing performance, or does the company still have a long way to go before it reaches the heady heights of Internet Explorer or Firefox's popularity? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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