Feeds

Opera browser goes free with version 5.0 launch

Company pitching standards, independence against IE and Navigator

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Opera, the 'third force' in the browser wars, is available for free download from today, with the launch of Opera 5.0. Small but perfectly-formed Opera Software claims 1.5 million registered users, which is low even compared to Navigator's much-diminished market share, but Opera intends to leverage its advantages into increased market share.

So far, Opera has gained users because of speed, its low footprint, its determined adherence to standards and its multi-platform nature. Development is under way for BeOS, EPOC, Linux, Mac (still in alpha) and Windows, and and according to company communications manager Pal Hvistendahl, the company has the capability to port the software to any platform. In the Internet appliance market, he says, "we are currently a horse-head ahead of the others."

Opera's strategy is now to move, according to CEO Jon von Tetzchner, from the position of "an alternative browser for the most Internet savvy users" and to place itself "in the middle of the ongoing browser wars."

In doing so it intends to present itself as a 'neutral,' pointing out that the two big guns, Microsoft and AOL/Netscape, "have focused on strengthening the integration of their browser, portal and ISP services, putting them in direct competition with independent portals, ISPs and content sites." Opera therefore thinks it can be the developer that supports the independents, offering them the ability to provide customised and co-branded versions of the software. According to Hvistendahl, several major deals are in the pipeline.

The free version of 5.0 itself operates in sponsored mode, which entails the user having a single banner ad in the browser UI. This ad is downloaded once a week and cached for later use. But it's still possible to pay $39 for paid/registered mode, without the banner.

Opera 5.0 supports 128-bit encryption, TLS 1.0, SSL 2 and 3, CSS1 and CSS2, XML, HTML 4.01, HTTP 1.1, ECMAScript, JavaScript 1.3, and has experimental support for DOM and WAP/ WML. It's available for download here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.