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Opera Software has released the final version of Opera 7.20 for Windows, which it claims as a "substantial upgrade" proving "our determination to break new ground with every major release." That said, the improvements look a tad incremental from where we're sitting, with the major impact for most users being the speed increase from fine-tuning. Opera doesn't quantify this, but users in Opera's discussion groups seem to be finding it noticeable.

The other headline features are support for bidirectional languages such as Arabic and Hebrew, and in the sponsored version, which Opera supports via relatively non-annoying advertising, the ability to choose between Google or generic ads. Many of the other changes, bugfixes and improvements delve fairly deep into Opera anorak territory, and are listed in the changelog, here. These include fairly extensive changes to the mail client, M2, which was introduced in version 7, and which seems to be evolving into one of those pieces of software you either quite like, or actively hate. We think we quite like it, but it's early days, and we're pleased to see they're still twiddling.

Next stop, presumably, 7.20 for Linux, as the two versions are now intended to be approximately in sync. The Windows version can be downloaded here, and there's a beta of the Linux version here. Opera being Opera, they'll release the Linux one just as soon as they're sure we've written up the Windows one. ®

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