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Norwegians spill Opera 10 alpha

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Some Norwegians are offering you an alpha version of Opera 10, a new desktop web browser due for official release around the middle of next year.

"With this alpha release," Opera Software director of consumer product management Jan Standal told The Reg, "the focus is on improving support for web standards and improving performance - showing you web files faster."

Built atop a brand-new Opera rendering engine - dubbed Presto 2.2 - Opera 10 alpha scores 100 out of 100 on the Acid3 test, a means of measuring compliance with web standards. And according to Standal, Presto 2.2 is 30 per cent faster than the Presto 2.1 rendering engine that debuted with Opera 9.5 this June.

Naturally, Standal says, the alpha release isn't that stable. But it already includes several new tools set to make their debut with the browser, codenamed Peregrine, including auto-updates, inline spell-checking, and rich-text composition within the built-in email client, Opera Mail.

An Opera 10 beta - equipped with Peregrine's complete feature set - will hit "early next year," according to Standal, and the official release will follow sometime before the middle of 2009. Presto 2.2 will serve as the basis for Opera's future mobile browsers.

You can download the Opera 10 alpha here. ®

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