Because I’m a sucker for trying out alternative software, I installed and tried out the latest release of the Opera web browser, Opera 9.5, for a bit more than a week. Opera is neat and all, but I don’t see any features that are so awesome that they can’t be done in Firefox (with some extensions maybe).
My favorite feature is I guess the Speed Dial page; where opening a new tab displays a customizable table of common websites you visit. Opera also provides a function to zoom in or out of any web page (don’t know if Firefox has a similar extension). Supposedly Opera is also the fastest in terms of browser rendering; I didn’t perform any benchmarks, but I didn’t notice any significant difference either.
There are quite a few cons though. In particular:
- The standard WordPress rich text editor doesn’t work correctly; I had to use the plain text editor when posting using Opera.
- Some Google properties such as Google Docs and Google Notebook don’t work correctly
- Flash content that renders before the rest of the page does not correctly move into the proper position once rendering is complete
The WordPress and Google support are deal-breakers for me, without those problems I would have considered keeping Opera as my primary browser for a while. As it is, I’m switching back to Firefox 3.0.