In mid-2008, Opera 9.5 became available for download just ahead of Firefox 3.0. Now, Opera has moved one step further, and as of October 8, it is offering version 9.6 of its browser. Opera 9.6 brings enhancements across the table, although at its heart it is labeled as a security and stability update. Announced at the end of September 2008, Opera 9.6 moved fast through the development milestones, and following two release candidates dropped since the start of this month, the gold bits are now up for grabs.
“Opera 9.6 final has been released,” said Huib Kleinhout, Opera Desktop Team manager. “Opera 9.6 adds synchronization of custom searches and typed history with Opera Link, several new features in Opera Mail, a nice preview page for feeds and last but not least: improved stability and performance. We also launched a new site today: Discover Opera. It shows in simple steps how to use many of the powerful Opera features. Do you know them all?”
In Opera 9.6, the Norwegian browser maker has taken a number of features to the next level including Opera Link, Opera Mail and Opera Scroll Marker. But at the same time, the latest version of Opera comes with improvements to the graphical user interface, display and scripting (with a focus on improved support for Acid3 Test), and also security enhancements.
“Custom search engines and typed history (typed history is only the history you explicitly type or select from the address bar) are now joining bookmarks, notes, personal bar and Speed Dial in Opera Link,” reads a fragment of the Opera 9.6 Changelog. “The new Opera Scroll Marker makes it easier to continue reading when you scroll through a Web page. At the end of the page it will indicate the previous position of the bottom of the screen so you can easily see where to continue reading.”
The truth is that Opera 9.5 did little for the browser in terms of grabbing additional market share from rivals Internet Explorer and Firefox. And starting with September, Opera has to fight for audience with yet another competitor, since Google managed to get into the game with the release of Chrome Beta.
Opera 9.6 Final for Windows is available for download here.
Opera 9.6 Final for Linux is here.
Opera 9.6 Final for Mac OS X is here.