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Opera 9 Released

June 20, 2006

Opera today released a new version of its desktop browser, Opera 9.

Opera 9 presents a significant upgrade over previous versions of the browser in both features and more importantly better site compatibility.

Some of the notable new features introduce in Opera 9 include Content blocking (A.K.A An ad blocker), Widgets, BitTorrent support, and Site-specific preferences (See Opera 9 screenshots here).

Opera Widgets are small applications — such as multimedia, games, utility programs, newsfeeds, and more – the run on the desktop outside the browser. Widgets have proven popular with Yahoo’s Konfabulator and Apple’s Dashboard Widgets; Google too recently released Desktop widgets with Google Desktop.

By adding widgets to the desktop browser, Opera also benefits greatly on their mobile browsers. All of Opera’s browsers (desktop, mobile, Nintendo, and other devices) run on the same core browser components. Adding widgets support on the mobile browser, will probably prove more popular than on the desktop. The possibilities are endless with mobile widgets. This would essentially make it extremely easy to develop and distribute applications for mobile phones and devices – by simply creating a widget.

The new content blocker allows you to block various kinds of content, such as ads, from being displayed in the browser. Though the new Content Blocker sports the same functionality of an Ad Blocker, Opera was careful not to name it an Ad Blocker as many ad-displaying sites would block Opera users.

Bit Torrent support also made its way in the browser, after being released in previous preview and beta versions. With Opera’s BitTorrent support, downloading a torrent file is just like downloading a regular file.

For a complete list of new features and my take on some of them, read my Opera 9 review.

Stay tuned for more on this release. I’m in Seattle now preparing to attend the official Opera launch of Opera 9.

Opera 9 Changelog
Download Opera 9
Opera 9 Features
Opera 9 Screenshots

Categories: Desktop
  1. June 20, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Adding widgets support on the mobile browser, will probably prove more popular than on the desktop. The possibilities are endless with mobile widgets. This would essentially make it extremely easy to develop and distribute applications for mobile phones and devices – by simply creating a widget.

    It appears your opinion is different now than last month- have you learned something more about widgets on mobiles?

  2. June 20, 2006 at 11:28 am

    …if so, please share. It just seems like a natural step and I’d be interested in hearing more about the plans for bringing widgets on the go.

  3. kL
    June 20, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Maybe nitpicky a little, but “Mac’s widgets” should be “Apple’s Dashboard widgets”.

    Opera 9 final doesn’t seem any more polished than weeklies 😦
    I’ve found a bug after 10 minutes (custom source viewer doesn’t work).
    Waiting for 9.01 already.

  4. June 20, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    kL, good point. Changed.

  5. June 20, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Eddie, I heard differently now. If I remember correctly, Opera’s mobile browsers supports widgets. (Though I’m not sure about Opera Mini).

    Perhaps one of the Opera devs could shed some light on this.

  6. June 20, 2006 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks Daniel. Great work- Hope you’re having fun at the launch party.

  7. Joel
    June 20, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Opera 9 final doesn’t seem any more polished than weeklies

    No, but I guess that’s the disadvantage of weeklies: you get the polishing incrementally. But yes, there are a handful of bugs and regressions, etc, still waiting to be fixed, it seems.

  8. June 20, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    Not that satisfactory on WinXP Chinese Simplified. But it works fine on WinXP Chinese Traditional.

  9. June 20, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    Eddie, I heard differently now. If I remember correctly, Opera’s mobile browsers supports widgets. (Though I’m not sure about Opera Mini).

    The mobile browsers themselves don’t support widgets; you are probably thinking of Opera Platform which is a framework, separate from the browsers, that allows the creation of widget-like web application clients for mobile devices.

  10. Roc
    June 20, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve found a bug after 10 minutes

    You can do that with any piece of software. Anyone who thinks that software is bug free is, well, delusional 🙂

  11. June 20, 2006 at 1:46 pm


    That’s what I mentioned in the previous thread I linked to.

    The idea of Opera platform and widgets seem the same to me. I wondered if they were part of the same “strategy” or somehow related.

  12. David
    June 20, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    From the earlier review:

    “Another nice feature added to Opera 9 is the ability to ‘easily’ add other search engines to Opera’s integrated search field in the toolbar.”

    I don’t see this in today’s release. Anyone else?

  13. June 20, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    David: Open the Preferences box and click on the Search tab. There’s an Add button.

    It’s not quite as simple as click-on-a-link installation, but it’s much easier than tracking down your profile and editing search.ini, which is what you had to do with Opera 8.

  14. David
    June 20, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    I see that it’s listed on the features page, so theoretically it should still be there.

  15. David
    June 20, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Kelson, but what I was referring to was this bit from the Features page:

    Add your favorite search engines
    Right-click on the site’s search field and select “Create search” from the menu.

    That was an extremely handy addition, and I made use of it in the beta, but now that option does not appear in my context menu.

  16. June 20, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    David: Ah, I see what you mean, now. Oddly, it’s present in mine, both on Linux and Windows. It seems to appear on any text box.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to have to take a closer look at that features page. There’s probably a bunch more stuff that I just didn’t notice on the betas and weeklies.

  17. JohnB
    June 20, 2006 at 3:54 pm


    I don’t know anyone who works “full screen” these days. Except, perhaps, Opera developers.

    Simple experiment: Open Opera and make it full screen. Now click on the button that resizes it so that it is not full screen. Then manually (by dragging the corner) resize it so that the height is approximately 1/4 of the screen size — yeah, yeah, I know that this is artificial but I’m trying to demonstrate a point so work with me!).

    Good. Now place the Opera window so that the bottom of the window is along the bottom of the screen. Almost there.

    Click on the Bookmarks menu item. See how the list is displayed? Of course if you’ve the kind of bookmark list that I have, you can see this even when the Opera window is 3/4 the size of the full screen.

    If you want to see how it should behave, try Firefox. And don’t waste your time telling me to work in a different way … all the other browsers that I use work the way I want. Why can’t — or, more accurately: why won’t — Opera “get with the program.”

    Your mission: find any other mainstream piece of software that does this wrong-headed menu display.

    Opera9 has some nice features (especially the site preferences). With an hour of work they could put in a proper menu bar handler. I’ll keep on using Opera but this refusal of Opera to make its software behave the way mainstream software behaves is so unnecessary.

  18. David
    June 20, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    Okay, I’ve got it the “Create search” item back now. I deleted and reinstalled the Web Developer Toolbar, and the context item came back.

    Just in case someone else has the smae problem….

  19. June 20, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    kL: custom source viewer should work with quotes (for “path/file name”)

  20. June 20, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    I’m not a dev and I use fullscreen. I want to concentrate on what I’m doing and not be distracted by some visual background noise. And I like to have instant access to the things I’m looking for on a page and don’t have to scroll down and right to see what’s on the page.
    I don’t like IE’s small popup windows. There should be a popup-blocker for IE (just a joke!).

    And otherwise, if I’d not be in maximised window I would like Operas behaviour with bookmark menu. It is space efficient – using the space that is possible to use. It is way faster that I don’t have to use Firefox’s slow scrolling through the bookmark list to find what I need. But (of course) I normally don’t use the bookmark menu, but bookmarks and bookmark-folders on personal toolbar for the often used bookmarks (just check “show on personal toolbar” in properties) or the bookmark panel.
    I suppose you don’t like addressbar popup list either which is exceeding Opera Window to the sides. And you are not alone (someone complained on IRC).
    But I like it.

    And I like that Opera is different. That is the way Opera gives me the best and fastest internet experience.

  21. Dan DeVaney
    June 20, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Flash wont work with Opera on my intel mac unless it is set to open under Rosetta.

    Pretty slow performance under Rosetta 😦

  22. bewda
    June 21, 2006 at 10:16 am

    hey friends opera mobile browser 8.6 has many bugs. I hope a new version of opera mobile will be launching soon. Sorry i dont have a pc so i am more concern about mobile browsers

  23. JohnB
    June 21, 2006 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks, ReWiz, for offering up the other side of the coin.

    But, at the end of the day, the key word is standards.

    They use F1 for Help. They put Help at the rightend of the menu bar. They understand and implement correctly a whole raft of UI standards. In fact, Opera breaks many sites because Opera is rigourously insistent on implementing standards exactly the way they are supposed to be implemented.

    In the previous release, Opera used a non-standard file save dialog box when saving an attachment. They brought that into line.

    Look at how Opera has worked to implement the Acid2 test so that, yet again, a standard is met.

    But the Opera menuing behaviour — no matter how either one of us works — remains inconsistent with every other mainstream (including Notes!!) piece of software.

    In this particular area, the creators of software which sets the bar for adherence to standards have failed.

  24. December 8, 2006 at 5:42 am

    (Opera The Web Browser)

    First, I looked http://www.wikipedia.com to look for the

    best web browser vs Internet Exploer and

    Firefox and also Internet Exploer7.0. Even

    though I have Firefox.

    I do like it’s tabbed feature,

    There were many to choose from. I

    looked throw the list and then I saw Opera, So I

    thought I would give it a try. So I want to

    http://www.opera.com, and I downloaded it to my computer

    I started Opera it gave Me a blank page(Normal).

    First I tried to go to a few well known web sites

    like http://www.dslreports.com, http://www.yahoo.com and many

    more, it failed in every try.

    So here I am typing this letter so someone can

    help Me with this problem.

  25. December 8, 2006 at 8:21 am

    Computer guy, why don’t you send me an email, I’ll help you out. (daniel@operawatch.com).

  26. December 8, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    Daniel Goldman, do you think you could please put

    it in text on this Commant Post?

    I don’t check My E-Mail that offten, and I do not

    send many messagess over the internet.

    So is that OK with you?

    I have very little time to check My E-Mail.

  27. December 8, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    Daniel Goldman, I found and fixed the problem.

    The pop-up setting was set on (Open Pop-up In


    So I changed it to (Open All Pop-Up)

    It works better now on this setting.

    I got it to work.

    Now I can now see http://www.yahoo.com and other web


    I also use Norton on My computer too.

    Norton can sometimes can have it’s ups and downs.

    Thank You for your help…

  28. nathan
    February 6, 2007 at 4:53 am

    i cant read chinese language at opera version 9.10 Anyone can help me??

  1. June 20, 2006 at 2:50 pm
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