Opera Software has launched the new version of its browser, Opera 8 for Windows and Linux. The company says Opera 8 is a substantial upgrade from previous versions, and includes new features such as a unique security information field that indicates the trustworthiness of banking and shopping Web sites and voice interaction capabilities.
The releases is initially available in English, German, Dutch and Polish, with more languages to follow. The Linux version is available in English, also with more languages to come. A beta version of Opera 8 for Mac (English) is also available today. Opera fans welcomed the previously released beta versions of Opera 8 with download numbers reaching nearly one million.
The first beta version introduced XHTML+Voice with IBM WebSphere Multimodal Environment, which is designed to allow a user to navigate the Internet with voice commands. Testers of this beta also experienced ERA, Opera's new feature that adjusts Web content to fit virtually any screen or window size. The two beta versions to follow introduced new security solutions and native support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG 1.1 Tiny) that enables rich multimedia content such as scalable maps.
The security information field security information field is automatically activated when users visit a secure Web site, indicating the level of security (1-3) and the certificate owner of the site. This allows users to better evaluate a site's trustworthiness and minimize the risk of being subjected to online fraud, such as phishing attacks.
The new version of Opera also introduces an advanced page-resizing function that adapts Web pages to fit the width of a screen or window. Opera's Extensible Rendering Architecture (ERA) technology enables the "fit to window width" feature that adapts Web pages to fit to the width of the screen or browser window, eliminating the need to scroll horizontally. This is a great feature for small- and medium-sized screens, or to tile Web sites next to each other on the screen. Combined with Opera's zoom function, users can magnify Web pages and still fit them on the screen.
Opera also includes native support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG 1.1 Tiny), an XML language for rich graphical content used to develop enhanced, interactive multimedia.
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