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08 October 2008, 14:22

Better email and smoother surfing with Opera 9.6

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Two weeks after the beta version, Norwegian browser developer Opera haS released version 9.6 of its eponymous free web browser.

The most notable improvements are in the M2 email client. This now has better threading and a special low-bandwidth mode for those on narrowband connections. In IMAP mode, M2 only retrieves email headers; the body text is only fetched upon request. For POP3 accounts, it only fetches the first 100 lines of a message automatically.

There are new features in the browser, too. The "Opera Link" feature now also synchronises the user's search history and typed URLs.

A novelty is "scroll markers". When you are scrolling through a page, it marks the end of the previously-viewed section, making it easier to keep track of where you'd got to.

A full list of changes and new features for each supported platform is on Opera's web site – for instance, the Windows changelist is here. There's also a separate list of changes since the beta.

Since there are numerous bugfixes, including some remote-execution exploits, Opera users should upgrade immediately.

Opera is available on a remarkably wide range of platforms: as well as the usual Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, the new version is also offered for Solaris and FreeBSD. There are binaries for SPARC, PowerPC and both 32-bit and 64-bit Intel x86. Older versions are also offered for QNX, OS/2, classic MacOS and BeOS.

Only the desktop version has been updated; Opera Mobile is still on the beta of version 9.5, which is only available for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 smartphones. Symbian S60 users are still on the last stable version, 8.65.


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