Opera releases leaner, meaner Windows browser

Opera Software ASA released a new version of its Internet browser for the Windows operating systems, offering increased speed and features, as well as a slightly smaller download size than the previous version, thanks to rewritten code.

Opera 7, released Tuesday, offers a host of new innovations from the Oslo software maker, including a links panel that features all the links on a particular page, and a "fast forward" feature that takes users to the next page they are most likely to visit.

The latest version of the software also has what Opera is calling "spatial navigation," a feature that allows users to gain access to links and other navigational tools on a Web page by using the shift and arrow keys on their keyboards.

Additionally, Opera 7 boasts a one-click log-in feature to password protected sites, which it calls "the wand," a new navigation bar, the ability to easily download a new skin, or look, an updated e-mail client and small-screen rendering feature that allows Web developers to test and see how their pages will look on smaller mobile devices.

The company said that it rewrote its code from the rendering engine up to offer a slimmer, more powerful version of its browser. Opera 7 is a 3.4M byte download, compared to Opera 6's 3.5M byte download size.

Users willing to look at an ad banner on their browser can download Opera 7 for free from http://www.opera.com. Otherwise, an ad-free version in available for US$39.

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