With on-demand plugins and improved mouse gestures, Opera Software's eponymous web browser remains one of the most innovative and cutting edge.
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Slideshow: Clicking Through Opera 11 Browser Beta
While some capabilities of Opera 11 are unique and innovative, other features new to Opera are already found in competing browsers or the current betas of competing browsers. Opera 11 now includes a tab stacking feature that lets users drag and drop tabs onto each other in order to create a group tabs of related sites.
The Opera 11 beta also has changed the address bar to only show the core URL, removing http:/// and other elements from the end of the URL string. I did like that Opera provides a button to quickly show the whole URL for those who want to check it.
Like other browsers hoping to compete with the massive collection of extensions available for Mozilla's Firefox browser, Opera 11 has boosted its extension capabilities, with more extensions now available that can be easily installed with a single click and managed from a central management page. Auto-updating of the browser has also been improved and can now include updates for installed extensions. The install of Opera 11 itself is now much quicker and easier.
Opera has the distinction of being one of the only remaining browsers to still include an integrated mail client. A new side panel in the browser made it easier to view and manage mail content while browsing and share content between the browser and mail.
Opera has always been very good when it comes to standards support and it gains a perfect score in the Acid3 web standards test. Like most other upcoming browser betas, Opera 11 also has a lot of support for HTML 5 features.
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