Opera Software on Tuesday rolled out the final edition of Opera 9 for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and BSD, beating both Mozilla and Microsoft to the major browser update punch.
In a preview program since April, Opera 9 sports several new features, including small Web-based "widget" applications, support for BitTorrent, a content blocker and security bar, and customized search.
"We worked hard to push the limits of what people expect from a Web browser," said Jon von Tetzchner, the Oslo, Norway-based company's chief executive.
Opera's new widgets, which are similar to the same-named applets in Mac OS X and to Yahoo's Widget Engine, can be downloaded from a dedicated library on the site.
The security bar handles pop-up and phishing alerts, using a technique familiar to anyone who has used Firefox or even Internet Explorer when equipped with an add-on toolbar like the ones from Google or MSN.
Other features include saved sessions -- which returns the browser to its former status after a crash, down to the tabs opened and sites displayed -- site-by-site ad blocking, and new "skins" for transforming the browser's look and feel.
Opera 9 can be downloaded free of charge from this Web site.