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Opera is a cross-platform, fully featured web browser renowned for its speed, elegant user-interface and versatility. Opera includes tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, integrated search engine, an e-mail client and a speed dial giving you quick access to your favorite sites. Along with easy-to-use customization tools Opera also offers voiced controlled browsing for disabled users.
Opera was initially launched as a research project in 1994 by Telenor the largest telecommunications company in Norway who in 1995 set-up a separate company dedicated to developing Opera and working towards the first public release which came in 1996 with version 2.0, which was only compatible with Windows at this stage. Its features were basic and included support for HTML 3.0, multiple graphics formats support, save, open & restore sessions and a webpage zoom feature. Version 3.0 came in late 1997 and introduced pop-up blocking, support for SSL (encrypts info over the internet) and plug-in capabilities. Tabbed browsing was introduced in version 4.0 along with an e-mail and news client. Opera by this time was only available as trialware, with the release of
Version 5.0 Opera became freeware. Opera 6.0 saw new skins introduced and pop-up blocking improved.
Opera 8.0 came with the unique feature of voice controlled navigation which outlined its support for disabled users; Opera became ad-free from version 8.5. Opera 9.0 was a popular version due to its fast browsing, speed dial, BitTorrent support and low bandwidth mode which enables fast browsing even with a poor internet connection. Opera 10.0 came packed full of features improving customization tools, Opera turbo making browsing even faster, visual mouse gestures and scored 100 on the Acid3 Test. Opera 11.0 and 12.0, among many of the other features, had a sleeker UI, password syncing and was noticeably faster.
According to Opera