Opera 10.5 Claims to Be Fastest Windows Browser

Norway’s Opera Software has released version 10.5 of its Opera Web browser, rolling in a new JavaScript engine and making a rather daring claim: that Opera 10.5 is the fastest browser available for Windows. The new version is launching just as Microsoft is activating a new browser ballot to more than 200 million Internet users in Europe, offering them an option to set up a browser other than Internet Explorer as their default Windows Web browser.

“Opera 10.50 is the fastest browser in almost all speed tests,” said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen, in a statement. “But, more important than any speed test is the real-world speed during use. We designed Opera 10.50 to be easy to use, while making our unique features stand out, so you can get more out of the Web.”

Opera 10.5 features a further refined interface, building on the serious revamp the browser got with its 10.0 release. The menu bar has been replaced with a single Opera button, and tabs and windows have an almost Chrome-like quality to them. Opera 10.5 also introduces a new Safari-like private browsing mode that can be activated on a tab-by-tab basis. The browser integrates with Windows 7’s Jump lists and Aero Peek features, features improved support for developing HTML 5 and CSS3 standards, and includes a new JavaScript engine and a new graphics library (Vega) which contribute to the application’s performance gains.

Opera 10.5 is available now for Windows as a free download; Mac OS X and Linux versions of Opera 10.5 are “coming soon.”

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