(Opera Software®)
= Index DOT Html/Css by Brian Wilson =

Index DOT Html: Main Index | Element Tree | Element Index | HTML Support History
Index DOT Css: Main Index | Property Index | CSS Support History | Browser History

Platforms PC: Intel 16-bit(Win3.X), Intel 32-bit(Win95/98/ME, WinNT/2000/XP)
Mac: PPC OS7.5x-9.x, OSX
Other: Linux, OS/2, QNX, Symbian
About the
What began as a project to develop a small and fast browser for computers with meager resources has turned into a popular alternative to the "big two" browser vendors with its own "cult following."

Two engineers at Telenor (the Norwegian phone company) developed the Opera browser in 1994 for the company's intranet. By the end of 1995 Opera Software was created after Telenor had allowed the pair to continue development of the browser on their own.

Opera was written from scratch - it is not based on the NCSA Mosaic code or interface methodology (as Internet Explorer or Netscape are.) This gives it some unique browsing features such as page zoom, a multi-document interface browsing environment and mouse gestures. For its small footprint it boasts an impressive feature set, with great support for HTML, XML, WML, CSS (one of the best implementations), JavaScript, DOM and Java.

The latest version has come a long way from its early days - it is fast, slick and powerful...and Opera's market share is starting to make a bit of a dent - users are loyal and vocal about their browser being a great alternative to the "big two." Plus, many of Opera's innovative features are finding their way into other browsers as well.

Versions before 2.1 were not in wide release thus are not covered. Support information is listed for the major shipping release versions and does not include betas.
The Future Opera's approach thus far has been to aim for as much standards compliance as possible while also embracing many non-standard authoring features. Coupled with its light weight and many innovative features, the browser has many fans. Its market share continues to increase...the inroads it is making in the mobile phone and other embedded systems platforms are starting to be felt. In pure installation numbers, these "other" browsing methods could balloon Opera's total market share in a very short time. Already the non-"desktop" platforms are comprising a quickly growing percentage of the overall browsing applications. Will Opera succeed in dominating these other browsing spaces? Will its market share continue to make inroads in the desktop arena? Time will, of course, tell.
I went to work for Opera in their QA department in August 2002 to work on their 7.0 Windows release. I'll try not to bias anything I present elsewhere here, but of course you'll understand if I spend just these two seconds asking you to try Opera if you haven't before. It's just nifty, IMO. 8-}

Version Released Features

1.0-2.0 NA Not widely released

2.1B1-B3 Sep.-Nov. 1996 Adds Frames capability
2.1 Dec. 1996 Final release of 2.1
2.12 Feb. 1997 Minor release.

3.0B1-B11 Sep.-Dec. 1997 Adds Javascript, SSL and plug-in capability. Also includes UI and hot list changes.
3.0 Dec. 1997 Final release of 3.0
3.1-3.21 Feb.-Apr. 1998 Minor releases for 3.0

3.5B1-B10 Jul.-Oct. 1998 Adds file upload, and possibly the most complete CSS1 implementation in the popular browsers. Also allows for Java functionality through a plug-in.
3.5 Nov. 1998 Final release of 3.5
3.51 Dec. 1998 Update release.
3.6 Jun. 1999 Update release.
3.61 Dec. 1999 Update release.

4.0B1 Mar. 2000 Long-awaited first beta of the 4.0 family. This version promises support for most of CSS2, all of CSS1, HTML4, XML, and WML.
4.0B2/3 Apr. 2000 Second and third beta releases.
4.0B4 May. 2000 Fourth beta release.
4.0 Jun. 2000 Final release of 4.0.

5.0 Dec. 2000 Final release of 5.0. Introduction of ad-supported free version. Increased standards support.
5.1 Apr. 2001 Update release.
5.12 Jul. 2001 Update release.

6.0 Nov. 2001 Final release of 6.0. Featuring UI changes, and performance improvements.
6.01-05 Feb.-Oct. 2002 Update releases.

7.0B1 Nov. 2002 First beta of the version 7 browser. Featuring UI changes, rendering engine re-write (now referred to as "Presto"), added standards support, improved performance and compatibility, greatly enhanced DOM support, and a new mail client - all without increasing the download footprint.
7.0B2 Dec. 2002 Second beta release.
7.0 Jan. 2003 Final release of 7.0.
7.01 Feb. 2003 Update release.
7.1 Apr. 2003 Update release.
7.2B1-13 Jul-Sep. 2003 Update release.
7.2 Sep. 2003 Adds support for MARQUEE, BLINK and BDO elements. Also adds BIDI language display, DOM HTML and DOM CSS features, and improved Javascript performance.

Boring Copyright Stuff...