Opera Portal Beta is a relatively unknown service offered by the web browser developer Opera. It basically offers users a customizable start page that can be best compared to similar services such as Netvibes, iGoogle or Pageflakes. One of the differences that becomes apparent immediately is that Opera Portal users do not need an account to use the personal start page. It is possible to handle several functions of the start page without account.
The options that are currently provided pale in comparison to services like Netvibes which have been able to test and shape their product in the last years. Users can add RSS feed contents to tabs on the portal page to access the latest feed contents promptly.
It is possible to add preselected feeds that come in various categories like sports, technology or stocks and money market or to add custom RSS feeds by providing the RSS feed url. Registered users can also import opml files so that all of their RSS feeds are added at once.
The modules on the pages can be moved around (even across tabs) named and deleted. The only other options that guests get are the selection of a different color scheme, changing the country and language and disabling advertisement.
Users who want to register an account can signup with their Opera, Google, OpenID or Yahoo username. Registered users on the other hand are not offered any more choices to customize the startpage than guests. Opera Portal is definitely a beta product at this time as it lacks features that go beyond adding and viewing RSS feeds. It should also be noted that the portal continued displaying German content after switching to English and the United States.
It could become an interesting alternative to established personalized homepage services if the developers continue working on the project and start adding additional features to it. The prime advantage of Opera Portal at this point in time is that guests have access to all functions and features of the portal.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.