It has been eight days since the release of Opera 11.50, called Swordfish. In that time the new browser version was downloaded more than 32 million times. While that pales with download rates of Firefox and Google Chrome, it is still an astonishing feat for a web browser that is neglected by the majority of paper and online press. Opera 11.50 was actually the most successful Opera release ever, as Oleg points out over at the Opera Desktop Team blog.
The developers, always good for a surprise, managed to build a first Opera 12 snapshot about a week after the last Opera stable release.
Interested users and web developers can download the latest snapshot right from the Opera website. Oleg notes that Opera considers this a pre-alpha release which means that you should not upgrade just yet. It is thankfully though very easy to install a second Opera version on the computer system.
Just click on Options on the first installation page and select a different install path to install Opera 12 into a different directory on your system.
You can switch to a stand-alone installation after you have changed the install path.
The release includes "important2 bug fixes and some polishing.
You wont find any new features in this early release, but Opera seems to be already working on new features which will be included in future snapshots of the new browser.
Interested users can take a look at the detailed changelog at the Opera Desktop Team blog. Fixes include some crash issues and freezes, as well as other bugs and unintended behavior.
Downloads are offered directly on the blog as well, as usual for all supported operating systems.
It is good to see that Opera has stepped up their game significantly over the past years. It feels as if the company is non-stop working on new browser versions. Especially communication with the public is excellent, something that both Mozilla and Chrome lack dearly, especially when it comes to snapshot releases (yes Mozilla publishes information but I never quite understood where and when news were posted, and when not).
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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.