Opera 12 First Look

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 12, 2011
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

The last Opera release dates back to the end of August, which seems like ages in times when browser developers push out new versions of their browser in weeks instead of months or even years.

News about the next Opera browser version and Opera Software in general have almost come to an halt in that time. Users interested in the browser may have picked up some news over at the Desktop team blog which is more or less the official place to go for Opera development information.

Opera 11.51 has been out for some time and the next version of Opera that the developers are currently working on will be Opera 12.00, codenamed Wahoo. Here is a screenshot of the latest snapshot of the upcoming web browser.

One of the first things that users will notice is the new skin that Opera is currently working on. The Featherweight skin modernizes the browser interface in several aspects including updated and polished icons, blending of panels and better colorization.

The real changes however are under the hood. Opera 12 ships with an updated core rendering engine and the HTMl5 parsing algorithm Ragnarök (which is more or less the Norse mythology version of the Apocalypse with the difference that the world will be reborn after this).

The developers have furthermore added full EXMAScript (JavaScript) 5.1 support. You will notice that the current Opera 12 snapshot fails some of the tests of the test run at the ECMAscript homepage. All other web browsers tested, including Firefox 9, Chrome 16 and Internet Explorer 9 fail tests as well.

If you look at all the changelogs posted you will notice that the developers are working hard on fixing bugs and other issues in the browser. It is not clear when Opera decides to release the next version of Opera to the public. The development team usually posts a few release candidate builds before they release the final version.

With the planned design, rendering speed and compatibility changes Opera 12 will seamlessly follow in the footsteps of previous Opera releases. You can download the latest snapshot release over at the Opera desktop team blog.


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  1. Chalupa said on October 21, 2011 at 6:16 am

    It looks really nice. When did Opera stop being adware?

  2. Matias said on October 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    This is my favorite browser! It´s way faster than Firefox with many (+50) tabs opened, and uses less memory. The only problem that I have with it is that some sites do not fully work with it. Also, I sometimes miss a few FF extensions (like Brief feed reader, that I prefer over Opera´s own).

  3. Jim said on October 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I really like Opera. I wish it had more support. It gives a nice smooth and quick browsing experience. I like to use it a lot at home, but I don’t have much luck at work. Some of the systems I have to use only support IE and Firefox. Sux.

  4. Swapnil said on October 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm


    You forgot the most important things. The most important things were publicly discussed on 11 October 2011, at the time of UpNorthWeb event.
    But you can info on what happened during the event –


    You need to skip some pictues and then comes the important details-

    ‘Christen Krogh, our Chief Development Officer, showed off a bunch of new and improved features in Opera 12 for desktop:

    1. photo booth functionality – say cheese!
    2. with hardware acceleration and Web GL, a new and improved gaming experience in the browser (yes, there will be Angry Birds)
    3. an alpha version will be released on Thursday (most likely)’

  5. Mehdi S said on October 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Cheers…A new release is long overdue :) Hope it will be the best in terms of speed :)

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