Norwegian company Opera Software has released Opera 12.00 just a few minutes ago. Opera users who start the browser on their system should see update notifications displayed to them in the next couple of hours. Those who do not want to wait that long can run a manual check for updates with a click on Opera > Help > Check for Updates. The update should then be picked up by the browser and downloaded automatically to the local system.
The announcement over at the Opera Desktop Team blog highlights twelve major changes in Opera 12 that Internet users may be interested in. Among them performance improvements during the start of the browser, hardware acceleration and faster loading of pages, improved stability with out-of-process plugins, and improved support for new technologies.
Here are all improvements that the development team has highlighted on the blog post.
Some of the features mentioned by the team need to be enabled before they become available in the browser. Lets take a look at how that is done:
This feature is enabled under Opera > Settings > Preferences > Advanced tab > Security > Ask websites not to track me. Just check the box to enable the feature in Opera.
To enable this feature by loading opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWebGL and opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableHardwareAcceleration in the browser and switching the values from 0 (deactivated) to 1 (activated). You can furthermore load opera:config#UserPrefs|Preferredrenderer and switch between OpenGL (0) and DirectX (1) rendering here.
Once you have made the changes load opera:gpu and check the hardware acceleration listing at the top to make sure everything has been enabled correctly.
Opera 12.00 is a big step for the web browser, especially in terms of performance improvements. HTML5 Test results have made a big jump overtaking Firefox in the process. While still behind Google Chrome and Maxthon, the score differences have been reduced considerably.
Opera has also made available 64-bit editions for all supported desktop operating system, something that neither Mozilla nor Google have managed to do just that if you discount development builds.
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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.