posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Feb 2010 18:29 UTC
IconEverybody's favourite Norwegian browser maker has released the beta version of Opera 10.50, the next iteration of the featureful web browser. As Kroc already touched upon late last year, Opera 10.50 comes packed with a lot of improvements across the board, from a new JavaScript engine to an improved address field.

The new JavaScript engine is arguably the biggest new feature. Called Carakan, Opera claims it's eight times fast than its predecessor. "A completely new JavaScript engine makes Opera 10.50 run Web applications more smoothly," they says, "Up to 8x faster than its predecessor, the new Carakan engine speeds up even the most demanding Web sites."

Windows 7 integration is also pretty tight, something my favourite browser (you know) still fails at miserably. Opera makes proper use of the new taskbar (i.e., each tab gets its own entry), has a decent Jump List, and uses Windows' Aero look where it makes sense. Opera 10.50 also comes with the new Vega graphics library. "Everything in Opera 10.50 is drawn on your screen using Opera's new, high-performance graphics library," Opera explains, "This enables super fast and smooth graphics for everything from tab switching to animation on Web pages."

The address field is smarter, too, now, so you can search through your history or the internet using your search engine of choice. Dialogs created by web pages do not interrupt your browsing experience, as they appear as overlays on tabs, so you can still switch between tabs or windows even when the dialog is still displayed.

There's more to it than that, so be sure to hop on over and take a peek. Sadly, Linux and Mac users will have to wait a while for the beta: it's currently Windows only. Mac and Linux users can download the alpha, though.

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