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If you want to remove all those ads (side effect: also google ads from Opera itself...) just install a proxy. I work on WinXP and use extremely little but effective Proxomitron. Hadn't seen an ad for months, both in Firefox and Opera, as well as in IE. (and there is an advantage for FF: you do not need to use AdBlock, so one bloat less).
Another great way to remove those ads is to actually BUY their browser! That is, after all, how they're trying to make money.
For me buying Opera was the best $39 I ever spent on software.
dont see the point in buying it, if i can use another browser that is free and does the same.....
if i remmeber correctly they use to offer a "lite" version that didnt have ads or a lot of functionality and that would be perfect for me! i think it was opera that did this....