updated 09:55 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2008
Opera Mini, Opera 9.5
Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner recently made available details about the upcoming Opera 9.5 web browser, and expressed optimism for the future of Opera Mini for mobile devices, partially due to the iPhone's popularity. While Opera only accounts for 2-percent of the US web browser marketshare, the company's popularity is on the rise thanks to the mobile version of its web browser, PC Magazine learned in an interview. Opera Mini has a user base of 30 million worldwide, and approximately 100,000 new downloads per day.
Von Tetzchner said "the iPhone was a great boost for us," citing that the high-end nature of the iPhone opens the door to other powerful devices that can run its browser. Opera Mini has Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as companies like Tata in India to thank for the largest portion of its success. "In Bangladesh more people are getting on the Internet with Opera mini than a PC," von Tetzchner said. "It feels good when you're helping people get online."
Opera 9.5 is designed to bridge the current 9.25 version to the future version 10.0 release. Opera claims that, in addition to offering CSS3 and enhanced CSS2 support, users will experience a speed increase over Internet Explorer by a factor of 10. The company is also optimizing the browser to run HTML 5 code, which will give users access to more advanced web forms.
A new beta of Opera is expected for release within two months, with the final version following in the summer.