Opera web browser now free: full-featured with no ad banner

Opera Software today permanently removed the ad banner and licensing fee from its award-winning Web browser. The ad-free, full-featured Opera browser is now available for download – completely free of charge – at http://www.opera.com.

“Today we invite the entire Internet community to use Opera and experience Web browsing as it should be,” said Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software in the press release. “Removing the ad banner and licensing fee will encourage many new users to discover the speed, security and unmatched usability of the Opera browser.”

Opera was previously available free of charge with an ad banner. Users had the option of paying a licensing fee to remove the ad banner and receive premium support.

“Opera fans around the globe made this day possible,” said von Tetzchner in the release. “As we grow our userbase, our mission and our promise remain steadfast: we will always offer the best Internet experience to our users – on any device. Today this mission gains new ground.”

The Opera browser is available in 20 languages. The complete download is less than 4MB.

Opera features include:
• Navigate quickly using intuitive mouse gestures and browser tabs
• Start from where your last browsing session ended or save your entire session
• Access downloaded files quickly with the transfer manager
• Protect against identity theft and phishing with integrated security features
• Speak up: surf the Web hands-free using voice commands
• Shop Amazon, browse Ebay, and search the Web with Google right from the address bar
• Set reminders for Web pages you visit with the notes feature

The current version of Opera (8.5) is compatible with Mac OS X (10.2 and above).

More info and download link here.

Related articles:
Opera browser free for 24-hours to celebrate 10th anniversary – August 31, 2005

16 Comments

  1. Whatever the reason, I’m using it right now.

    I love Safari, but miss the Developer toolbar. Camino’s great too, but again, no Dev toolbar or autocomplete of fields it seems.

    Firefox is great with all its extras, but 1.0 is slow and 1.5 beta is… well its a beta and not too stable.

    Opera seems great! There’s even a dev toolbar, and as a web developer, it doesn’t hurt to have another browser to check my work in.

    Not that long ago, the Mac didn’t seem to have too much choice in browsers. Now we’re spoilt…

  2. I love Oprah, ooops I mean Opera. It works great on both Macs and PCs. My browser of choice is Firefox. I use Opera for sites that require IE like hotmail. I do need to play with Safari more – but I choose Firefox since I have to go back and forth between a Mac and a PC.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Apple made a Safari browser for Windows? I bet that would get Billy boys goat. I’m going to email Apple and ask them to. Join in and it might happen.

  3. I’ve just been testing Opera and it really is fast, but Safari is loading my home page about a second faster. Admittedly I do have Speed Safari installed. This point aside it’s free, lean and secure. The same as Safari, Firefox and Camino.

    As for Internet Explorer it’s just plain crap. You’d have to be a Windows’ user to put up with that type of rubbish…and most Windows’ do put up with that type of rubbish don’t they.

  4. iDon’t Care If Windows gets Safari – In fact I’d probably even prefer them not get Safari (although technically it’s built into iTunes so I’m told, so yes, Safari is already on and available for the PC, just not the way you’d want it).

    And what makes a Mac a Mac is most importantly the operating system, a distant second is the software, and a close third is the hardware – and how they all seamlessly work.

    And I’d prefer Apple to stick with working almost soley on Macs. Keep the reason that makes the Mac special. The unity of the three.

  5. What is keeping me from using Opera:

    -I don’t find the interface particularly attractive
    -incomplete support for address bar shortcuts (as seen in OmniWeb, and in Safari via Sogudi); Opera limits you to a few presets
    -The tabs are, like every browser except Omniweb, far too badly-implemented. Either a browser takes the Safari route and overflows tabs into a list from which they can’t be closed or dragged, or takes the Firefox route and makes the tabs get so small that it’s impossible to differentiate between them. Opera uses the latter (better than the former), but still, I have yet to find any browser other than Omniweb that lets me organise and navigate my tabs quickly and easily no matter how many are open.

  6. Opera was the first browser I ever saw with tabs, and the first inkling there was something out there besides IE. I remember feeling a little more clever than my IE-using friends – a feeling that was multiplied many times over when I switched to the mac.

    Good luck to Opera. M$ hates them, too…

  7. Although I use Safari 99.9% of the time there are a couple of personally important websites that I visit that Safari can’t access (that require IE only) or Safari simply freezes (requiring a force quit).

    In these circumstances Opera can mimic at being IE, so ensuring the access that I need on these occasions.

  8. spinaltap:

    Safari can mimic IE also. You just have to enable the debug menu which is, of course (as per Apple’s minimalist design), disabled by default.

    Quit Safari and enter this in Terminal to do the trick:

    defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 1

    To disable it… quit Safari and enter the same thing in Terminal except substituting a 0 for the last 1 as follows:

    defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 0

    ©

  9. OmniWeb is certainly worth a try if you’re looking for a great Mac based browser. The Workbench idea is good and one I expect to see in Firefox long before it makes IE, and the little picture tabs are cute.

    Be interesting to see what this does for Opera’s development. They may be getting more downloads than ever before, but last time I checked programmers weren’t paid on how often their software was downloaded. Unlike Mozilla, they don’t have a foundation backing them. On the other hand, there’s google click-through fees and they’re making a lot of money from integrated browsers for phones and small devices.

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