Well, not really the next big thing. Given Opera (as a company) has been around for … (checking the opera site)… an impressive 12 years now I can hardly call Opera the next big thing.

Some history

I started using Opera a few years ago when FireFox – previously known as Phoenix, then Firebird – was still very early in development. I used to switch between Opera and Phoenix a lot on a daily basis. I liked Opera then as it did a good job of rendering markup, and was a good alternative to using Outlook for email.

Then came Firefox and it’s partner in crime – Thunderbird. We all have come to know and love these apps haven’t we?

However, over the past month or so I have grown frustrated over FireFox performance and memory allocation. As a primary browser, it’s become quite frustrating.

Last week, it was back to Opera as my primary browser and mail app. Don’t misunderstand that, I still use FireFox, and will continue to use it. Just not as my primary browser that I depend on.

Ok, so what’s so great about Opera?

For me, it’s coming down to performance and reliability. Relatively speaking, the Mozilla Framework has become a hog.

Recent Milestones for Opera

Some Essential Features

  • Opera Mail
  • Tabbed browsing, integrated search, fraud protection, content blocker, yadda yadda yadda…

Some Cool Features

  • Mouse Gestures
  • Web Development: Validate Code, Small Screen Mode, a nice error console
  • Standards support: SVG!
  • BitTorrent Client
  • Notes: Copy to note, email note, etc
  • more…
  • Faq (seems a little out of date)

It’s not all great

Ok, so there are a couple things I don’t like about Opera.

  1. Spell Checker – it’s not so great out of the box
  2. Plugins/Widgets – Compared to Mozilla, far fewer to choose from and lacking in quality

After all was said and done… I’ve been transitioned to Opera for my primary browser and email (again) now for a week. While there was some shortcut keys that changed on me and some interactions that are now different (and mostly for the better so far); I have to say I’m pro-Opera and pro this most recent change.

What’s the memory footprint? Fractions of what my FireFox-Thunderbird footprint was. And I haven’t noticed the sluggish behaviour that I was growing accustomed to with FireFox.

Why do you want to switch? Opera has made a page for you. You should also check out the features.

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