Though a launch date for Opera 10 hasn't yet been set, Opera is hoping the updated application will lure users away from Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 by building on Opera 9's use of small Web applications called widgets.
"Opera 9 is the first salvo towards IE 7. We're trying to give a user-friendly experience and eliminate problems," said Thomas Ford, public relations manager for desktop Opera software.
The company expects version 10 to work on and across any platform, a continuation of its work to make Opera 9 compatible with different platforms, such as Nintendo DS game consoles, as a way of differentiating the browser from Microsoft's offering.
Opera is aiming for a day when people needn't use a full desktop operating system, instead using a browser and Web applications for most tasks.
Hmmm, not sure about this vision at all. Have only looked at widgets very briefly and so far I just don't "get" them. I like separate applications for separate tasks rather than one overbloated application (althoughmaybe I'm still just not "getting" it).
Widgets take on a particular significance outside of the standard desktop environment. In particular, mobile devices are ideal platforms for small applications (such as weather reports, stock tickers, email, ...) which exist outside of a full browser window.
Opera is aiming squarely for the non-desktop space including phones and games consoles where screen size and user interaction with the program is very different.