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This special offer entitles you to free upgrades within the current series of Opera.
You can also download a free sponsered version of Opera [opera.com]. The banner will go away, as soon as you register Opera. The non-java version is only 3.4 MB. If you haven't tried it before, now's the time!
No, you don't have to pay for Opera - the adware version is fine and the ads are not a problem. But I tell you, I'd rather pay and support a company who is really doing it right!
I paid after using the free version for about 1 week. The speed and features save me EASILY an hour a day, or more.
When people ask me this question, I usually tell this:
You don't pay for "yet another browser", but for a tool that offers you a huge set of unique features that competitors can't offer. They just don't have it.
Speed - webpage loading and web browsing, user-friendliness, fine tuning for your very requirements, ...
You are welcomed to continue this list with things you found helpful and Opera-only.
By analogy, I use Corel Draw Select Edition to create graphics. That package has a lot of bugs and misfeatures, but I have learnt to work around them and do it almost without thinking. Put me in front of the latest edition of, say, Photoshop, and I'm lost, although it is clearly superior. I will find many, or most, of its features mystifying or difficult to use, and will pine for my Corel Draw, bugs and all. But let me have it for, say, two weeks, and you will be unable to prise it out of my hands.
I got your point.
But, what you said about graphics package you use, is applicable to Opera the same way. After all, it's a matter of personal preference and things you're getting fimiliar with. All I wanted to say is what users are missing if they don't know about the alternative available, though not free.
Keyboard shortcuts+navigation, simultaneous back/forth moves through the document history, page display modes, MDI interface, mouse gestures, url autofill, general browser behaviour tuning, etc, etc... All these things taken separately are not something outstanding or completely new. But all together they bring absolutely different implession. Your thoughts will be how could you live without it before.
You will be surprised how your internet experience will change with Opera - to better!
IE, you pay for in security programs. With Opera, I've never owned a virus scanner or any other security program and never had a single problem.
Plus, how much of the cost of Windows OS is IE? I bet it could be $20 cheaper than it is without the lockin browser. eg: you paid cash for it.
Netscape is best classified as slaveware. Look at all people still using 4.x - slaves to some special feature or function (most likely the email client). There are lock in features throughout Netscape/Mozilla: proprietary page viewer, proprietary editor, proprietary this and that. The "lock 'em philosphy" is strong in NN 6 - if anything, the trend is growing, not shrinking.
>who would pay for Opera?
Several million people would.
1-speed. Surfs rings around Moz and IE. Any multpage surfing task you can do in IE/NN - I'll do twice as fast in Opera as IE and easily 4-5 times as fast as NN.
2-security. two non-exploited security lapses in 7 years. IE has has two in the last week.
3-system resource friendly. Ram, cpu usage, disk usage - all fractions of ie/nn.
4-mdi windows. Shift-click, shift-control-click, and open bookmark branch all combine for speed and utility.
5-standards compliance. Opera has never once tried to control the code the way NN and IE both have tried to extend html. This, despite the fact that the author of css works for Opera and they could easily have done so.
Comparison chart from late last year:
Using MDI, the intergrated Search/Dictionary/Encyclopedia/Translate feature (dbl click a word or phrase - right click, select) and the ability to open unlimited new windows in the background make Opera the absolute BEST for any Web research project. Incredibly useful!
Everything you said is true, except one thing: we didn't mention Opera's disadvantages, and we have to do this in order to be objective.
The main one is lacking of DOM support. Opera's DOM implementation is still very poor and it is far behind the one of Mozilla (which is the best at the moment) and even IE. It isn't so fatal in "real-life" surfing and I don't feel that something is missing, but the problem exists.
But nothing stays forever, and this situation will hopefully change upon new version release.
2 times to view webmasterworld.com
4 times to view cnn.com
6 times to view cnet.com
11(!) times to view zdnet.com
Your thoughts will be how could you live without it before.
It is a personal choice, and Opera does have drawbacks. Opera is a great little browser and I have nothing much against it; it's just that it's never been my browser of choice. If it's your browser of choice, fantastic, but that doesn't mean it should be mine.