Opera is a web browser for those who want more control when web browsing, or who don’t want to rely on Microsoft or AOL for their software. I’ve only toyed with the new beta a bit so far, but I’ve really enjoyed the overall experience: easy and clear installation, really nice use of contextual help, tons of customization options. Oh, and it’s really fast. Check out their My Opera pages: acessibility guidelines, browsing options for those with disabilities – exciting stuff.
Now that Internet Explorer and Netscape have all but stopped improving the web browsing experience, it’s clear that it’s going to be these other web browsers who push for new innovations (like using gestures with the mouse to control the browser) that makes browsing easier and more powerful. It isn’t free ($40 – or use a version with an ad placed in the control bar), but think about how much time you spend on the web – I use a web browser more than any other application. It isn’t perfect – bookmark management isn’t the greatest, and occasionally it chokes on function-rich pages (the blogger entry screen is a mess), but if you spend an hour or more a day surfing, it’s probably worth the extra options and the time investment to learn how to use them.