Tip: Testdrive Opera Next (Opera 12) without affecting your current Opera installation

Opera’s most recent stable version is the 11.61 and the next one will be version 12.00 (a.k.a. Opera Next). For those who can’t wait (or don’t want to wait) for the public release of Opera 12, Opera has has resealed an alpha preview that can be installed side by side with any existing Opera installation on your computer. In other words, Opera 12 Alpha won’t interfere with your current Opera — just like what Mozilla did with Firefox Aurora.

WHAT’S NEW IN OPERA 12

Aside from the normal under-the-hood improvements, the major changes in Opera 12 are:

  • Opera 12 now uses hardware acceleration; it uses your graphics card to ensure faster browsing. Currently only OpenGL graphic cards are supported but support for DirectX and other libraries is planned.
  • Opera 12 has built-in WebGL support for interactive 3D graphics, right inside the browser.
  • Opera 12 supports new, more customizable themes.
  • Opera 12 has a new HTML5 parser dubbed Ragnarök.
  • Opera 12 supports CSS3 radial gradients.
  • Opera 12 has full support for ECMAScript 5.1 and ECMAScript typed arrays.

GETTING OPERA 12

The installation of Opera Next installs like any normal program; it takes seconds and it’s impossible to be more straight forward than it is. After Opera Next has been installed, it will have a distinct white icon as opposed to Opera’s traditional red to help you distinguish between Opera Next and your current, stable version.

Currently Opera 12 is in alpha stage. However, after you install Opera Next you automatically receive updates as newer alpha versions, then beta versions, then final public release version come out. So you don’t even have to uninstall it later.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINKS

Just like Ashraf wrote some time ago, the browser discussion really can be a impassioned one and everyone has a favorite. In my case, it’s definitely (and by a long distance) Opera. In my book, Opera may not have as many extensions as Firefox or Chrome but it is the fastest, most stable modern browser available today. My favorite thing in Opera is it’s built in email client (Opera mail).

You can grab Opera Next from the link below:

Version: v12.00 Alpha

Supported OS: Windows XP and higher

Download size: 10.3 MB

Malware status: VirusTotal scan results (0/43)

Opera Next homepage [direct download]

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11 comments

  1. Jenny

    @Rob:
    How stable is M2 in 12? I’ve found in the past that there tend to be hiccups in the xx.00 versions of any major upgrades, so wait until the xx.01 versions. Things like focus jumping in lists of emails, that sort of stuff

  2. Rob

    @RobCr:

    Opera next is a long standing programme that can be installed separately to Opera main, current latest stable version. Both will continue to remain separate, and provide the option to update to their latest respective versions, ie. Next will continue to offer you upgrades to the latest beta/alpha test versions, and Opera standard will continue to offer upgrades to the latest stable releases. I’ve been running both for a few versions now, and 12.01 is the latest test version running on Opera Next, on my machine, with 12.00 now on my Opera standard installation.

  3. RobCr

    @Ashraf:
    I fired up my Opera, and discovered that I already had JS disabled.
    One can right click a safe web page, and navigate to Site Preferences, and allow JS for that site.
    The good news is – that probably is providing the desired protection
    The bad news is – It is ‘uncomfortable’ (for want of a better word, that has not jumped to mind, yet).
    I was reading some posts on the Opera forums, and I am not alone with my ‘uncomfortable’ feeling.
    A few are saying that they feel forced to stick with FF and NoScript.

    My “Surely, you can’t be serious” comment on one of your other web pages, has not incited any response from the gaggle of Chrome users.
    I believe I experimented with Chrome around about the same time that I played with Opera’s JS.
    From memory it was much, much worse than Opera (if not impossible).
    Come on Chrome users, ‘snap out of it’, and tell me that I am wrong. (Tell me how you are achieving what I described at the beginning of this post).

  4. Giovanni

    Thanks jevvv for your comment.

    After a swift search I finally found the right tool I was looking for:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/Opera-Backup-Professional.shtml

    As you can see it supports IMAP and POP3 , meaning it can even backup off-line email….

    And with this free utility it’s also possible to make a successful migration between two different operating system: cool, isn’t it??

    Alternatively, why not sync OPERA SETTINGS among several PCs using Dropbox??

    http://my.opera.com/Tamil/blog/sync-opera-settings-between-computers-using-dropbox

    Enjoy!

  5. jevvv

    @Leandro – thanks for sharing the Opera love!

    @Ashraf – I thought it did have some add-ons available now? Most stuff I want and are add-ons in FF are already standard in Opera (but I’m just a fairly basic user)

    @Giovanni – the reason I first found Opera was being on a slow dial-up connection and running Win95 – it rocked then and rocks now :) Check Tamil’s blog – he often has tips on backing up and various settings: http://my.opera.com/Tamil/blog/

  6. Giovanni

    Most stable and faster browser ever….no way…definitely the best browser for slow connections like mine!!

    I’d never used it till version 11 because of the lacking of extensions.

    Just a question for you (LEANDRO or ASHRAF): what’s the best FREE tool to backup all OPERA settings for v 11??

  7. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    I also love Opera. No doubt it is the most stable browser on my computer. Pity the lack of add-ons, though.

    @RobCr: I don’t know for sure but my guess is “no” — once Opera 12 is released you will need to upgrade to it. But there may be a trick on how to install multiple Operas, like I wrote about Firefox a few months back.

    Also I don’t believe there is a NoScript for Opera but you can enable/disable JavaScript at will.

  8. RobCr

    Will it remain (continue) as a separate program, once it is production ?
    IE will we be allowed to run Opera 11 and 12 side by side, once it is out of Beta ?

    I have not used Opera for a while (it is in there, but not being used, apart from my usual set of open Tabs)
    I cannot recall, if it can run NoScript, or whether I turned off JavaScript.
    That is a deal breaker for me.
    I do not want Javascript running, when I visit new sites.