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.


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.


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.


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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