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Opera 15 Preview for Windows and Mac with Chromium Engine Released (opera.com)
140 points by Indyan on May 28, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 127 comments

I don't get it. Maybe i misremember but I thought Opera was a feature rich browser with an email client, widgets and a bunch of other stuff.

Now mail has been shunted into its own product. I don't see widgets. It really looks and feels like a skin for Chrome and nothing more which makes me wonder what the point is. If I want Chrome I will use Chrome.

OK, this is a preview but the news doesn't suggest any of these old features are coming across.

"Opera is bloated!" is a common complaint and users assume that having e-mail/rss/irc client makes browser fat and slow (even though Opera with those features used less RAM and disk space than some other "lean" browsers).

Did Opera ever target these users?

I always thought the selling point was the e-mail /rss / irc etc. The things Opera came bundled with. I am sure these will still be available via extensions but then again I don't see the point of Opera now. It is now the same as Chrome.

Each browser has its own selling point. I feel that Opera has lost its by stripping out email and providing no news on other features. I always interpreted these features as the differentiators, the soul of the Opera browser. Opera users were people who embraced these things. Opera used to ship with a built in bittorrent support.. how sweet was that!?

I moved away from Opera when I used IRC and bittorrent far less. I also realized I could test less if I built a site testing as I go in a popular browser rather than a fringe one.

I probably could have done everything I did in Opera using extentions in another browser but Opera just did it out of the box. Its features had consistency and were easy to access. The reason I would choose Opera is because of what it used to be packaged with.

In it's current form it is an alternative version of Chrome.. I guess I could develop in it and have Chrome covered but realistically it would be simpler to just use Chrome. I just don't get it.

> I always thought the selling point was the e-mail /rss / irc etc

None of these are 'selling points'. There is better software available for Email, RSS and IRC. If you don't want many tools, ok, you might like Opera more, but they are no reason to choose Opera over any other browser.

The reasons I choose Opera for my daily work are:

  - awesome UI (yes, it actually *is* better than Chrome or FF)
  - feature-rich
  - fast
  - smart caching
  - best incognito mode integration
  - superior integrated download manager
  - pages actually do scroll smoothly
  - stable with dozens of tabs, see http://i.imgur.com/Z55rPDh.png
Also, Opera has always brought innovation with it, e.g. tab-sessions, Speeddial, Tabgroups, Opera Link, Opera Unite, reloading tabs on startup, etc ...

At the end of the day a browser is a tool and you have to pick the right one for your task. For browsing, Opera clearly wins - at least it does for me. See also my comment here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5176327

@Topic: Opera Next is currently just another Chrome skin. Lets hope they don't forget to implement what makes them special.

Widgets have been a zombie product for years, with virtually no users and no development. It was actually removed from Opera about a year ago IIRC, so Chrome had nothing to do with it.

The only thing I'll miss from O12 is Dragonfly. Probably just a habit, but I found it much more intuitive and well designed.

Dragonfly is one of the best!

Maybe its still alive but not released yet depending on what they mean with this job offer


I agree. I used the inbuilt RSS feed reader a lot, and I preferred it over other solutions because of the integration. As long as I am surfing the web, I will keep Opera open, and I will automatically get the latest RSS feeds. I didn't need to open a different website or launch another app.

I'm biased since I've worked on it, but I personally find the native UI a pretty major thing.

I wish I could have tried it but as usual no love for linux users from opera, or much delayed love.

But still I have a hard time thinking that removing many features, not improving features that have been broken for years while almost doubling the size of the download is any kind of improvement.

I wish opera would release their engine as opensource so people can take it up from there. I don't want no google/apple browser or webkit only web experience.

you are mistaken, there is a lot of love to unix'ish systems. for example opera is the only "popular" browser with packages for freebsd.

This is a new product so I would be _very_ suprised if they didn't limit the amount of platforms they released it initially to.

It is a major thing but, as someone who's worked on it, how about addressing the parent's point?

It looks and works great so far. Good job.

Widgets? They have been replaced by Extensions.

No middle click on tab bar to create new tab.

Simple mouse gestures work, but without visual guide, configuration and without right click + scroll.

Most horrible thing: MDI don't work. Popups opens in new window, like other browsers, instead of new tabs, like old Opera! Alerts currently don't have any chrome, so may be they would develop this later.

Opera Link don't work.

Text selection in links via mouse don't work.

No sidebar.

Verdict: in current state unusable for old Opera users.

Two things I noticed -

1. No tab 'recycle bin' (you can get this with extensions in other browsers, but I always liked that Opera had it out of the box.)

2. The downloader is similar to Chrome's one, and I've always hated Chome's downloader. I want my browser to ask me whether I want to open the file (i.e. save into /tmp and open) or to save. I download a lot of things such as Office documents, tarballs, torrent files (etc) that I don't want to have to manually delete from my downloads folder when I'm done.

I can appreciate that this is a beta version, but right now, it looks a lot like Chrome with a different skin. I just hope it doesn't remain like that for long, as Opera is the one browser that annoys me the least.

Extensions are much slower and annoying to manage. If Opera Next does not include all the features Opera users used to have (the bin is just one of them) then none of them will actually use it. If we wanted Chrome, we would use it.

Below there is a list not so important missing features.

No thumbnails/previews in tab bar.

No any customisation of toolbars.

No fast forward.

One-key keyboard shortcuts work, but funny: in text boxes they work simultaneous with text input.

Ctrl+Z don't open old tabs.

No image properties, so no EXIF viewer.

Guys, please remember that the browser has been rebuilt from scratch. It's going to take a while to get all of the features we want back in.

Having spent 2 mins with it, aside from what has already been mentioned...

No mouse chording (distinct from gestures). Wikipedia even highlights Opera as a key implementation of mouse chording, and now its gone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_chording

No closed tabs drop down. Its not uncommon for me to want to dig out a tab I may have closed 20 tabs ago. Reopening one-by-one is terrible.

No forward slash search (á la Vim, or indeed, Firefox)

If these things aren't tabled for Opera 15's release, then thats it, I'll be back to Firefox after 9 years on Opera. These sort of small features are Opera's bread and butter, things that have become second nature to me, and I suspect many. Certainly for me, its these little things that have kept me on Opera until now.

Where can we go to provide feedback? The OP provides no obvious link.

Trying to be positive, Stash looks like it might be useful.

What makes you think they intend to get all the features we want back in? I hope you're right, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that's the case.

I'm afraid bunch of features will never came back, but hope I'm wrong. Settings menu looks terrible, everything is missing.

AFAIK he works on it.

This is simple list of such features.

Judging by past Opera development, they always need massive complains to fix something.

Bookmarks. I can't use the browser without normal bookmarks.

The main reason I use Opera: Editing preferences for every site separately.

Starting from the scratch and reimplementing everything that was slowly improved through many years is impossible. The proper way is replacing/improving piece by piece of the system. The management should have read


But they won't blame themselves to lose what's left of their loyal customer base if they just deliver a rebranded Chromium.

    > The main reason I use Opera: Editing preferences for every site separately.
Does firefox's about:permissions do what you want?

I haven't tried Firefox, but I can tell you what I do in Opera: default settings are restrictive, then when I want to enable something on some site, I go to "Edit site preferences". The site name e.g. news.ycombinator.com is already there. And imagine I want to allow everything on the whole ycombinator.com, I just delete "news." then allow what I want (e.g. JavaScript).

That way I enjoy the quietness (by default) of the sites and the higher security of browsing. When I really, really need sites which depend on too much moving parts I start some other browser, but for day-to-day browsing I enjoyed not having to install any extension but still having something like "noscript." If Opera fails, I'll have to discover how to get similar functionality on some other browser.


I was hoping they'd keep UI, just swap the internals. That was main reason I used Opera - I feel like it's interface was much more powerful than those of other browsers, but engine performance just wasn't there.

But this doesn't bear any resemblance to Opera I knew and liked.

No pinned tabs. No 'paste-and-go'. No... nothing.

I fully understand why they did it, and it very well might be just what they needed to do to survive, I won't be looking back.

...and I was hoping to ditch Safari :(

Keep in mind that this is just a preview, a work in progress until they are back at where they were!

If the mail client is good, then having it stand-alone is a great idea - with Thunderbird no longer updated I could do with an alternative on Windows (something that uses less RAM than keeping GMail open in a Chrome tab...)

For me the built-in mail/rss is one of the main reasons I stick to Opera, it's just so convenient not having to switch applications.

Yes! I never liked the idea of having my mail and browsing experience tied to the same process and effecting everything. (Yes you can Opera Mail with another profile, but thats just confusing when opening links from mails etc)

    > with Thunderbird no longer updated
What are you talking about?

Mozilla recently placed Thunderbird in a maintenance-only state, where active feature development has ceased but stability, security, and speed improvements will continue to be merged. This is why Thunderbird is on v17 instead of Firefox's v21 after graduating versions in lockstep with Fx for a while.

It doesn't mean they won't accept features, they've just stated that they're not going to be focusing any of their development wherewithal on these.

Personally I think it's a good move as TB has plenty of features for a mail client but could really do with some optimization to speed and memory usage.

So what would be a good client on Windows ?

I was just recently trying eM Client, was happy at the beginning as it has nice interface and integrates with GMail contacts and calendar. Was considering even buying the license. But then I started having contact local/remote sync conflicts without having them changed on either side. And then while the modal was blocking UI, it apparently was blocking the scheduler, so it was queuing all mailbox sync operations and performs ALL of them multiple times after modal is closed...

So I guess back to Opera Mail. Other ones like TB, Sylpheed don't cut it for me.. I guess they have UI and network actions within the same thread, and that makes them get stuck.

The sync conflicts are certainly not a usual thing to happen if no change has happened on either side.

Also the modal UI blocks only the one sync queue - i.e. the one for contacts & calendars in that account. All other accounts including mails for that same account should continue syncing.

I'd love to help you with those issues - you can contact me at grafnetr@emclient.com

Inky is an excellent mail client. http://inky.com/

There was a thread on HN a few months back that talks about its unique security/password sharing model. It's clear that the developers put a whole lot of love into it.

It does not exist. Trust me on that one.

Mail client looks based on old Opera engine. It needs investigation.

Just installed it and my only comment so far is that, when maximized, there is a non-clickable gap between the top of a top and the top of the screen. This is a big usability mistake so I hope they correct it at some point. Firefox does this too and it drives me insane. Chrome is the only one (that I use) that does it right.

Firefox on Windows doesn't have this issue. You can fix this issue for classic Opera (http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=437971&...), but it seems that config manager for Opera Next doesn't work like old version (or maybe is completely removed?).

Operating system? You should file a bug against Firefox (and Opera, I suppose.)

This has been this way for the last few versions or rather since they changed the UI in version 11 I think. This allows you do double click this array to return to window mode or "drag it down" from maximized which will return it to window mode (Windows).

What OS? I have Firefox for Windows and have no unclickable space between the top of the tabs and top of the screen. I've never experienced that before on any release I can remember.

See here: http://i.imgur.com/6LFXPbV.png

You don't have that tiny (2px?) gap?

I do have that gap visually, but I can click on it to focus on that tab.

It's clickable for me and focuses the tab when clicked.

Opera on Windows, sorry I should have made that clear.

> This is a big usability mistake

Not so. That space makes things much easier when dragging the browser window around (i.e. between multiple monitors). And the casual user really does not care.

It's been like this since at least Opera 10; don't count on them doing anything about it.

Firefox has the "correct" behavior for me, though the old Opera doesn't.

Remember this ad, from exactly three years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaT7thTxyq8

And now after all this, they made Opera just a skin for Chrome?

These people have no respect for themselves.

It's still faster than a potato!

Opera used to Pack all the features of a browser and email and more into a 15MB downloadable exe. Now the browser itself is 25MB already

This is Chrome. I was hoping for Tab Overflow? No Drop Down list of Open Tabs.

They kept it like Opera, which means no H.264 support.

Basically that means i am sticking to Firefox.

The performance is amazing!

Simple selector test


On my machine


Opera 12.15: 2,089,859 Opera next: 15,609,851

The interesting question is, what do you get in Chrome. Obviously chromium is faster than the old Opera, the question is what has the new Opera to offer against the standard Chromium.

My Chrome version 27 on the same machine


Opera next is reported as Chrome version 28.

My Chrome Canary is version 29 tho

How is memory usage with many tabs open?

Does this use the same process-per-tab sandboxing that Chrome uses? I'm one of those crazy users with far too many tabs, and I was always sceptical that Chrome would be able to handle them all. Opera always ran happily with 100+ tabs.

Perhaps this is the reason for the introduction of the 'stash', which in fairness might be a better solution (as I'm not necessarily defending 100+ tabs, but its a habit that has worked for me so far)

I was a 100 tab kind of guy but this has helped me kick the habit: http://www.one-tab.com/

That site seems to be created specifically for bloated browsers like Chrome. 1981 MB memory used for around 20 tabs? That's crazy. And why would you pack so many tabs on just one single line?

In Opera you can (at least for now) wrap your tab bar on multiple lines, show an extender menu, disable it (and scroll with right mb + wheel) or simply move the tab bar on the left/right side of the screen, while having a decent resource consumption, all out of the box.

Edit: now I realized it is indeed created specifically for Chrome, it's an extension that tries to help circumvent poor browser design.

Tested it. It does.

I didn't test this one, but the new mobile version of Opera is horrible. I like Opera very much and I just can't believe they released this mobile version (also take a look at the latest reviews: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opera.brow...).

It feels like Opera is having a very hard time to keep its head above the water.

They had to release a Classic version as a result: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opera.brow....

I see a lot of complaining around here.

Apparently people are forgetting that this a preview release.

The features familiar to Opera users that are missing will be added in the next iterations.

It's a clear and simple thing to understand. Quit whining already.

Every change will break someones workflow.


Let's try to put this in some perspective: this is a 'new product' 'built from scratch' that has been provided at a version 1 'alpha release' level by an independent browser company based on a tried and tested rendering engine.

Like most users there are some features I will sorely miss here but I'm going to give it a try for a few days. See how things go from there.

Seems like Opera has given us a lot of innovation in the past. Most people might miss the significance of the change to Chromium for a small company like Opera. My gut feeling is that once they get over this initial bump in the road we will see a lot more existing and new features come our way (at least I will hold on to that thought!). I suspect they have much more time to focus on adding cool stuff now rather than keeping their head above water and we should all get a first-rate new browser to play with as a result.

Let's see what happens but I won't ever pass judgement on any first ever 'built from scratch' 'alpha' release of something.

I'm not exactly sure "built from scratch" applies to this new browser considering it mostly just seems to be Chrome at this point and not really bringing many features from older Opera.

It really fascinates me that no one, not even in the comments on the Opera blog, seems to have noticed that you cannot add a new search engine. I guess people are happy as long as Google is available.

Opera Next aren't going to be released next week, so they can still migrate a lot of features, but I do agree with those who are concerned that they won't manage to move "enough" features to keep all their old users. I also wonder how fare they are will to diverge from Chromium, the further away they go, the harder it might be to keep in sync.

One have to wonder: "How important is the desktop browser to Opera business?" Do they make enough money on the desktop version to make it worth porting every single feature in order to keep all their current users?

Opera has been my primary browser since version 9 or so. When I heard the announcement that they will use the Chromium engine I was actually quite happy. They have been contributing to web standards a lot and with the power of the Chrome community I'm sure we will see big innovations.

However this preview release is a big downer for me. I know it is a work in progress but it is missing some key features like the RSS reader, the ctrl + z combo to bring back closed tabs and many more. So I'm not switching just yet but I'm hopeful.

also i found ctrl + shift + L is missing which was an excellent way to export all links from a page (like an apache index-of page)

and the biggest annoyance (which was only working in opera before): i usually set up custom domains to my local development like lepunk.loc or similar. opera used to interpret it correctly but now it does what any other browser do: does a google search

I just tried the Peacekeeper benchmark from Futuremark (http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/) on both Chrome and Opera Next on Windows 8 x64.

The results:

Chrome Version 26.0.1410.64 m: 2418 points, HTML5 Capabilities 5/7

Opera Next Version 15.0.1147.18: 4248 points, HTML5 Capabilities 5/7

Anyone else get similar results?

Opera: reported as Chrome 28.0.1500.20: 4326

Chromium: reported as Chrome 29.0.1513.0: 4226

Chrome: reported as Chrome 27.0.1453.94: 4244

That's because Opera 15 is based on Chrome 28.

Yep, a better comparison would be Opera Next and Chrome Canary

I didn't know Opera mail was so good. Now I want it to be bundled with Opera. It's pretty awesome. Except I wish they had a "All Mail" folder... rather then this rather confusing

"Unread" and "Received" folders, that seem to contain pretty much the same thing until you read them, then it is removed from both.

That sounds like a bug. "Received" is supposed to be like "all [received] mail", both read and unread. Works like a charm on 12.15.

I've never been much of an Opera fan but this is looking really nice. The speed dial and stash features look like a good replacement for bookmarks too.

I'd try it out full-time but I can't live without my 1password extension :/

Here's a list of features supported by the latest Chrome and latest Opera http://caniuse.com/#compare=chrome+28,opera+12.1

There's a couple of things that Opera might be loosing in this update, with the switch to Blink. Hopefully anything the do loose they'll be able to port over soon.

The most annoying feature in Chrome to me is its inability to select text. Yes, you read that right, it is impossible to select text in Chrome. Instead, what you get is selected elements – divs, headlines and the like, which causes horrible breakage if you just want to select (and then copy) simple letters.

Huh? I'm using chrome now and can easily select single letters, words or your whole comment. Care to elaborate?

Windows 7 - Version 27.0.1453.94 m (which BTWI copied and pasted from Chromes about page)

This is what claudius means (screenshots from the latest versions running on Ubuntu 13.04):

Firefox: http://i.imgur.com/2yPmm0K.png

Chrome: http://i.imgur.com/EXz8wQF.png

FWIW, I have the not uncommon affliction of selecting text on articles and blog posts as I read along. Chrome's text selection "paradigm" is greatly annoying as it tends to be a little, uh, unpredictable on layouts with a middling level of complexity.

Ahh yep, think I understand now. Thanks for the screenshots :)

Edit: And now that you've pointed it out the way that chrome does it is really annoying!

Selecting single words, letters etc. works fine, yes, but Chromium seems to tend to select whole elements rather than only the ‘visible’ text. There was a particular case recently where this annoyed me greatly, I will try to remember it as my memory currently appears to be blacked out.

(Another annoying bit about Webkit in general: if you underline an element (such as a link) and then use sup inside this element, the underline is moved up under the superscript.)

Also, I can't find how to put my tabs on the left side of the window.

I don't think I can live without this anymore. What's the point of having wide screens if you stack everything vertically?

I also hope they won't remove the bookmark panel. Having your entire bookmark tree open anytime is a very pleasant feature in my opinion.

Tabs on the left is so awesome. First thing I checked, sad to not see it included :(

Firefox has a plugin for it but it's all just too sluggish.

I'll just use the old opera for now.

Even with chrome you can have it (or has it been removed recently?)! It was in chrome://flags!

This is a bigger PR disaster than Xbox One. Everyone is criticizing Opera for the gutted features.

These are the old users who are whining. Opera's old user base is a good riddance. Opera was a slow, bloated browser, which no-one wanted to use. Now it has a chance at being a decent browser and acquiring a new user base, who doesn't care about those 'gutted features'.

    Now it has a chance at being a decent browser and 
    acquiring a new user base, who doesn't care about those 
    'gutted features'.
By doing what, exactly?

Slow? It was actually pretty efficient. It ran extremely well on old computers that Firefox and Chrome crawled on.

Opera was a slow, bloated browser

Now it's bigger with less features.

The market share of power users might be smaller, but there Opera at least had a chance. Competing for the "I can't do shit so I don't want options" crowd against Google and their shamelessly emotional ads? No chance. No good reason to even try, either.

Opera slow and bloated? Excuse me, but did you look at the download size? Opera 12 is tiny compared to Chrome and the new version, and it has a much smaller footprint. Opera runs on old hardware Chrome couldn't even dream of running on.

Here's my question… If it's basically just a reskinned Chromium, why even bother with it?

No built in Flash? I mean it's kind of a dealbreaker in Chrome, not just against Opera but Safari too.

You don't need to install any Adobe crapware, still you can use it. Also you can disable it and set it up to use it like the Click-to-Flash extension.

While I understand what drove the decision to start using Webkit, I was hoping for a more Opera-like UI and experience. All the power features are gone. Unfortunately this preview looks like just another Yandex browser.

It's like I'm really using Chrome! Although probably everyone saw this coming - it's just a skin of Chromium. They just took a few months to make a new mail client and put Opera icons everywhere.

Oh yes, cause that's clearly all they have been doing. Not completely changing their entire business, learning how Chromium works, building their mobile version, changing a complete theme, separating mail client, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.

You clearly don't develop software, if you think all they did the last 3 months is add icons.

I do develop software, which is why I understand why it wasn't possible to just change things under the hood. This was inevitable when you think about it, you can't change to a new codebase and expect to have any of the old features that don't exist in Chromium.

It's not just a skin. It's a new interface remade from scratch. And unlike Chrome it's actually native. Must have been a massive undertaking.

The new email client seems to be the old Opera only with browsing features removed. Must have been a quick job.

So on both of these it's the opposite of what you are claiming...

It doesn;t allow Tab Overflow or any other UI features suggest to me this is nothing more or a Rework of Skin instead of a whole new UI rewritten from scratch.

Pet features not being implemented yet doesn't mean it's a skin. Read what the Opera devs are writing instead of speculating.

What do you mean native? How is this more native than Chrome?

A recent change in Chrome I've noticed are menus and context menus. They are no longer native and I guess they resemble ChromeOS' menus.

I think they have done a good job of making an opera-flavored chromium. It already feels like opera in many ways. Now all we need is some more features. I'm very excited for the next versions.

A thing I've noticed is that pinch to zoom is much more smooth than Chrome in OS X.

How do I switch tabs using my keyboard? Cmd-<N> doesn't work, so does not Cmd-Alt-Left|Right.

Ctrl-tab works for cycling (and ctrl--shift-tab or ctrl-` for cycling in reverse), but I too miss either cmd-opt-arrow or (my preference) cmd-shift-[ and -].

I hope that there is a preferences dialog somewhere where one can change that? (On Debian, hence no new version for me yet.)

Isn't control-tab and control-shift-tab usual key combination for that?

Can you install Google Chrome extensions to Opera Next?

You can't install them from the chrome store, but if the developer uploads the to the opera add-on store you can install it.

Anybody know whether they plan to stick with Chromium or will switch to Blink in the future?

Opera Next 15 is based on Chromium 28 which is the first stable release of Blink. So you're looking at Blink already.

Yes. :)

By sticking with Chromium, Opera will automatically start using Blink when Chromium starts using it.

Ha! Right, I meant Webkit in the OP, but that answered my question anyway. Thanks!

Possibly off topic, but any idea as to what they are going to do with presto?

Have they removed bookmarks?

They are adding features as they go, so I might still come. Strange they left out such an essential feature however.

The "Stash" feature on the speed dial page seems intended to replace it. I've long since stopped using in-browser bookmarks in favor of just keeping tabs around forever, so this seems like a good compromise.

They are merged with the speed dial feature, which now has folders. More like visual bookmarks.

I'm wondering too. I can't find any option related to bookmarks whatsoever.

This makes me wish to pay for Opera just so they keep it as great as it is.

I've just tryed it out and it looks awesome!! Good job Opera!

does it show weird size variations on the text here? that's what i got with chrome on android and why i switched to opera...

Nice to see a company that cares about users up its game. Opera is now at the forefront along with google, and unlike google, will actually make features people want.

Never having to use the chrome bookmark manager again (or firefoxes or safaris) is a huge sell for me.

As for all the features they dropped, Im sure there are or will be extensions for that. Personally, I prefer the browser to be screaming fast with just enough features that I need. I could never switch to opera in the past because it was simply too slow.

Also, I wont get ads for Google products in browser or prompts to "login" to my browser as Google has been doing lately. YAY!

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