Opera releases browser for SA

2012-11-06 10:34
Bruce Lawson of Opera believes that the web is the future. (Bruce Lawson)

Bruce Lawson of Opera believes that the web is the future. (Bruce Lawson)

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Cape Town - Opera Software has released the latest version of their desktop browser that has built-in support for South African websites.

The final version of Opera 12.10 for desktop has been designed with Speed Dials aimed at South African users.

"South Africans can also look forward to local Speed Dial as, for the first time in the country, Opera Desktop has country specific settings for South Africa," Norway-based Opera said.

The firm has also partnered with local companies Kalahari.com and BidorBuy as content partners which is indicative of the e-commerce drive targeting the local market.

Opera has confident that the browser will continue to grow, despite the exponential expansion in the number of apps available across multiple platforms.

Mac support

"Betting against the web hasn't proven to be a particularly useful strategy for a decade and a half for anybody. Betting with the web seems to me to be the only way forward," Bruce Lawson, open standards evangelist at Opera Software told News24.

The new browser also supports social network extensions that saves users time because it allows direct interaction with Facebook and Twitter, or focuses on website text, a particularly useful tool for mobile screens.

The HTML 5 standard in the Opera browser allows a website to access the camera on a mobile device or desktop PC.

"The latest frontier if you like, is letting HTML and websites access the camera. Previously, if you wanted to access the camera, you had to accept the Flash plugin; now it's in Opera 12 on mobile, desktop... it's in Chrome, and it's coming in Firefox - it's something called getUserMedia and that gives a website access to a device's camera," said Lawson.

Opera 12.10 has added support for Macs with a Notification Centre and pinch-and-zoom support in Windows 8.

Opera browser make up a small percentage of desktop machines, but leads the mobile ecosystem, thanks, in part, to its ability to reduce the data footprint of the web page.

Opera's share of the desktop market is around 2%, compared to global leader Chrome at 35%.

On mobile devices, the Opera browser commands around 22% of the market, matched closely by the Android browser, at around 20%.

Opera 12.10 is a free download from the website.


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