I’ve been pondering if I should downgrade the web browser on my slower machine. This two-year old page rates the various browsers on an old 800 Mhz XP SP2 machine, and from their results, it looks to me like Opera 9 is the fastest of the current browsers out there.
So overall, Opera seems to be the fastest browser for Windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features.
Opera is of course now free for desktops, and includes tabbed browsing. And IE7 and Firefox have indirectly helped it, by forcing developers (well, most of them) to consider how their sites work and look in browsers other than IE6, so maybe I’ll give it a go.
Opera is also bloody ugly. If there were ugly browser awards, it would win. The toolbars are a joke – they take up half the screen!
I love Opera. Has lots of features “out of the box”, and a lot of them are genuinely useful. It seems smooth and unobstructive which are very subjective quilities that could probably be put down to objective qualities like speed and the inclusion of specific features if I could ever work out wich ones these. Put another way, I can do want I want without a lot of fustration. I found firefox to be bland and tedious (slightly) compared to Opera. I can’t see firefox being used seriously without the installation of additional extensions
It is slightly unconventional in the way it does some things, and finding yor way around these is a bit tricky, but by no means as hard as lot of software. And it has it faults but none overwhelming.
As for the toolbars taking up half the page, they don’t for me. I may have removed a lot of them when I set it up, I can’t remember but it wasn’t hard (having experience back to opera 6.5 may have helped but I don’t think it is hard). And I must admit I haven’t upgraded to 9.x yet, from 8.54, but find it hard to beleive that Opera would change things drastically. As for “ugly”, I wholeheartedly disagree. If anything the look is understated and could not easilly be called elegant or ugly. In fact, Ren, were you using the standard windows version or something customised, say something that was part of a Linux installation.