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Opera 12 has been released, bringing with it a series of enhancements that could help the Norwegian browser steal users from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
The browser currently has less than two-percent share of a market where Chrome and IE each have around 32 percent, Firefox 26 percent and Safari seven percent. However, Opera chief executive Lars Boilesen said on Thursday that Opera 12 will provide something different from its bigger rivals.
"You spend hours each day in front of a web browser," Boilesen said in a statement. "Shouldn't those hours be as fun and, occasionally, as productive as possible? We think so, so we made Opera 12 the smartest, fastest and most unique browser available. In a sea of browsers that look the same and act the same, isn't it nice to know that you can get something better? We think you deserve it."
The new version debuted on Thursday, with one major new feature being the integration of Opera Extensions into the Speed Dial function. Superseding the Opera Widgets platform, the extensions allow what are effectively live widgets to populate the default tab.
The screenshot above shows several of these extensions: one shows the TED talk of the day, and another displays local weather conditions.
The Widgets platform is not the only legacy Opera feature to be turned off in the new version — Opera Unite, which effectively turned the user's PC into a web server, has also been dropped.
Image credit: Opera