The new browser includes an updated and more prominent RSS tool, and rendering technology designed to cut out the need for horizontally scrolling across Web pages, regardless of screen size. The same technology also means that online content can be printed on any size of paper without losing the information at the edges.
Unlike the Windows version, the Linux version of Opera does not incorporate IBM's ViaVoice speech technology. An Opera spokesman said this is because the ViaVoice technology is not available on the Linux platform.
Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner has promised that people who have licensed Opera 7 will receive free upgrades when the new version is officially released.
Opera has not yet revealed what the final version will be called. It is likely to be called Opera 8.0 rather than the next logical version number of 7.6, given that it has so many new features. The 'about' page of the beta version refers to itself as version 8.0.
The beta can be downloaded from Opera's Web site.