Opera 12

Opera logo Today Yesterday Opera 12 has been released. See What’s new in Opera for an overview of new features.

What I want to highlight is Opera 12 has 64 bit version on Windows. To download 64 bit version of Opera, go to download page and click More options, and select 64 bit in Architecture. Then click Download Opera.

By default, 64 bit version of Opera installs into Opera x64 folder. In this case, it would create a new profile. If you want to keep your current user profile with all settings that you used with the previous 32 bit version, you have to install Opera into Opera folder.

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Firefox 13

Firefox logo On June 5, 2012 Firefox 13 was released. There are several new features which are noticeable to users.

New Tab

When you open a new tab, you’ll see the list of most frequently visited sites instead of blank page. So now Firefox has the new tab page that is similar to Internet Explorer 9. Such page in Opera — Speed Dial — has been one of the highlighted features for a long time. I can’t even remember when Speed Dial showed up in Opera for the first time.

Firefox combined the approaches of both browsers. In Opera, user is in control, they select which links are displayed in Speed Dial. In Internet Explorer the list of links is created automatically, it’s based on how often you visit different web sites.

It’s easy to pin a link in new tab page in Firefox. And such link will be side-by-side with automatically generated suggestions.

Quick Start

Starting with Firefox 13, background tabs are not loaded when you start the browser — only the active tab is loaded. As the result, Firefox starts much faster.

Pages in other tabs are loaded when the tab is activated. (Yes, you’ll have to wait… later.)

There’s additional benefit in this approach: Firefox uses less memory since only the viewed pages are loaded into memory.

Windows 8 Release Preview

On May 31, Windows 8 Release Preview became available for download.

This was also announced in Delivering the Windows 8 Release Preview post with additional details on what changes were incorporated to it since the first preview last September.

Personally I haven’t tried the previous release. I only read about it. I am not fond of the new Start menu where (multi-)touch is the key of user experience. I don’t have any devices with touch. So it’s the first release of Windows that I am not excited about.

I understand the reasons why they made it that way. It’s rather expected step to converge user experiences across multiple devices. On the other hand, it assumes all new computers in offices should support touch, doesn’t it?