Opera 7: it’s here

The Opera 7 beta has arrived. And it’s glorious.

I’ve only just downloaded it, but it’s already clear to me that this is a fantastic step forward for the Opera browser. Check this out:

  • You can save and re-open sessions (sets of open windows), just as I had been hoping.
  • Multiple user accounts are supported. (Older versions of Opera could be tweaked to allow different users to have their own preferences/settings/favourites, but it was a bit of a hack.)
  • <link> tag site navigation is supported by means of a slick extra toolbar. Not many sites use these <link> tags yet, but Mozilla and Opera both support them, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be in Internet Explorer 7, too. It’s a great usability and accessibility feature. Within 2-3 years, I reckon that <link> tag site navigation will be ubiquitous across the web. (Note to self: must implement this on Sunpig now!)
  • New mail client program, called “M2”. I haven’t played with this yet, but it looks intriguing. It tries to go beyond a standard email program, and allow you to treat your mail as a freeform database kind of thing.

Also, the browser has been given a fresh new look, with rounded tabs and sexy transition effects on the menu buttons. All in all, it just looks utterly fabulous. I’ll try and do a more extensive review once I’ve had a chance to work with it some more.