The Next Wave: Opera 9.5 (Kestrel) and Opera 10 (Peregrine)

Opera Software is quite busy, actually that busy that two versions are coming. And not just on one platform, no the intention is to link many platforms together, meaning the desktop release will simultaneously come with the release for devices and mobiles. Currently Opera 9.5, code named Kestrel, is planned for a golden final release this year, while the first preview of Opera 10, code named Peregrine, will appear at the end of this year.

So what is Kestrel? A falcon. And also a warming up present from Opera Software. But you shouldn't take that too negatively, Kestrel is an in-between release, while Peregrine is the next major release (Opera 10). Kestrel will introduce some of the rendering engine changes from Peregrine which don't have a too high impact yet on the entire release. Peregrine itself, also a falcon, will have major rendering engine changes (of course everything that's in Kestrel), improvements to the user interface, performance enhancements and stunning new features. What we can expect remains to be seen, but I'm betting on an entirely new skin, one that fits Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), as well as features that, just like Speed Dial, will make the news headlines.

In this article we mainly discuss the upcoming Kestrel release as news on Peregrine is still very limited due to it's early stage.

Rendering engine improvements
Support for CSS3, where especially selectors will get a major addition. One of the most noticable is text-shadow support (multiple shadows, maximum blur limitation) to have, well, text with shadows behind them. In Opera Software's continued effort to be one of the best native SVG web browsers out there, Kestrel will have support for several functions found in SVG Tiny 1.2. Equally important are of course bug fixes for the current implementation as well as speed optimizations. Amongst other fixes include correct (not IE compatible) support of document.getElementById(), which should return the id, not the name. Additionally changes are in the house for the rendering of tables and fixes for rounding problems (using ems). With the upcoming release of ECMAScript 4, Kestrel will have a brand new JS engine as well as support for 'getters' and 'setters' for ECMAScript 4. In addition the rendering core will get some significant performance boosts, to beat all the other browsers out there.

Opera Mail improvements
Kestrel will include at least the first run of changes for Opera's mail client (aka M2), consisting of a new back-end, which should end any freezes when checking mail as well as fixes for corrupted search and indexes. Uncertain is yet if the second run of changes will make it, where a long awaited newsgroup feature is coming (what could it be?). Mail client operability is also important, and Kestrel will have full support (part of it is already in Opera 9.2) for exchanging mails between Apple Mail and Opera Mail. The problem was apparently caused by Apple Mail, which doesn't fully comply with the RFC standards for exchanging messages. One of the annoying Opera Mail bugs will also be fixed where attachements are renamed to .tmp files rather than their original names, due to content-type recognition problems. Another small change is the ability to refresh news feeds manually by pressing F5.

User interface fixes
Although no major user interface work is planned for Kestrel there seems to be a little hope that there will be a couple of small, yet wanted, changes. One of the possible changes could be site specific support for the content blocker. The code is already there, but it's keeping your hopes up that it's stable enough to include in Kestrel. Additionally site specific preferences for opera:about will work correctly in Kestrel. For the Linux platform a fix is included where when the tab bar is disabled (with the window panel on), and tabs are minimized icons are displayed (a remnent from MDI). Of course looks also matter, and the Mac native skin will get a face lift, as well as the introduction of the QT4 build for Linux. On all platforms there will be little alterations to the default user interface configuration based on usage statistics. Work is also being done in keeping the user interface responsive, especially on Unix.

And more...
Support for extra security through HttpOnly cookies will be included in Kestrel (as it will be in Firefox 3), which should prevent renegade scripts on a site setting the cookie from reading the cookie. In addition for improved security Kestrel will support EV certificates, making it easier for users to judge if they trust a web site or not. UserJS for https should be working in Kestrel according to Mitchman. Peter Karlsson has been working on an updated Info panel, which contains better organized and more information on the current website your viewing. For all those people out there with Linux/BSD, 64-bit builds are expected.

Since the early days Opera has been known for having a feature set aimed towards accessibility. Kestrel improves on that on the Windows and Mac platform by good support for Microsoft's Accessibility API (voice over and screen reader) and Apple's API (voice over and screen reader).

Unconfirmed future features
Support for the <video> tag is already present in an experimental build on Opera Labs. Microsoft Silverlight support, which by the sounds of supporting competition could be included as a default plug-in, just like Flash? For Peregrine we might see HTML 5 support as well as offline web applications (beyond Widgets) following the WHATWG specifications.

As always, please remember this is a rather incomplete article on all the changes that we can expect for Kestrel (Opera 9.5), and especially Peregrine (Opera 10). With the passing of time, and when we get new builds from the Opera Desktop Team, we'll learn more and more of what Opera Software has up its sleaves. With Kestrel this year, and Peregrine probably next year there's a lot of work being done, and a lot coming for all of us to see of the famous Opera Software innovations for the web.

Last updated on 30.08.2007: Kestrel weekly builds will start appearing from 04.09.2007

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I really hope that Opera gets a new skin. It still looks better than the default Firefox skin, but is ageing.
Another feature I really want to see is API for developing add-ons.

Btw, can you please change your favicon. I keep confusing your website with the Transfers tab.

I agree to everything, especially the add-ons API :)

There are skins and there are Widgets, which are in fact addons.

An in line spell checker that works like the one in MS Word would be brilliant and same a *lot* of time :)

Very excited about the mail fixes coming out - the freezes were getting a bit annoying...

Any chance of fixing Opera's buggy rendering of the :first-letter pseudo-element? According to the spec, leading punctuation (such as quotation marks) should count as part of the "first letter" for styling purposes. Opera doesn't do this, however.

Why can't opera add [smart] autofill? We have been begging for years!!

Hi there,

I hope (at least in Opera 10) we will finally get an Update-Manager like in Firefox for Downloading new Opera Version Updates and apply them internally..

Then many users including me want an Extension/Add-on API similar (maybe compatible) to the one in Firefox (XUL, XPCOM, XPInstall, etc.), in order that we can simply extend the features of Opera..

More info:

Widgets are not good for this..

Please make this API/SDK open-source!

Maybe you can use the improvements which Mozilla are using in the upcoming Firefox 3 with the extension system/framework.

For security reasons, you can opt-in to use the extension system/api in Opera and enable by default, that you can only load and use signed add-ons/extensions..

That last thing what is important for me at least in Opera 10, an better "real" Download-Manager with all the options and features of an "normal" external Download-Manager..!

Btw. why not ask the developer of uTorrent to work for your company and work for your BitTorrent implementation in Opera.. :)

Other features what I like to see in Opera 10+ are listed here:
And the rest here:

Thanks in advance!

best regards,


I believe update manager will be present in opera 10.

Finally, some M2 fixes...

I use M2 on a daily basis, and find some things VERY frustrating..

The lockups when checking mail, is a bug problem for me (RSS feed checking seems the worst, as it brings everything in Opera to it's knees on my high spec PC).

I REALLY hope they implement a way to only grab the last few hundred messages in a newsgroup (something Outlook Express has always supported), as when I visit a high traffic newsgroup infrequently, I have to endure 1,000's of messages before I get to THIS WEEKS's postings.. Totally unbelivable that Opera Newsgroup viewer cannot "get last xx messages". M2 developers, please say it's true :-)

We can expect it'll probably take 2-6 months from the first weekly to the final release of Kestrel.

what about support for p2p network .
Is it possible to integrate eg EMULE and organize it as an option the same way that chatting works .

This way it would be one program for all internet access 87% of people need


For years the most wanted feature in Opera has been autofill in forms such as search forms. All other browsers have it, and it is the one and only reason why I don't use Opera as my default browser. It is beyond me, why the developers still haven't realized how important this feature is.

Searching is the main activity of most users and a browser that remembers past search fields - allowing you to make easy modifications - is an invaluable help.



what about autoclick support?

I love opera, but its interface is so ugly!
Even firefox 3 is pretty than opera in mac os

In windows vista we have the same trouble

We need an inline spell checker, and BETTER SITE COMPATIBILITY. Site compatibility is what often forces me to use Firefox. I like Opera because it is very fast, has great features, and is very customisable. But what's the point of a web browser that occasionally can't browse the web. A couple cool small features = bookmark duplicate detector and ability to re-order search engines in search box. How about some new features here. This is Opera, the browser for people who want to see new features and say wow (like when saw bookmark sync and speed dial)! Also, a cool menubarless UI would be nice (like IE7). Until then, I can just use custom button placement and no menubar.

Also, I prefer no add-ons. They discourage built in features, and can slow down and cut stability of browser. Seriously, Firefox users who use add-ons either eventually get an unusable browser or have to start from scratch occasionally w/ new profile.

I would use Opera every day, except I can't get certain sites, like USA Today, to work properly under Opera. For instance, on USA Today, I can't login and participate in forums because the browser doesn't display login links and user comments (though the general site looks fine). Try commenting on any article, and you'll understand the incompatibility. Hopefully, Opera can get this corrected -- it's a superb browser, and I'd much rather use it than Firefox or Safari.

why is real player download/record doesnt function with opera? in ie and firefox i can download streaming videos/audio

i love opera > ff > all other browsers
its only drawbacks are the media plugins like someone said. it sometimes displays a box plug in not found. it's a freaking mp3. then for security protected pages, u click submit/go but opera doesn't continue

Will there ever be a download manager for Opera? I mean: the downloads are already accelerated, and there's bit torrent included, but there's no way to queue anything, and the bit torrent still has a lot to improve, such as the option of downloading separate parts...

If Opera would just focus on improving what they already have for a second...

Opera doesn't work with some websites like msn.Also search option and go to URL should open window in a new tab.

This is a feature I am desperate for. Certain sites (specifically use a rich text editor that allow a user to enter text and format it the way they would in OpenOffice or Word. I'm not sure whether it renders in ActiveX or Javascript and it may be livejournal's fault for not supporting Opera. But I know I have run into this problem on other sites too.

Opera you're my favorite web browser. Heck you're literally my favorite piece of software. I don't like it when I have to switch to IE or Firefox for a certain web page to work. I only like using Opera.

Please help a loyal fan since 2003.

opera is super..! And getting better day by day

Despite of being my fav browser, there are some things to improve on Opera (maybe in 9.5 or at least 10 version) so, here is what I'd like to see on Opera:
- Total/Partial Backup manager with saving options;
- New default skins/icons;
- Ability to create/modify your own shorcuts;
- Collection of Plugins;
- Screen Capture;
- Ability to decide how/when/where tab are opened
- Open a Firefox/IE session inside an Opera's new tab for incompatible sites; (like emulation inside a tab)
- More use of color and "Aero" look when moving the mouse over;
- Print Options from different Tab's at the same time
- Select an even number of tab's and open them side by side or mosaic style inside a new tab (like a PIP or PBP functions in TV sets)
- and at last better COMPATIBILITY with all sites

- Ability to create/modify your own shorcuts;
- Ability to decide how/when/where tab are opened

I believe both are already in... (in fact I have been using the shortcut modification since... since I started using Opera some years ago...)

When it comes to autofill, just copy key words to the note feature. My list isn't very long at all and it saves me a ton of time. Plus there is an auto complete form under the wand section. Personally, any searches I make outside these pre-configured fields will be one offs or of limited use. If I end up using a word or phrase more than that I'll just add it to the note section. Done. Easy.

Addons are nice in theory, but they either take focus from the core features or are developed on a separate track possibly affecting stability. One of the main reasons I like Opera so much is that it isn't tied up in a bunch of glitz. I understand some of these “pimpifications” add some usefulness, but if mandatory, how great is the browser itself? Simple and efficient has always been the impression I've had of Opera since I started using it the late 90s. If I wanted to bloat my browser with a bunch of adornments then I'd have no problem using Firefox. In fact, if Opera didn't exist, I'd probably love Firefox, but it does and I don't.

Of coarse Opera isn't perfect, but no browser is. I just don't see the purpose of having a me too game plan. That option already exists and that option I'm sure will make those happy looking for those features. I just feel that Opera is moving in a more efficient direction. Simple, fast and all inclusive right out of the box ready to go. Anyway, that's just my view. It's good to keep an eye on the competition, but not to play catch up. And as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing to catch up with. I happily choose to use Opera for a reason.

One window - one session.

I like Opera and of course I'm waiting for the new moderations. And it is very nice that Opera is expected for improving because it is a superb browser and I like it more then Firefox or Safari. The next wave, it seems to be important.

You know I'm still using Opera for the moment and I don't want to change anything. The news is good, and we are waiting for the new version. It is a good browser and all people who I know use it too.

I don't get it how people don't like the default skin of opera. The skin is certainly better than other browsers' skins (firefox 3 skin? yuck!). Opera is the best browser I've ever used & the expectation of something big in ver 10 makes a mouth watering prospect.

Opera is super and I must say that it is becoming better and better. But some of my friends prefer other browers. I think it is a fact of the habit.

Like most people I like Opera and I like everything witch is connected with it. For example the engine. But I'd like to see more and more improvements in it like the coloration. The developers do it perfectly, I think.

I thank Opera team for the great job they've been doing, and I request Showcase (Expose-like tab preview), please! This is what I lack the most in Opera. Not just Tab manager like in Opera 10 Beta 1, but the showcase of all open tabs in an Opera window.



This post has published three years before…or precisely I’m three years late here! Well now both the Opera 9.5 and 10 is free for download. Opera 9.5 has got some great features but for a specific reason I switched to Firefox. I don’t know why , but I couldn’t signed in to Facebook through Opera… I just couldn’t write my email id in the box. But the problem did not occur in Firefox!

Puppies for sale

The only problem that I see with Opera 10 is not related to any of the features, performance, speed or UI. I see the move from single digits to multiple digits as a unlucky move. Think about it. How many applications are you currently running or have installed today that break past version 9? There are very few if any I’m sure! I’m wondering if Opera will soon find a naming strategy in order to make their version numbers sound more friendly. Many people may not know that Opera has been around since the 90’s and may just think that Opera is a high maintenance piece of software that they will have to continuously work at to keep up to date. Inter net Explorer is just now at version 7..soon to be version 8. They will most likely not move onto version 11, 13, 17 with this product.
marire sani

that's a bit unfair that the giant Apple doesn't care about meeting the demand of all the customers, especially when we are talking about people with visual disabilities.



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