Opera Founder Launches Rival Web Browser for Power Users

Think browsers like Opera's Coast are too simple and don't have enough features? Then you might be interested in the latest offering from Vivaldi.

Jon von Tetzchner, former CEO and co-founder of Opera, just released a new web browser for Windows, OSX, and Linux. Vivaldi is still in beta, but it shows promise of offering enough features to please this power user.

vivaldi 1

In addition to covering the basics (tabs, bookmarks, a download tracker, etc), this early version of Vivaldi offers several features which other browsers would do well to adopt.

For example, Vivaldi lets you bookmark a page but it also features a built-in notepad which lets you write notes while you're viewing a page. This isn't the annotate features which were shown off with MS Spartan, but a simple notepad which uses can keep open as they flip between pages.

Vivaldi also does something unusual with tabs. Open enough tabs and Vivaldi will squeeze all the tabs into a finite space (like Chrome), but Vivaldi also lets users stack tabs in order to make room elsewhere on the tab bar. This can cause clutter but it also gives more control to the user.

Vivaldi also changes the color of some of the tabs to match the accent color of the website in the tab (a useful visual cue), and offers a preview window.

vivaldi 2

Like Opera, Vivaldi is based on the Blink browser engine, but it's also heavily customizable. Users can move the location of the tab bar to any of the 4 sides of the screen, shift the location of the popout panel, bring back the old menu bar (file, edit, view, etc), and more.

Vivaldi also offers a unique way to manage cookies. Many browsers will let you remove cookies, but Vivaldi also lets you block 3rd-party cookies and it will list which cookies you've picked up (it's an option in the settings menu). This might not help you with the dreaded supercookie, but it is going to prove useful at tracking those who are tracking you.

All in all, this browser is off to a great start, and I haven't even mentioned the community or other features. Vivaldi is going to offer an integrated email service in the future, and there is the Vivaldi.net community suite, which was launched last year. That site feels like  a replacement for the My Opera community which Opera shuttered in October 2013, and it provides email, social, and blogging functionality.

As it stands, Vivaldi is off to a good start, but it is still missing a few things like extensions, script managers, and plugins. While I will be watching it, I'm going to wait until things like Adblock Plus are available.

There's also no obvious way to import my tabs and settings from Chrome, which is a serious shortcoming IMO.

But I will definitely be trying it; I am frustrated by both Chrome and Firefox, and I don't like Opera or IE. So a new web browser is just the thing.

You can download the beta from the Vivaldi website.

About Nate Hoffelder (11598 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Opera Founder Launches Rival Web Browser for Power Users

  1. Does it let you turn off tabbed browsing. I’m still looking for a browser without tabs.

  2. I’ve been getting increasingly fed up with the new Opera. I’ve been using the browser for over 10 years, and the last couple have become increasingly frustrating. The final straw was Opera 27, which changed the Speed dial page with no option revert to the previous look. I downloaded Vivaldi 3 minutes later and will be giving it a good try. I held off updating from Opera 12 as long as I could, but eventually had no choice but to move forward. It’s been annoying me ever since.

    Bravo to the original Opera co-founder for attempting an alternative governed by the original philosphy. It’s not finished, no, but I’ll be using it, learning it, and offering my feedback for it.

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