General: Main page  Hypertext History  Browser History  Browser Timeline
Browsers: Internet Explorer  Mosaic  Netscape  Opera
Web Editors: Frontpage  Dreamweaver
Platforms PC: Intel 16-bit(Win3.X), Intel 32-bit(Win95/98/ME, WinNT/2000/XP)
Mac: PPC OS7.5x-9.x, OSX
Other: Linux, OS/2, QNX, Symbian
About the
What began as a project to develop a small and fast browser for computers with meager resources has turned into a popular alternative to the "big two" browser vendors with its own "cult following."

Two engineers at Telenor (the Norwegian phone company) developed the Opera browser in 1994 for the company's intranet. By the end of 1995 Opera Software was created after Telenor had allowed the pair to continue development of the browser on their own.

Opera was written from scratch - it is not based on the NCSA Mosaic code or interface methodology (as Internet Explorer or Netscape are.) This gives it some unique browsing features such as page zoom and a multi-document interface browsing environment. For its small footprint it boasts a substantial feature set, such as frames, tables, JavaScript, CSS (one of the best implementations) and Java.

The latest version has come a long way from its early days - it is fast, slick and powerful...and Opera's market share is starting to make a bit of a dent - users are loyal and vocal about their browser being a great alternative to the "big two."

Versions before 2.1 were not in wide release thus are not covered. Support information is for the latest major shipping release versions (2.12 and 3.21) and does not include betas.

Version Released Features

1.0-2.0 NA Not widely released

2.1B1-B3 Sep.-Nov. 1996 Adds Frames capability
2.1 Dec. 1996 Final release of 2.1
2.12 Feb. 1997 Minor release.

3.0B1-B11 Sep.-Dec. 1997 Adds Javascript, SSL and plug-in capability. Also includes UI and hot list changes.
3.0 Dec. 1997 Final release of 3.0
3.1-3.21 Feb.-Apr. 1998 Minor releases for 3.0

3.5B1-B10 Jul.-Oct. 1998 Adds file upload, and possibly the most complete CSS1 implementation in the popular browsers. Also allows for Java functionality through a plug-in.
3.5 Nov. 1998 Final release of 3.5
3.51 Dec. 1998 Update release.
3.6 Jun. 1999 Update release.
3.61 Dec. 1999 Update release.

4.0B1 Mar. 2000 Long-awaited first beta of the 4.0 family. This version promises support for most of CSS2, all of CSS1, HTML4, XML, and WML.
4.0B2/3 Apr. 2000 Second and third beta releases.
4.0B4 May. 2000 Fourth beta release.
4.0 Jun. 2000 Final release of 4.0.

5.0 Dec. 2000 Final release of 5.0. Introduction of ad-supported free version. Increased standards support.
5.1 Apr. 2001 Update release.
5.12 Jul. 2001 Update release.

6.0 Nov. 2001 Final release of 6.0. Featuring UI changes, and performance improvements.
6.01 Feb. 2002 Update release.

Note: This page is modified from Browser History: Opera.