Vivaldi browser enters beta, adds new features

Opera meets Chrome in this new browser competitor.

Vivaldi browser enters beta

The Vivaldi browser, a brainchild of a former Opera browser executive, has reached the beta stage, adding a few features and an Opera-like interface as it goes into wide testing.

Vivaldi the company is led by former Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner, and even though Vivaldi is based on Google's Chromium browser, it has a distinctive Opera interface. For example, the bookmarks bar is placed on the left side of the pane rather than at the top. The browser has been available as a technical preview since February. The company claims more than 2 million people have downloaded it since it entered preview.

Because it is based on Chromium, the beta supports Chromium plugins, as well as some extensions. Select Tools, then Show Extensions. It will provide you with a link to the Chrome extension store. You can get extensions for Microsoft Office Online, Pinterest, Adobe PDF Reader, and iHeartRadio, among many others.

Vivaldi has a feature called Speed Dial that saves your most visited sites, similar to the feature in Firefox and Chrome. It offers a full preview of a site when you mouse over the tabs for each open Web page, but you still can't store your bookmarks in the cloud and get them on another PC, like you can do with the major browsers.

"We’re on a mission to make a browser loved by the web’s most discerning users," said von Tetzchner in a statement. "Millions have downloaded our technical previews and many of them have given us the vital feedback we’ve needed to bring out this brand new beta. So this beta is our way of saying ‘thanks.’ We’re one step closer to building the best browser for people just like us, who want and expect their browser to help them do more on the Web."

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