Opera Software's beta of Opera 10.5 leapfrogged every rival to become the world's fastest browser, benchmark tests show.
According to tests run by Computerworld, Opera 10.5 was nearly 15% faster than Safari for Windows and almost 20% faster than Google's Chrome, the previous No. 1 and No. 2 browsers. Opera's preview was more than twice as fast as Mozilla's Firefox 3.6, over eight times faster than Opera 10.10, and 10 times faster than Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 (IE8).
Other additions to the beta include a revamped interface that reduces the space allotted to menus, support for Windows 7's Aero Peek and Jump List features, an address bar that brings the history and bookmark search of Firefox's Awesomebar to Opera, and the ability to mark any tab as private so there's no record kept of sites visited or actions taken within that tab.
The Norwegian browser maker has not set a ship date for the final of 10.5, but has said that the Windows version will beat the others to that milestone as well. About the time that the final code for Windows is released, Opera will have the Mac and Linux betas ready.
Opera 10.5 beta can be downloaded from the company's Web site.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.