Opera 9 has finally reached the beta stage and for those of you who have not tried it you will be quite impressed. They have a widget engine that will allow you to add widgets that have been created by other people…similar to the Yahoo Widget Engine. In addition to widgets you will find the built-in BitTorrent downloaded quite convenient, although I do not seem to get download speeds equal to what I get with Azureus.
Overall, Opera 9 is leaps ahead of Opera 8.5, but there are also downsides. If you are a Google Calendar fanatic then you may not be too happy to see the lack of compatibility. You will be prompted with a message each time you visit Google Calendar to remind that your browser is not supported and asks if you want to continue (some things don’t appear on the screen properly in Google Calendar when using Opera). GMail used to have some frequent problems with Opera but the Opera team seems to have solved most of those. Also, Opera 9 does still have bugs here and there, after all, it is a beta build.
If you want to browse the Web with the latest Opera 9 build then it is not this beta version. Opera currently has another build (8371 at the time of this writing) which is more current. They did not release this build because of some bugs they did not want to introduce to the public. You can get the most recent release by visiting the Opera Desktop Team which updates the build one to two times per week.