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Opera 10.20 Alpha With New Widget Behavior

25 Nov/09

The Opera development team has just released version Opera 10.10 with full support for the Opera Unite feature which makes it possible to use web server features in the Opera web browser. A glimpse of things to come is now available in the form of Opera 10.20 alpha which has just been released by the seemingly never sleeping devs.

The main feature of this release will be the new widget behavior. Here is a short explanation if you are not familiar with Opera Widgets. Widgets to Opera are what add-ons are to Firefox. The main difference so far was the fact that widgets had to run in their own web browser window while add-ons did not. The other prerequisite was that Opera had to be open at all times for the widgets to show up.

This behavior changes with this new release of Opera. It is now possible to run widgets without Opera being open, pretty much the same way that widgets are used in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Opera calls this Opera widgets for desktop.

opera widgets for desktop

Concentration on this new feature becomes apparent on the first start of Opera 10.20 alpha. The welcome page displays a Twitter and Google Translate gadget which will redirect the user to the Opera widget repository. Launching a widget will now install it on the computer system. An icon will be placed in the start menu of the computer and it is now possible to run the widget without Opera running.

google translate

Opera needs to be installed on the computer system but it is theoretically possible to install and use the widgets without running Opera afterwards at all. This is however just a first implementation of the widget for desktop feature. Widgets can be installed to every location of the computer system. The announcement over at the Opera desktop team blog contains all the changes and known issues of this Opera 10.20 alpha release. The comments are worth reading as well. The blog post does contain download links for all supported operating systems as well.

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