Opera has released the beta of Opera 10.50 — the latest version of its desktop Web browser.

The brand new JavaScript engine, Carakan, runs Web applications faster and more smoothly – according to Opera more than eight times faster than its predecessor – and can speed up even the most demanding Web sites. In addition to faster JavaScript, Opera 10.50 includes an updated version of the unique Opera Turbo technology for significantly faster browsing on limited networks than any other Web browser.

Opera’s new high performance graphics library, Vega, enables fast and smooth graphics for everything from tab switching to animation on Web pages.

The new Opera menu in Windows replaces the menu bar and 10.50 offers overall improved visuals such as Speed Dial, effects on visual tabs and more.

With private browsing in Opera 10.50, users can browse and leave no trace of the Web sites visited or other actions performed. Users can create private tabs and private windows.

The new address field shows matching results in the history, bookmarks and even actual content on the pages visited. Users can use different search engines and Web-site searches from the new Search field.

A new platform allows Opera Widgets to move beyond the Web browser and into the desktop. Each widget can run as a separate process, independent from the browser, leading them to behave as native applications.

The new Opera Presto 2.5 engine in Opera 10.5 beta provides enhanced support for HTML5, full support for CSS 2.1 and much of the latest CSS3, displaying Web sites, just as developers and designers intended them to look.

“Our previous JavaScript engine, Futhark, was the fastest when it was first introduced a few years ago, and the challenge for our engineers was to once again to make Opera the fastest browser on earth,” says Christen Krogh, Chief Development Officer, Opera Software. “We are proud today to show the results of the amazing work the team has done, and we are looking forward with great anticipation to the final release of Opera 10.50.”

Opera 10.50 beta offers a minimalist, sleek design and maximum browsing space and is it is currently available for Windows users here. Mac and Linux betas are expected soon.

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