[UPDATE October 8, 2013] Opera 17 is here, and you should totally download it and make it your default browser. You’ll thank me later.
It looks like my quest to find the
perfect most-adequate default web browser is over, at least for the time being. It is Opera 15, and you can download it here.
As my readers and friends know, I have been displeased with most mainstream browsers for quite some time. I have used Google Chrome and Firefox extensively. I have tried Safari, Internet Explorer (HA!), Opera 12, and Chromium. My penultimate adventure was with the Yandex Browser.
None of the above fit the bill, for various reasons.
Tired of experimenting, I reluctantly tried the new Opera 15 browser. And it is a winner.
Opera 15 has (almost) everything that I need from my default browser. It is simple and fast. It is built on top of Chromium by a Scandinavian (Norwegian) company. It has mobile and tablet versions (which I have yet to try).
I added my own personal touch to Opera — I disabled all plugins and extensions. This makes the browser even faster, with the added benefit of not showing the most-annoying, Flash-based ads.
I have one nit to pick with Opera — the browser does not allow the user to select a default opening page. Instead, on launch it defaults to “where you left off”, which is not always appropriate. I am sure the Opera team is working on giving users the choice of where to start a new browsing session.
All in all, Opera 15 is an excellent browser, and I’m glad I found it.
[UPDATE August 19, 2013] In a comment to this post Opera developer odinho writes:
We have implemented startup options in the current Developer Stream release of Opera. That is the version which will become Opera 17.
Great news, and great to see that Opera employees are listening and communicating. One more reason to choose Opera.
[UPDATE August 27, 2013] Opera 16 for Windows was released today. I am a fan. Download it here.