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Opera 10 to emerge Tuesday

The next version of the browser includes support for new Web standards and a Turbo mode for poky Net connections.

Opera Software will release version 10 of its browser Tuesday, a new version of software that has loyal fans but not as much adoption as several rivals.

The Norwegian company says Opera 10 has better performance, a Turbo mode for slow Internet connections, support for a variety of Web standards such as Web fonts, and improvements to the Opera Mail feature. The company issued two Opera 10 release candidates for the free software in the last week, and spokeswoman Falguni Bhuta announced Monday the final version will arrive September 1.

Opera has been available for years as an alternative to the dominant Microsoft Internet Explorer, the second-ranked Firefox, and Apple's Safari. It was pushed into fifth place with the arrival of Google Chrome. The Opera browser often charts new territory, though. For example, its Speed Dial feature, which presents an array of Web site thumbnails when a person opens a new browser tab, was first introduced in 2007. A similar feature can now be found in Chrome and Safari, and Firefox may add something comparable.

The new Carakan JavaScript engine, which is used to run Web-based applications such as Google Docs, isn't done yet, and the Unite feature is slated for a version 10 update.

Firefox, Safari, and Chrome also all are working furiously on better JavaScript performance too, in an effort to make the Web a better foundation for applications.