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Opera releases beta of latest browser

Aimed at Web 2.0 developers, Opera Software's version 9 beta offers widgets, BitTorrent support and content blocking.

Opera Software on Thursday released a beta version of its free browser, Opera 9, which offers features such as small Web applications and content blocking.

The beta for Opera 9 will include six new features ranging from Widgets, or small Web programs, to support for download technology BitTorrent to customization of search engines.

"Opera 9 brings powerful new features to enhance the Web browsing experience and empower Web 2.0 developers," Jon Tetzchner, Opera chief executive, said in a statement.

The small Web applications will range from streaming news to games to multimedia capabilities and allow developers to also create their own and share them, without regard to the operating system.

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Video: New Opera Web browser debuts
CNET's Robert Vamosi looks at the newest version of the browser.

Opera 9 also aims to allow users to click a torrent file and begin its download without having to rely on a separate BitTorrent application for downloading large files.

Users will also have the option of customizing which search engine to use with their browser and the ability to block content, such as certain ads or images, on a particular Web page. Other features are designed to enable users to open a number of tabs at once in Opera 9 and view the contents via a thumbnail preview or image.