Opera 8.5 released

Although it may be the least exciting Opera release ever when it comes to new features and functionality, version 8.5 is a major milestone in Opera's ten year history; as Opera Eliminates Ad Banner and Licensing Fee!

Don't know if they're still in party-mode over at Opera, but in a surprising (at least to me) move they've decided to completely do away with the licensing fee or advertisement banner for those who didn't want to spend $39 to register. As of the 20th of September 2005 the full-featured, ad-free Opera web browser is now available completely free of charge.

Illustration of a hand giving Opera away, with the text "feel free - No ads. Better browsing"
Today we invite the entire Internet community to use Opera and experience Web browsing as it should be. Removing the ad banner and licensing fee will encourage many new users to discover the speed, security and unmatched usability of the Opera browser. (...) As we grow our user base, our mission and our promise remain steadfast: we will always offer the best Internet experience to our users - on any device.

Other than the license change to freeware, the only news in the new release is the addition of the "Browser JavaScript" feature and a couple of security fixes. Browser.js is a feature that automatically fixes websites and scripts that are incompatible with Opera, while the security fixes ensures that Opera remains the most secure browser on the market (at the time of writing, Opera is the only major browser without any open security issues listed at Secunia).

There's simply no excuses left not to upgrade your web experience.

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