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Opera Update Plugs Multiple Security Holes

Opera has released a software update that fixes at least seven security vulnerabilities in the Web browser program. Users may be prompted to update when they first launch the browser. Alternatively, Opera surfers can simply select "Help" and "Check for New Release."

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Opera 9.52 corrects a number of bugs in addition to the security problems. You can read more about what's included in the update on Opera's Web site.

I've been trying to split more of my daily browsing between different browsers, just to try out more features and become more familiar with the intricacies of each. I enjoy using Opera, but I'm a little surprised the company hasn't yet transitioned to automatic updates for users.

Last month, a massive study based on browser data collected by Google showed that only slightly more than half of Opera users are surfing with the most recent, patched version of the browser. By comparison, 83.3 percent of Firefox users were found to have the latest version installed at any given time. This disparity is largely due to the fact that Firefox downloads updates automatically and prompts the user to install them immediately. If the user declines the update, the patches are installed the next time the browser is started.

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Auto-updating helps protect users who neglect to update after a failed or interrupted attempt at doing so. When I fired up Opera today after not having used it for almost a week (I was on vacation last week), it prompted me to install version 9.52. When I initially declined and restarted the browser, there was no notification about the available update. When I manually forced the browser to check for updates, it told me the update was available, but I received an error message when I tried to download the update from Opera's site.

By Brian Krebs  |  August 21, 2008; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings , New Patches , Safety Tips  
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Comments

Opera's the browser I use. Historically, update notification is timely and a breeze to install.
Opera's ability to enlarge fonts & pages is fantastic, as well as it's Nickmames feature which allows one to visit frequently visited sites by typing one or two letters or numbers. It's keyboard-shortcuts also makes it a very accessible browser. The primary drawback with Opera is some websites do not render properly.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I've used Opera for years - it's my main browser.

So it pains me to say that they consistently do a lousy job of marketing and product management, including the update process.

It's really a shame, because this browser has had genuinely handy features that even Everyman users can appreciate for years...yet they usually don't even make lists of IE alternatives.

Firefox gets the press and attention that Opera SHOULD've been getting all along.

But the Opera folks are their own worst enemies...

Posted by: Leslie | August 21, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I have loved Opera for a long time, but the latest update (9.52) on Mac OS X Leopard is prone to frequent crashes, making it unusable.

Posted by: Mike | August 22, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I use Opera on Windows and *nix, but not on Mac. It has not been stable on Mac. It is a greate browser, but I agree they need auto-update.

Posted by: Matt | August 22, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Opera has been copied a lot by other famous browsers.
It's the only one combining multiple apps embedded in it: built-in email client, feeds manager and reader, bookmarks and speed-dial synchronization, files transfers manager, bit-torrent downloads handler, high customization easy tools, a panels manager never equaled elsewhere, high security level, no extensions widgets, online in depth configuration with opera:config#_|_, and so much it would take two pages to enumerate.
It's my daily work browser and my free time one, too. I've tried Ffox, IE, Safari, none of these can do what Opera does.

Posted by: Jacques D. | August 23, 2008 5:41 AM | Report abuse

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