Opera 7 is out and a pretty impressive little browser from what I've seen so far.
It's been rewritten since Opera 6, smaller than Opera 6 no less. In fact, the version without the Java runtime weighs in at a 3.2 MB download. That's substantially smaller than Phoenix or Chimera, the 'lightweight' versions of Mozilla.
It has better standards support. It renders my site beautifully. In fact, it does a better job rendering the external link CSS than any other browser, especially for the cases where the link happens to wrap to the following line, as it does for this long link to my home page -- some browsers don't render it at all, some render it to the right of the first line, but Opera does the right thing. Oh and with Safari, the external links look terrible because for whatever reason, it ignores the no-repeat rule. I hope this gets fixed in Safari before the final release. I ran it through the W3C CSS1 test suite, CSS Edge site and others. So far, so good.
The keyboard navigation features are very cool. Shift+Arrows to spatially navigate links/clickable objects within the document. Keys for site navigation (assuming the site has the <link> tags for them), like Ctrl+Shift+Space to go to the home page; Ctrl+Shift+F for the site search page; First, Next, Previous, Last, Up, etc. all have similar hot keys.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but so far I haven't seen any ads in Opera 7. Have they dropped the ad panel with this release or did they forget to enable it in the final build?
Well in any event, it's comforting to know that browser competition is alive and well. In fact, Internet Explorer 6 is looking downright ancient these days. I think it's the only browser left that doesn't natively offer the option to disable popup windows. Where is Microsoft these days? 6.0 came out back in August of 2001 fer cryin' out loud.