With Microsoft touting its upcoming new browser for Windows 10, codenamed Spartan, it's interesting to see that yet another web browser entering the already crowded market. For most, there's only three browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Vivaldi, as the proposed new browser is called, has a very Opera-like feel to it. And, there's good reason for that, considering that former CEO and co-founder of Opera, Jon von Tetzchner, is the creator of the new project.
Why might we need a new web browser? For a number of reasons. Chrome these days tends to get a lot of usage, due to its speed, plugin capability, and constant updating. But, Chrome is a Google product and even those that use it regularly are afraid of the Search company's privacy policies (or lack thereof). Firefox, once a great alternative to Internet Explorer, has become bloated and slow. And, of course, Microsoft is still trying to reboot Internet Explorer for about the 3rd time in the last 5 years to deliver something people want to use. Spartan looks promising, but we'll have to wait and see how the final bits shape up.
Vivaldi sports an extremely clean interface, and if you were ever a fan of the Opera web browser, you'll like what Vivaldi has to offer. Remember Opera Speed Dial? It's there.
The speed is good. It's not the fastest browser you'll use, but it's in the early stages. And, speaking of early stages, if you decide to check out the icon menu on the browser window's left side, it looks like Vivaldi could be working on an email service, too.
Google is the default search provider, but others are available.
Missing from the list, though, is Bing. You can add other search engines by entering the URL and giving it a name, but this only causes the custom search addition to open in the browser. It doesn’t fully integrate with Vivaldi's search bar.
Opera was actually my favorite browser. The features built in were valuable and amazing, but the web incompatibilities kept me from using it and eventually I just gave up and uninstalled it for good. Web compatibility with Vivaldi has been solid so far.
There's nothing about Vivaldi that is monumental but it does provide a solid browsing experience. Settings are pretty much what you'd expect with any modern browser, again, nothing out of the ordinary. The roadmap includes a mail service, performance improvements, synching for notes, bookmarks, history, and sessions across devices, spatial navigation, and extensions support.
I'm going to keep it loaded up and monitor the improvements. If Vivaldi can bring the features of Opera but fix the old compatibility problems, I may end up using it. Let me know if you decide to give it a try and what you think.
Vivaldi is a desktop app, available now in Tech Preview for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Deb, and Linux Rpm. To follow updates, the browser has an official Twitter account: @VivaldiBrowser
You can download the Tech Preview from the web site: https://vivaldi.com/