The wait is over and now we all can take Opera 9.7 for a spin! Check it out:

Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is now available to accelerate the mobile browsing experience for Windows Mobile-based phones. Speed is at the heart of this beta release due to the addition of Opera’s recently launched technology for faster surfing, Opera Turbo. Opera has also included its newly upgraded browser engine, called Opera Presto 2.2, for faster page loads and better overall performance. With the added bonus of Opera Widgets, Opera Mobile 9.7 gets you the Web content you want in fewer clicks and less time.

Windows Mobile 5/6 Pocket PC, version 9.7b1

(Touchscreen-based devices only. Last updated: 8. 6. 2009)

Opera Widgets Manager 9.7b1 add-on, version 9.7b1

(Touchscreen-based devices only. Last updated: 8. 6. 2009)

Jump after the break for the full press release and known issues.

Beta release delivers speed, performance and widgets

Oslo, Norway – June 8, 2009

Opera Mobile 9.7 beta is now available to accelerate the mobile browsing experience for Windows Mobile-based phones. Speed is at the heart of this beta release due to the addition of Opera’s recently launched technology for faster surfing, Opera Turbo. Opera has also included its newly upgraded browser engine, called Opera Presto 2.2, for faster page loads and better overall performance. With the added bonus of Opera Widgets, Opera Mobile 9.7 gets you the Web content you want in fewer clicks and less time.

Download Opera Mobile 9.7 beta.

Solution overview

Opera Mobile 9.7 beta features a mobile version of Opera Turbo. This turbo-charged technology is made possible by:

  • Server-accelerated rendering — Opera Mobile unburdens the mobile phone of its full rendering responsibilities by off-loading this task to Opera servers. This frees device resources, thus improving download rates and overall performance.
  • Compression technology — Opera Turbo uses advanced compression technology to speed up data transfer and to reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded by up to 80 percent. This means that despite network shortcomings or in the absence of a powerful device, Opera Turbo enables a fast and rich browsing experience that is even faster than the most advanced 3G phones.

Opera’s latest rendering engine, Opera Presto 2.2, is under the hood of Opera Mobile 9.7 beta:

  • Opera Presto 2.2 is Opera’s rendering engine that helps display Web pages on your phone up to 25 percent faster. Opera Presto 2.2 is the same rendering engine used in Opera’s desktop browser.

With widgets growing in popularity and prevalence, Opera Mobile 9.7 beta includes the add-on Opera Widgets manager and Opera Widgets SDK:

  • Through the add-on Opera Widgets manager, Opera users can access their favorite services with just one click, including the following pre-installed widgets: GeoQuiz, Twitter, Bubbles, MyStatus, Google Translate. Visit http://widgets.opera.com.

To learn more, check out the Opera Mobile 9.7 beta with Opera Turbo demo video.

Opera executive quote

“There are other mobile browsers on the market that claim to be faster and more Web site-compatible on Windows-based phones, but I challenge users to take Opera Mobile for a test drive and discover a new standard for speed and compatibility. Opera Mobile 9.7 leaves other “sluggish” and “painfully slow” browsers in the dust,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “It is our belief in One Web that challenges us to develop technology such as Opera Turbo. Not everyone owns a 3G phone and not everyone needs to. This is why Opera’s focus is on improving our browser so that your EDGE network feels like you’re surfing 3G style or better,” Tetzchner continues.

Market Adoption

For operators and manufacturers, Opera Mobile 9.7 delivers a powerful, consistent and compatible mobile Web experience on Windows Mobile-based phones.

  • Operators are able to lower bandwidth costs and expand network capacity to deliver data services.
  • Manufacturers can install Opera Mobile on a wide range of phones by offloading the rendering to Opera servers. As a result, less memory is required on the phone, which reduces component cost.
Availability

Currently available for Windows Mobile-based phones.

Opera Mobile 9.7b1
9.7 beta known issues
Browser
  • Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile is still a preview-feature;
    • Downloads don’t work while Opera Turbo is enabled.
    • Some settings (such as toggle on/off images) do not apply when Opera Turbo is enabled.
  • On older WM 5.0 Devices with 480×800 resolution, switching between portrait and landscape may cause display errors. This is due to lack of support for this resolution in early versions of Microsoft’s driver.
  • Some input method editors are known not to work well with Opera because they do not comply with Microsoft’s SIP and/or IME standard. When such an editor is detected by Opera, Opera will use a known (default) input method instead. An exception is EzInput v1.5, where the phone keypad and compact QUERTY, ABC mode doesn’t work, but the rest of the modes work fine. We recommend upgrading to EzInput v2.0 to avoid this.
  • Only support for FlashLite 3.x. No Flash plugin included.
Widget manager add-on
  • The Widget manager is an add-on to the browser, so the browser must be installed in order for the widget manager to work.
  • We recommend disabling Opera Turbo in the browser when using the widget manager.
  • Rotating widgets does not work properly. Portrait mode should be used when running widgets.
  • Widgets + Plugins (Flash & Gears) don’t work.
  • Clicking internal links in a widget will launch the browser.
  • Twitter widget might have login problems on first run. If this happens, just close the Twitter widget (X) and open it again.

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