Opera, the Oslo-based web browser, has released Opera 15 today which comes as their first official release since dropping their homegrown engine and basing their browser on WebKit.

Tom’s Hardware recently benchmarked all the recent browser releases, and found that Firefox and Opera booked the fastest speed compared to Chrome and Firefox in a long time.

They point out that Opera technically placed second against Firefox, but is a somewhat skewed comparison considering Chrome isn’t running the latest version of Chromium, and that this release doesn’t have all their features installed, making it more lightweight.

They write:

…right now, Chrome and Opera Next are showing practically-equal scores, however, they both display strengths and weaknesses in different categories, so we’re not ready to give Opera the big heave-ho quite yet.

I booted up the new release and found it pretty quick and light, and maybe worth
messing with a little bit more. Opera was my go-to way back when it had ads, so I have nice memories attached to the round O icon. The speed tests are fun to pay attention to, but today a browser is more like the style of furniture you like to have in your house. You might switch it up when you move every now and then, but once you’re spoiled by a comfortable feature it’s hard to leave it behind.

Can Opera increase their dropping market share? Everyone’s got an opinion but I think it’s too tough to say. Firefox and Chrome looked like outsiders at some point in time. At nearly 20 years old it’s still possible they can find new life as they’ve reshuffled the company and picked up the release cycle.

In their release announcement, Opera embedded this video, which has very little to do with web browsing. But hey, wingsuit diving is also nice too.