Opera has debuted a new “concept browser” called Opera Neon — but before you get too excited it’s not yet available for Linux.

Opera Neon is built on the same (Chromium-based) core as the regular version of Opera, but is drastically different in terms of user interface and features.

Opera Neon introduces new ways of managing websites, and experiments with the long standing ‘tabs along the top’ layout we’re all used to.

The result is something novel. Desktop OS level features, including split screen, message notifications, and a screenshot tool, are built-in to Opera Neon as standard.

Focus On Content

The ‘concept interface’ inflates tabs in to visual bubbles and places them on the right-hand side of the window. The dominance of the main address bar come toolbar is reduced, helping web content to “pop out” in Neon.

A built in “intelligent system” called Gravity  “pulls your most used tabs to a prominent position on your Speed Dial.”

Talking of speed dial, the start page is an animated aquarium of floating tab bubbles (and a transparent search box) overlaid on an image of your current desktop background.

Other features include a pop-out video player (a feature regular Opera also has), a screenshot tool, image gallery, download manager, and a split screen view to view two web pages side by side inside the browser.

Opera Neon won’t replace the regular version of Opera we all know and don’t use love, but it’s probably that features tested in Neon will make their way to the browser proper.

Opera browser marketshare barely registers on most analytics firms’ reports. The (somewhat) iconic browser’s new owners will certainly be looking to inject momentum in to the browser, something that previous relaunches  and feature additions have tried, but mostly failed, to do.

Despite the overall dominance of Google Chrome there is still plenty of room for other browsers. Mozilla Firefox maintains a respectable share, and thanks to its inclusion in Windows 10, Microsoft Edge already outpaces Opera in user base.

But the discussion is a little moot for us at this point.

Opera Neon is not currently available for Linux — but we’ve reached out to ask if one is planned:

If you keep a macOS or Windows install nearby you can see if the browser matches the hype by taking it for a spin. You’ll find more info on the Opera Neon webpage.  

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