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Opera places 'Next' browser on trial for Windows and Mac

Opera has totally revamped the desktop version of its browser, which is now available for trial on Windows and Mac.

The all-new browser, dubbed Opera Next 15, has been built from scratch with a refreshed design and a slew of new features for an improved browsing experience. Opera Next releases, formally known as beta versions, are updated every few weeks, and let you check out the latest enhancements to the browser.

Under the hood, Opera swapped out its own Presto rendering engine for the Chromium engine from Google, which should help webpages load faster "even in the toughest of network conditions," the Oslo-based browser maker said in a statement.

"Completely rethinking a browser in today's competitive market is a big thing," said Krystian Kolondra, Opera's senior vice president of desktop products. "Our new browser is more beautiful and allows users to harness the massive amount of web content they are faced with today."

Many of the new changes are in line with the browser's recently released Android service.

For starters, the browser has a new user interface, which gives it a more sleek and modern look. In addition, you can now search directly from a newly combined address and search bar. Simply start typing a webpage address to go directly to a site, or enter a search term to look for suggestions.

The browser also boasts a new Discover feature, which serves up articles from around the Internet based on categories you're interested in — like news, food, and technology.

There's another new feature called Stash, which lets you mark websites using a heart icon in the address bar. You can use this feature to easily compare items while shopping online, or keep travel research on hotels and flights handy, Opera said.

The popular shortcuts feature Speed Dial has also been revamped, and now allows bookmarks to be gathered in folders and easily filtered. Simply drag and drop one Speed Dial entry on top of another to create a folder, or use the new search field to find a specific webpage you saved.

Meanwhile, based on user feedback, Opera has made its mail client a standalone offering so it takes up less memory and space in the browser itself. The company launched a new Opera Mail release candidate, which brings changes to labelling, filtering, threads, and tabs for a "faster and sleeker than ever mail experience."