One thing you can say about the people that make Opera, they never fail to innovate. I can cast my mind back to the days when Opera was small and lightning quick, downloads were handled sensibly and resumable (why do we still wait for this in the big browsers?), mouse gestures and tabs were brand new and it had yet to have the entire kitchen sink and the stove thrown in.
Today the company from Oslo announced their Link product that brings synchronised bookmarks and other fancy features into their 9.5 beta and mini 4 browsers. And yes you have seen all this before, however this time it is built into the browser itself, and I think that that will be the key difference.
Not because people won't install extensions on desktops, I can see this being useful for people that happen to have Opera on their phone — having a roaming profile is one of those holy grails that the industry chases (Sun Rays anyone?). Forget syncing with a dock, that's too old school — let the network do it for you.
Bonus marks come for allowing you to add and view your bookmarks from another browser via the My Opera service. I've played around with it a little this afternoon and the browser updates new data added in the Web site instantly, the converse seems to take a couple of minutes in places.
This isn't something that the tech savvy will drool over, we've done it, we're using it — but it would be useful for Ma and Pa style users out there who don't know what a del.icio.us is.
It is definitely something that I'm surprised that the other browser vendors haven't picked up, but like most things from Opera, I'm sure that the other will re-implment it soon enough.
Getting it going
Get Link started by using the Synchronize option in the File menu.
A dialog will appear asking for your My Opera account details, you can sign up from here if you do not have an account.
Synchronisation status is detailed in the status bar.
Link in Firefox. As you can see, it has uploaded all Opera's bookmarks, even the ones it copied across from Safari.
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets — he claims he once read an entire one.