There’s a new web browser in town… and it comes from the makers of one of the oldest web browsers around.
Vivaldi is a web browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux that includes features for power users including keyboard shortcuts, the ability to save notes about the pages you visit, and a speed dial function that lets you see your favorite sites when you first launch the browser.
It was created by a startup founded by Jon von Tetzchner, former CEO and co-founder of Opera.
Opera used to have a reputation for introducing new features (such as browser tabs) long before they became common in other browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome.
In recent years some folks have seen Opera as a browser that follows the market more than one that leads it though. For instance, the company stopped developing its Presto rendering engine and instead started using the Blink engine (a fork of Webkit developed by Google for its Chrome browser).
Vivaldi also uses Blink, and the browser is based on Chromium (the open source version of Chrome). But for the past few years Vivaldi has been running a social network and user forum for folks that used to use Opera’s versions of those services… before they were shut down. So he and his team decided to build a new browser based on user feedback.
The version that’s available for download now is a technical preview that is a bit rough around the edges. But it’s already clear that the company is targeting power users.
For instance, if you have a lot of browser tabs open at once you can “stack” them by dragging one on top of another to reduce the clutter in your tab bar.
There are Quick Commands for a range of actions, including toggling the status bar, switching browser tabs, creating bookmarks, opening the mail panel and performing other actions using simple keyboard shortcuts.
You can also change the keyboard shortcuts if you’d prefer a different key or key combination.
The tabs and menus also change color depending on the colors of the web pages you’re visiting, which is an interesting touch.
Other browser features are also configurable, allowing you to change the location of the tabs, enable or disable features, or adjust many other settings.
There are some features that I’d expect to see which aren’t available. For instance, while you can open up multiple browser windows (not just tabs), there doesn’t seem to be a way to drag a tab from one window to the next.
But Vivaldi certainly shows promise.