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Chrome has brought plenty of amazing new innovations to the table since its introduction less than three years ago, but one feature of Google’s flagship browser caught all the established players off guard, their ability to iterate at an unbelievable pace. Some simply accuse them of being too liberal with version numbers, but either way you look at it in less than 30 months Google has gone from a beta release, all the way to version 12, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
You can call it clever marketing if you like, but one thing seems clear; this type of version numbering seems to resonate with consumers. To keep a fickle generation of web users engaged with a brand, browser makers need to be seen as innovating as quickly as Google, or risk being left in the dust. Firefox famously re-enforced this concept by jumping from version 4 to 5 in a matter of months, and Opera is getting ready to join the party with today’s alpha release of Opera 12, less than two weeks after the debut of version 11.5.
Opera 12, codenamed “Wahoo” (yes after the fish), is designed to run alongside version 11.5, so users who wish to give the alpha version a try can feel free to do so, without ditching the most recent stable release. Currently the Opera 12 alpha is little more than a series of bug fixes and performance improvements, but we expect to see more as the weeks roll on.
With Opera joining Firefox in the race to keep up with Chrome, do you think Redmond will finally cave to the pressure and step up the release rate for Internet Explorer? Business have clearly weighed in against the idea of rapid releases for compatibility reasons, so perhaps Microsoft will choose to sacrifice a bit of ground in the consumer space, especially if it means maintaining their foothold in the corporate world.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.