It's the dawn of a new era for Opera Software. The Scandinavian browser maker just finalized its Opera 15.0 browser, but more than just a version upgrade, this latest release is packing a brand new engine underneath the hood. Pop the top and you'll no longer find Presto working its magic, as Opera Software decided to switch to Google's Chromium-based Blink rendering engine, which is a fork of WebKit.
Chromium is an open-source browser that serves as the foundation for Chrome. After struggling to compete for market share, Opera Software may have ultimately decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and that's essentially what the company did. The result is an Opera browser with a fresh look and new features.
For example, Opera now combines the address bar and search bar. Opera 15 also introduces a feature called Stash, which records the location, meta data, and a screenshot of a page. That information is then placed into a collapsible list entry on the browser's Start Page, which you can search by keyword or scan visually by screenshot.
The biggest benefit, however, is speed. It feels faster than previous Opera builds and certainly looks "lighter" thanks to its streamlined interface.