Opera is usually a distant fifth place in our monthly browser roundups, but it still retains a group of vocal and active users. Those people are in for quite a few changes with Opera 12.10, the latest beta of which was released today: Retina Display support in OS X, touch support in Windows 7 and Windows 8, and a smattering of new APIs and Web standards are all included in the new browser, which is available here.

The changelog claims that work has been done to make Opera look better on all high-resolution displays. This holds true for Macs with Retina Displays—Opera 12.10 is nice and sharp while Opera 12.02 is blurry and pixelated. However, “all high-resolution displays” apparently doesn’t extend to cover Windows machines: using Windows 7’s 200 percent scaling mode, Opera 12.10 looks just as blurry as the old version (though to be fair Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer seems to be the only current browser that renders text properly in this mode).

Enlarge / Opera looks nice and sharp on a Retina Display in OS X (enlarge to see the effect more clearly). Opera 12.02 is on the left and 12.10 is on the right.

Enlarge / However, only Internet Explorer renders text sharply using Windows 7’s 200 percent scaling mode. IE9 is on the left and Opera 12.10 is on the right.

Opera doesn’t yet come in a Metro flavor as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will, but the new version adds basic touch support for the Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktops—this will make UI elements slightly larger to make them easier to interact with, and it also adds support for touch scrolling and pinching to zoom. Mountain Lion support is also added in the form of Notification Center compatibility and a new Share button that can send Web pages out via Twitter, Facebook, and other services and applications.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/OPWgbnmojs4/