Opera Releases Mini (Beta) for Mobile

What’s the best thing about Opera Software’s new beta version of its Opera Mini mobile browser? “It’s the closest experience to a PC you can get on your phone,” Opera Software Communications Manager Falguni Bhuta tells me.

That makes me excited for Opera Mini, which came out in beta today. The one thing I don’t like on my Samsung Blackjack II is that I can’t open multiple windows. Opera Mini allows for tabbed browsing; tabs allow users to browser several sites simultaneously, helping users to easily jump from one page to another with the click of a tab.

Opera’s mobile browser is the most common on cell phones worldwide, particularly in developing countries with sophisticated mobile services, like Russia and Indonesia. Of course, that doesn’t translate to North American dominance, but it’s yet another step in the shift of the Internet from computers to handsets. That in turn underscores, yet again, marketers’ need to make their websites optimized for mobile–whether their target customer is the affluent or the thrifty. As the company says on its Web site, “This browser is developed on the premise that, to get the Web on a mobile phone, upgrading is not necessary.”