Opera 12 x64bit version for Windows and MAC is out for grab.
Christmas at Opera Labs: 64-bit Opera, and out-of-process plug-ins
As the snow settles on the ground, and the elves draw close to finishing construction of all their toy orders, it may not surprise you to learn that Opera’s little helpers have also been very busy, adding exciting new innovations to our desktop browser!
As a last release before Christmas, we are bringing you a new labs release featuring two exquisitely wrapped presents:
- 64-bit builds
- Out-of-process plug-ins
Let’s look at these features in more detail.
We monitor our built-in crash logger carefully to see what is still causing browser crashes, post release. One very common source of instability is one that we unfortunately can’t fix ourselves: browser plug-ins. We fixed this problem for Opera on Linux and FreeBSD a long time ago by running plug-ins in a separate process. This allows us to control exactly what communication takes place between Opera and running plug-ins, improving security and stability in the process. If a plug-in accidentally crashes under this system, Opera will keep on running, and a simple page reload will correct the plug-in.
This architecture is now coming to a Windows or Mac machine near you! This labs release provides an early preview of the new rewritten version for Mac/Win/Linux/FreeBSD, constructed to allow our code to work across all platforms.
Bringing the out-of-process plug-in architecture across to Windows and Mac also brings another advantage: the ability to run plug-ins compiled for Intel 32-bit architecture from within a 64-bit Opera process. And 64-bit Opera is the other delightful gift we’re giving you at Opera Labs this Christmas!
64-bit Windows and Mac have been in the works for a while, but we didn’t want to release them until we had a way of running all plug-ins that’s completely transparent to the user: This is now possible with the out-of-process plug-in architecture, so here we are! The 64-bit versions of Opera offer performance improvements in some specific areas and allow Opera to have more freedom in allocating memory.