Just about a week after Opera`s 10 year Celebration, Today, Tuesday 20 Sept, Opera the browser maker made it`s browser Free . Though Premium support is available only by paying.
As per them , ” Opera’s growth, due to tremendous worldwide customer support, has made today’s milestone an achievable goal.” With it`s marvelous features it is sure to gain much more popularity in the browser market . Compared to the competitor Open Source Firefox & MS Internet Explorer , it does have smart looks and features .
A Fee is charged for other softwares and services of the company . Versions of the browser for mobile phones and other non-PC platforms are available for €29 ($35), while for €24 a year the company also offers an e-mail support service for the Windows, Mac OS X, and Opera Linux versions of its browser.

Download : Opera web browser

Why Free ?

Now there are several other sources of revenue too.Some of them are

  • The search bar.Everytime someone searches in Google using Opera’s search toolbar Opera makes money.Recently they have revised their contract with Google.The extended contract with Google
    includes a search revenue deal, marketing support and
    technical cooperation. Opera expects this contract to
    increase the revenue per user.
  • Opera is reselling slipstream.
  • You can still buy Opera for 29$ in order to get premium support.
  • I believe recently they have entered into a partnership with about.com.This may be a source of some revenue too.
  • The already have an partnership with Adobe.

Opera v8.50 after it`s release, had made some major changes in the browser, like,

  • Security issue in Secunia Advisory 16645 has been fixed.
  • Browser Javascript is now enabled by default

Opera v9 : Is on the way

Opera makers are working very hard on the next major upgrade.Opera v9 would also be using the new engine which has been the subject of a lot of speculation.Although nothing much is known about v9 at the moment, but more and more details are slowly emerging.Olafur Arnason aka Olli has revealed that the new version would have significantly improved standards support.It would support XSLT, a selected selection of CSS 3 selectors and WebForms 2 among others.The biggest improvement is support for Rich text editing.A part from that Opera v9 is expected to pass the Acid2 test.
Opera has codenamed v9 as Merlin which is the name of a small falcon. Tim Altman has written an interesting article regarding the use of acronyms by Team Opera. From this blog

Psst: I still use & like Firefox :)