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Monday, February 06, 2006
New Opera Integrates BitTorrent

Opera Software today announced that the next version 9 of its Opera browser will integrate a new extension that can access the BitTorrent search engine and can handle P2P downloads via its "Transfer Manager".

Opera and BitTorrent have signed an agreement covering Opera's use of the BitTorrent trademark and access to the BitTorrent search engine from the browser?s user interface. A technical preview (TP) of the Opera 9 browser will be made available on Tuesday.

BitTorrent's technology will be made available to users of the Opera browser in two ways: first, users can search for torrent files in the Opera browser's integrated search field, and second, when a file has been selected, Opera's Transfer Manager feature will handle the download.

Opera Software was the first mass-market browser vendor to implement BitTorrent technology. On July 7, 2005, the company launched the first technical preview of the Opera browser (Opera 8.02) which included the BitTorrent protocol. As a result of positive user feedback and further testing, Opera has now decided to maintain BitTorrent in the upcoming Opera 9 Web browser.

"Implementing BitTorrent is a natural choice, considering its efficient use of bandwidth and worldwide popularity. For users this means that they can browse and download content in an application they're familiar with," says Christen Krogh, VP of Engineering, Opera Software.

BitTorrent is an open source, peer-to-peer protocol for distributing files. It makes use of the upstream bandwidth of every downloader to increase the speed and effectiveness of the distribution as a whole. On average, the faster you upload to your peers, the faster you will be able to download. Because BitTorrent greatly reduces the load on a single server, the technology also benefits organizations with intense download traffic, such as Opera. BitTorrent?s agreement with Opera is the first under a soon-to-be announced conformance program for the use of the BitTorrent trademark.

The Opera 9 TP2 will be made available tomorrow. Opera emphasizes that the TP should be used for preview purposes only.

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