In celebration of its 10th anniversary Opera Software is offering free license keys to its Opera Web browser. You can only obtain a free license on August 30 . At the risk of sounding like a late night infomercial, if you're interested then "act now!"

As a result of the free offer the site is busy, but it is still responding.

I've been testing the upcoming Opera 8.1 (Preview 2 release for Windows) over the last three weeks and I can safely say that I am very impressed. It's faster than Firefox, has a built-in BitTorrent client, mail client, contact manager, note taking system, and RSS feed reader, and has a highly customizeable user interface. During my tests I've been able to configure the interface to mirror the uncluttered layout I use in my Firefox browser so I feel right at home using Opera now.

Opera also has lots of great security features and a lot of bells and whistles, such as the ability to read Web pages out loud, the ability to quickly enable or disable Javascript, Java, plugins, pop-up windows, and much more. All of that in a relatively small download of only 3.7MB -- which by the way is smaller than Firefox! OK, the voice capabilities are an extra 10MB download, but the rest of the features are included in the base package.

If you think Firefox is a great browser then you might want to have a close look at Opera, particular Opera 8.1 Preview 2.