There are people in the world who like being intentionally difficult. A few years ago that is how I would have classified Opera users. The last time I actively sought out Opera they were still at version 5 or 6. It had fancy tabbed browsing but once Firefox added that feature there wasn’t any real incentive to go Scandinavian with my web browsing.
Well, I read a brief post on a message board suggesting Opera as a replacement for Thunderbird. Yes, that is right, there is now an integrated mail client built inside Opera.
I have been pleasantly surprised with the product thus far. It is truly integrated, too – each message you open is actually a tab within the browser. The Mail folder list is actually just one of eight interchangeable sidebars, including Contacts and Bookmarks. The Mail app is quick to respond (hello!? Outlook!? Pay attention!) and appears to function flawlessly with IWU SSL settings for both incoming (using IMAP…I haven’t tried POP) and outgoing e-mail. The Opera developers have jumped on a popular bandwagon and are including something similar to what Apple calls “Smart Folders”. These are essentially folders that dynamically display messages which meet certain criteria. This is another extension of the Google mentality – why should I organize things when it is faster to search for it? One example of this within the Opera M2 app is an “active contacts” item within my mail folder hierarchy. If I click on this I see all the messages to or from that contact. If I click on “active threads”, I see messages in a thread-based gmailesque style.
I like it quite a bit so far! Next I’ll try importing local folders and Contacts from Outlook. Too bad there is no calendar component!