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Opera Mini 4 Beta has been released this morning. It now provides the full desktop browsing experience. This is a revolutionary product. It’s bigger than the iPhone. Why? Because over one billion people currently use a cellphone, and are restricted to browse only WAP pages because they don’t have a smartphone. Yet the vast majority support Java, and by downloading this simple 200k program, they can now browse the full Internet with a desktop like experience, right now, for free.

But Opera Mini won’t get media coverage, I can guarantee you that. Yet these same media sources will keep running daily iPhone coverage stories, building up hype in the public. It’s not based on how useful it is for people, it’s based on how sleek and sexy looking it is. If it doesn’t come in a shiny box with an Apple logo on it then clearly there’s no reason to cover it.

The new Opera Mini 4 Beta uses a technique similar to the S60 browser to provide both the full screen view and a mini map to allow scrolling. It also brings other new features such as better CSS support and faster download times. An online demo of the new browser is available on the Opera site.

I for one am glad Opera made the transition to the desktop like browsing experience. Now alongside S60 users, any Java phone can have access to the full Internet, the way it was meant to be. But hey, it doesn’t have the Apple logo on it, so who cares, right?

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