Opera Software has released beta 1 of Opera version 7.50, for all desktop platforms.

Opera v7.50b1 provides an improved user interface and added functionality, the company claims. The software now features Opera Mail, which combines e-mail, Usenet news and RSS newsfeed support, an Internet Relay Chat (IRC)-compatible instant messaging client, faster rendering interface, support for bidirectional text, and Unicode keyboard layout support.

Opera is available to download free. You can use it either free of charge using a sponsored advertising banner or advertising banner-free if users play the $29 (around £16) registration fee.