Opera Software has updated its Web browser for all platforms with the release of Opera 7.5.

The company claims Opera 7.5 provides an improved user interface and added functionality.

The update marks a move towards offering a more full-featured browser. It now features email, 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 CEO Jon von Tetzchner said: "Most Internet users are browsing slowly and conducting other Internet activities with applications that should have been retired years ago. Internet Explorer is an aged application that Microsoft has not given a major update in years, and according to press reports they are not planning to upgrade it in the near future. At the same time, most people's email applications still function like it's 1994."

Opera is available as a free download from the company's Web site. It is a 3.5MB download. It can be used free-of-charge with a sponsored advertising banner, or advertising banner-free for a $29 (£16) registration fee.