Opera Software has released Opera 5 for Macintosh Beta 1.

The beta works with Mac OS 9.1, and therefore in Mac OS X's Classic environment. Improvements include a new user interface and faster Internet access.

Opera 5 for the Macintosh Beta 1 features 128bit SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption versions 2 and 3. It's also the first browser on the market to support the Internet-security layer TLS 1.0, according to the company. This secures online purchases, and access to services such as online banking, without additional security-proxy software or modules.

Opera 5 for the Macintosh Beta 1 supports all Web standards, including mark-up languages and network and security protocols, according to the company.

Opera is a 2.2MB download. It is possible to navigate the browser via the keyboard, making it ideal for people with disabilities.

Opera 5 for Macintosh Beta 1 is available as a free download, but expires August 1, 2001. A Carbonized version of the beta is being tested, with public releases scheduled for the summer.