Browser Beta News: Opera 10.6 Beta Released, Flock Goes Chromium

Opera Software has released a beta of Opera 10.6, which offers improved support for HTML5 (including offline apps and geolocation) and royalty-free WebM video. It also promises to be even faster, with some fine-tuning of the already impressively quick JavaScript engine that was introduced in 10.5.

Running the new beta through the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark shows that 10.6 is slightly faster, though not massively so: It scores 389 ms, while 10.5 scored 396 ms (a lower score is better).

You can download the 10.6 beta from Opera. Unlike 10.5 (which was released on Windows (s msft) first), 10.6 is being released for Windows, Mac (s aapl) and Linux simultaneously. As always, beta software shouldn’t be relied upon — there might still be some gremlins for the developers to iron out.

In other browser news, Flock, the open-source web browser that’s designed around social networking and used to be based on Mozilla’s Firefox architecture, has released a beta built on Google’s (s goog) Chromium codebase. Using Chrome’s code rather than Firefox’s promises to make the Flock experience much snappier (Firefox is lagging way behind the other browsers in my recent benchmark tests). The new Flock will also support Chrome extensions. You can download the new beta (currently only available for Windows) from the Flock website.

Let us know what you think of the new betas in the comments.

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): What Does the Future Hold For Browsers?