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The Opera Software company later sent a physical letter to Microsoft.
Version 9.2, codenamed Merlin, introduced Speed Dial, 3 × 3 small thumbnails which are shown instead of a blank page.
In the newer versions the user was allowed a choice of generic graphical banners, or text-based targeted advertisements provided by Google based upon the page being viewed.
Users could pay a license fee to remove the advertisement bar.
It had more advanced standards support, and introduced voice support for Opera, as well as support for Voice XML.
Opera also announced a new browser for Interactive Television, which included a fit to width option Opera 8 introduced.
Version 9.5, codenamed Kestrel (after the Kestrel falcon), was released to span the gap between Opera 9.2 and Opera 10.
though the classic skin was still available as a user preference. Opera's mail client, Opera Mail, has been updated, with an improved indexing feature and many bugfixes.
The history of the Opera web browser began in 1994 when it was started as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company.
In 1995, the project branched out into a separate company named Opera Software ASA, Opera has undergone extensive changes and improvements, and introduced notable features such as Speed Dial.
Schools that opted for the free license included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of Oxford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Duke University.
Opera was commonly criticized for having been ad-sponsored, since this was seen as a barrier to gaining market share.
Up to 6.0 Opera supported most common web standards, Netscape plugins and some other recent standards such as WAP and WML for wireless devices, but its implementation of advanced ECMAScript (of which "Java Script" is an implementation) and the HTML Document Object Model was poor. On November 29, 2001, Opera 6 was released with new features including Unicode support, and offering a single document interface as well as the multiple document interface allowed by previous versions.