Today Opera Software has released the first beta version of its upcoming Opera 10 browser. The new release boasts a new design, features, and faster downloads. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. According to the company, the new browser is over 40% faster than previous versions on websites such as Gmail and Facebook which can be resource intensive.

Of the new features is the ability to view all your open tabs in thumbnail form. The thumbnails are resizable so browser space isn't sacrificed if you wish to view your tabs in this more visual format. Speedial can now show up to 25 websites and the background image is customizable. Toolbars have become easier to tailor and the all the panels have been clumped together on a sidebar.

You can also generate your own panels to manage things like e-mail, newsfeeds, and chat. Opera 10 beta improves on Opera Dragonfly and its Turbo mode as well. The company has claimed that Turbo mode "can offer broadband-like speeds on dial up." Being that it's in beta, expect more changes and improvements to come along the way.

Opera is just ahead of Google and Apple on the global Internet traffic pie, holding a small 4% as compared to Internet Explorer's 60% and Firefox's 30%. However, its browser is the most used among the mobile segment, and it's certainly a worthy desktop alternative if you're in the mood for a change.