An anonymous reader writes "According to an article at DesktopLinux.com, the first public beta of Opera 8 is available for free download. It adds voice input/output and a host of other niceties. Key new features include improved RSS handling, fit to window or paper width, a start-bar for easy access to the most commonly used functions, and automatic update checks. The beta release supports Windows only, but a general release is scheduled for early 2005. Opera and IBM have partnered on XHTML+Voice (X+V) technology for several years, co-announcing a Multimodal Browser and Toolkit early in 2003."