Re. the first point (auto-updates), I've tried the recommended fixes, but Opera seems to ignore my wishes.
Re the second, thanks - fixable is good for me!
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I have been an Opera user ever since you had to pay for it, and still have my key-codes for Opera 6. I have promoted and extolled this browser to all who ask, because for me, Opera has always had the best user interface.
TWO things unfortunately mean I might change to another browser, and this makes me sad.
The behind-the-scenes auto-update feature is just plain WRONG. I want to be able to choose when (and if) I update software on my computers, and Opera doing it automatically - by-passing Windows' normal security - gives me the creeps. This is the kind of behaviour I would expect from a Virus or Trojan program, not a browser. PLEASE give me a way to STOP this feature.
The new Speed Dial blocky, coloured URL patches RUIN what was one of my favourite Opera features. Previously, BBC News would show the BBC News logo, BBC Cricket would show a suitable Sports banner, and BBC Weather would show a weather map: intelligently harvested thumbnails. Now, all three just show BBC with a co.uk suffix, in bold white text on a black background. These are three, very different pages, but now they all look the same. PLEASE give me a way to REVERT to a thumbnail view.
Both the above probably took your developers a lot of time to create - but this is wasted time. Because the features are making your previously BEST-IN-CLASS software, less and less usable, in this case (1) because I consider auto-update behind my back to be POTENTIALLY MALWARE, and (2) because I can no longer distinguish at a glance whether a shortcut is to the latest news, or a weather forecast, or sporting relay.
I find the new block-colour URL style speed dial HORRIBLE. Not least, if I have several different pages from any one website (eg, BBC News, BBC Cricket, BBC Weather, BBC Travel) - where they previously had obviously different thumbnails, they now all look the same.
It's a CRAZY way to have ruined what was, for me, one of Opera's best features.
I am rapidly going off Opera, after having been a user ever since you had to PAY for it.