Opera's desktop web browser gets built-in ad blocking

You no longer have to hunt for an add-on to get rid of online nuisances.

If you use a major desktop web browser, you usually have to hunt down an ad blocking add-on if you're determined to purge intrusive promos from your internet experience. You won't have to go scrounging if you're an Opera fan, however: the company has released a developer version of its desktop browser with ad blocking built-in. It not only saves you the trouble of finding an extension, but takes the challenge out of it -- there's a simple on/off switch, and you'll get a mix of benchmarking and stats to show how effective the blocking is in real life.

It's early days for the feature, which is still some distance away from reaching a polished version of Opera. If it works as well as promised, though, it could give Opera a much-needed edge over the competition. While rivals like Google and Microsoft aren't in a rush to include native ad blocking in their browsers (it'd cut directly into their web ad businesses), Opera doesn't have that problem -- it can give users a feature they want without worrying about a conflict of interest.