Opera Software has released Unite, technically an updated version of its Opera 10 browser, and introduced a feature that other mainstream browsers could well be scrambling to emulate within the next few months.
Unite is essentially a desktop based web server inside a browser (or in porte-manteau terms, a "Browsever"), that can be used to share files or stream movies and music tracks. Opera users will need to have an Opera account before they can use Unite.
In its simplest form, Unite offers six basic functions. File sharing, Fridge, Media Player, Photo Sharing, The lounge and Webserver. File Sharing allows you to share files on your computer with third parties. Fridge allows users to leave virtual post-its on an equally virtual fridge door.
Media Player, as its name implies, will allow you to stream music files from your computer while you will be able to share photos via Photo Sharing. The lounge is a private Chat room module while Web server will allow you to run your own websites from your computer, potentially paving the way for some rather nasty security issues.
Opera's avant-garde application is available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms. Other browsers will be able to access files and content from Opera Unite but won't be able to share files themselves (that is something that could be considered at a later stage).
The technical preview is not currently available for Opera Mini and Mobile browsers but may eventually be included down the road. Unbeknown to many, Opera was the first browser, well before Firefox, to include multi tabs. It also introduced gesture recognition, native P2P client and link synchronisation and the ability to write (and leave) notes.
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Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner, said in a statement, "Today, we are opening the full potential of the Web for everyone, Opera Unite now decentralizes and democratizes the cloud. With server capability in the browser, Web developers can create Web applications with profound ease. Consumers have the flexibility to choose private and efficient ways of sharing information. We believe Opera Unite is one of our most significant innovations yet, because it changes forever the fundamental fabric of the Web."
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