Only time will tell whether the advent of Opera Unite is synonymous with the actual reinventing of the web, but the value and innovation of the new technology delivered by Opera Software cannot be denied. Opera Unite, intimately connected with the Opera 10 browser, is a new platform designed to break down the barriers between client and server machines. Essentially, according to Opera Software, every client computer, any device for that matter, as long as Opera Unite and the Opera browser are installed and an Internet connection is present, act like a server. This means that end users will be able to connect to one another, to share, to collaborate, to communicate directly.
“Today, we are opening the full potential of the Web for everyone,” Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera, explained. “Technology moves in distinct cycles. PCs decentralized computing away from large mainframes. 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.”
One aspect that has to be underlined is that Opera Unite has been designed as a platform. Using the browser as its infrastructure, Opera Unite offers a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can leverage in order to build services. End users with Opera Unite can then simply access those services and embrace the Cloud.
Of course that, as it is tradition with any respectable platform, Opera Unite brings to the table a few services. The six services that ship as default components of Opera Unite are set up to let end users get started using the technology, but also to give developers a taste of what the platform is capable of. Opera Software noted that the default items were examples of technologies already available, but that, as far as Opera Unite was concerned, imagination was the only limit to what services could be produced. Initially, Opera Unite comes with a web server, a media player, file-sharing and photo-sharing services, the Lounge chat service, and the Fridge, for note exchange.
Opera is available for download here.