Opera’s goal is to enable users to share content, on every device, to every device. Opera Unite is a web server integrated in your web browser. By doing so, Opera allows its users to share files (an Opera account is required).
Opera has demonstrated how to share media files like photos (it takes a few clicks). Again, that’s file sharing. The next demo is about sharing notes. Your friends finds your shared items via your Opera ID, that’s why it is required. The next demo streams music over the web. You can make your music private or public (beware of the legal ramifications).
“Opera is a platform to use a web server inside a web browser”, Opera says. Opera will let everyone build services on this platform, so we expect to see an SDK/samples. Opera provides this for free, but developers are free to charge for their apps and services.
Q: How secure is Opera Unite?
Answer: Applications are sandboxed, so it is secure and can’t harm the system. Users can password protect their content.
Q: Which OS are supported?
Answer: All the OS on which the Opera Browser runs.
Q: Is there a limit on the number of file shared?
A: No limit
Q: Does Opera Unite work with other browsers?
A: The server works only in Opera, but the services and files can be accessed from any browsers.
This is an interesting and unexpected development from Opera. For developers and tech savvy users, it could be really great. I’m a little skeptical that my parents would actually start sharing stuff on their computers suddenly, but I can see myself and my sister do it. For web developers, it should be fairly easy to create services and basically “plug-ins” and potentially charge for them. However, this platform might not really increase Opera’s market share significantly because any browser can effectively access the services that run on Opera Unite.
What we like in Opera Unite is that it enables millions of new, smaller, services without having to build any network infrastructure. We think that Opera will provide a first set of services that will be good enough to get the adoption started. We’re pretty excited about this. It might be one more way to become ever more productive.
Still, it is too early to guess how this will turn out and I think that Opera made a bold move here and we wonder how Mozilla, Microsoft and Google will react. Opera told us that it would be big… and big it is. Congrats to Opera for the launch.