It has been quite some time since Opera announced its upcoming Unite technology that would "reinvent the web". In the meantime we have seen Google Wave, and Chrome OS, and SPDY. None have anything to do with Opera, but the fact is, the web is being reinvented with or without Opera.
So for those who missed out on Opera Unite, it is a new innovative feature in Opera 10.10 which embeds a web-server into your browser. What would be the benefit of that you ask?
Web 2.0 has made us more than just consumers of a pool of static information, but actual participants in the online community. We visit websites to leave comment, participate in forums and interact with other people. The popularity of P2P has shown that the Internet can go on without needing big companies to spoon feed content to people, we can get by on our own.
With Opera Unite, your web browser becomes less of a consumer of web content, and more of a P2P application which allows you become a true member of the internet. You can share your music and images, or set up your own website, run a messaging service, or allow people to leave notes on your computer while you are away, and these are just the "applications" bundled with Opera 10.10.
With Opera Unite, you get a simple URL for all your applications which you can share with your friends, and Opera takes care care of getting it through firewalls. The resulting URL can be used on any browser, not just Opera.
It is by no means impossible to achieve such tasks without Opera Unite, we can set up our own web-server and use a dynamic IP service. You can install your own application and share content from your comp with the web. However few such systems come close to making it as simple as download Opera and start Unite, well not that simple, you do need to register for an Opera account.
It is nice to see Opera keep up its trend of adding innovative features. Despite its poor market share, Opera is the source of many of the features we see in browsers today -- such as tabs, gestures, and its speed dial. However other than the addition of Unite, Opera 10.10 comes with little else that's new.
It is still a little annoying that in their time spent "reinventing the web", they couldn't throw a little attention to adding add-on support and supporting jumplists in Windows 7... come on Opera! All the cool browsers are doing it!
| Opera Unite Photo sharing application
|| Opera Unite Music sharing application
|| Opera Unite Fridge application
(Allows you to leave notes)
| Opera Unite File sharing application
|| Opera Unite Messaging application