Home Opera “Reinvents the Web” with Unite, Makes Every Computer a Server

Opera “Reinvents the Web” with Unite, Makes Every Computer a Server

Opera has been buzzing up our inboxes lately with rather vague press releases on how it planned to “reinvent the web.”

Well, we’ve just received concrete confirmation of exactly what that means. Their new product, Opera Unite, “turns any computer into both a client and a server, allowing it to interact with and serve content to other computers directly across the Web, without the need for third-party servers.”

Opera Unite aims to make hosting and sharing data as simple as navigating around the Internet. It purports to give users greater control of their data while still allowing for easy sharing of files and information between all web-enabled devices. The Unite services are based on open web standards to permit developers to design cutting-edge applications with ease. Opera even claims that creating a full-service application will now be as easy as coding a web page.

Unite is now available in the Opera 10 desktop browser from Opera Labs, and services run directly in the browser. Directions for setup are also available at that page.

Opera Product Analyst, Launrence Eng, writes, “Opera Unite is a unique technology that turns any computer or device running Opera into a Web server. In other words, your computer (running Opera Unite) is truly part of the fabric of the Web, rather than just interacting with it.”

The first apps offered by Opera Unite include file sharing, a web server, a social note-posting app, a chat app, photo sharing, and a media player, but Eng states that much grander features and functions are in the works.

“Think of multiplayer games, from simple two-player challenges like Chess up to sprawling RPGs. And Opera Unite is not just about fun. Think about collaborative applications such as spreadsheets, documents or Wikis, which you can work on with friends and colleagues without having to host them on a third-party site such as Google Spreadsheets or installing specialized applications on a dedicated server. You could use reverse Ajax or “COMET” techniques to mean that all the updates are seen on everyone’s computers in real time; multiple people could make changes at once, without having to lock people out.”

Here are some screenshots of the apps in action; click to see larger versions:

Last and kind of least, here’s a rather touchy-feely video from Opera explaining in very simple terms what Unite is supposed to do to web architecture:

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