Opera Turns Your Computer Into a Server

"But it's also a client."

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Update: Opera has released the beta version of Opera Unite in Opera 10.10 beta.

Original Article: Today Opera has released a product (as promised), which it claims reinvents the web. That may seem like an exaggerated statement, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless.

The product is called Opera Unite, and it is available at labs.opera.com. What Opera Unite does, is basically turn your computer into both a client and a server. It eliminates the need for third-party servers.

"Today, we are opening the full potential of the Web for everyone," says Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner. "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."

Current Opera Unite services include file sharing, web server, media player, photo sharing, chat, and "the fridge," which allows users to post notes on their friends’ "virtual refrigerators." I’m thinking this is basically like Facebook’s "wall."

Here are some screenshots of what these services look like:

File Sharing

Opera Unite - File Sharing

Web Server

Opera Unite - Web Server

Media Player

Opera Unite - Media Player

Photo Sharing

Opera Unite - Photo Sharing


Opera Unite - Chat

The Fridge

Opera Unite - Fridge

"What interests me about Opera Unite is how current technology and the social world are now interconnected," says Molly E. Holzschlag, Web evangelist for Opera. "Using open standards including HTML, CSS and JavaScript, developers and even enthusiasts with a little standards savvy can make their own Opera Unite service. Opera Unite allows people the ability to be imaginative with their skills and create a wide range of technical and social applications using the same open standards used today."

It seems that it is a little early for there to be any concrete opinions from users formed at this point. The Twitterverse appears to interested in the product, but a little unsure of what to expect (even those who have already downloaded it). Some have compared it to Google Wave, only with one being on the desktop, and the other on the web.

What are your initial thoughts on Opera Unite? Does this really "reinvent the web?" Tell us what you think.

Opera Turns Your Computer Into a Server
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  • Guest

    Wow, screenshots of 450 * 346 pixels, welcome to the web.

    • Klacs

      Try clicking on the image. Yes, we welcome *you* to the web. Please get with it.

    • Guest

      Those aren’t screenshots… those are thumbnails… as the guy above me said… Get with it.

  • http://www.stonerscolony.com FaTe

    small screen shots result in lost viewers due to bad content or people go to the Opera site and download to see for themselves.

    As for the browser itself encouraging client side processing will lead to dark doors being opened for many exploiters out there…

    • http://www.diamondonnet.com Diamonds

      I agree, client side processing will lead to security issues. Too many factors come into place with email, messaging, ref, etc… But good for them for trying something as innovative as always.

  • Chris Crum

    I hear you. They were formatted at this size to fit the template of our design, but they should have clicked through, which they now do. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Guest

    Any alternative to Google is welcome

  • Guest

    my phone runs opera is it in the plans as well?

  • http://linuxdevjourney.blogspot.com/ DazFuller

    Okay so there are going to be security issues and I don’t think it will catch on that quickly largely due to Opera’s current market share and that people won’t quite know what to make of it for a while. But I think it holds great promise, at least now if I want to do something like share photos with my dad I don’t need a flickr account (or google picasa for that matter). It’s cool, it’s cloud computing but without having to rely on corporations to host the content.

  • Guest

    Well I for one take my hat off to Opera, everyone makes web browsers today but it’s good to see one developer thinking outside of the box and coming up with something useful beyond yet another tabbed browsing feature.

    Sure it won’t replace true servers for all your critical and persistent projects but the ability to be able to quickly share content and create temporary servers is a big deal.
    I for one can see how this will save me a lot of time when dealing with clients while also being a fun and dynamic alternative to FaceBook when I want to share content with friends and family.

    It does seem strange that Opera isn’t more widely used, we all test to FireFox, IE and Safari when Opera is a browser which consistently punches over its weight.

  • Gareth

    Perhaps, I will have to run them side by side and see which I prefer.

    • Zecc

      have you met Plain Old Server?

  • Mario Koch

    Seems an interesting idea and worth trying, even from tech point of view.
    I wouldn’t call it “new web”, but it may make ad hoc sharing of information much easier, independent of hosters. The hosters will remain and will bee needed still as a basis for the “persistent information” in the web.
    Technically I’m interested in the resource consumption of this new browser-server. Til now Opera has been fast and light (also on mobiles…)


  • eBoxNet

    it sounds really good to me but it may be unstable and slow,another thing we have to think of is security,anyways its a good first step i think.

  • Guest

    As usual, Opera are infatuated with themselves, and yet again they turn out another piece of stupid software which nobody wants.

    • Guest

      I believe the same thing was said about firefox too at one point… also… could you be anymore negative?

  • Guest

    I haven’t tried it yet, but my personal concern would be to know how it behaves with ISPs that block ports as soon as they believe the sais port is used for server stuff. Ports 21, 25 and 80 are blocked from my ISP. Anyone of you having this kind of issues ?

    • Guest

      are you in china?

    • http://andymerrett.co.uk Andy Merrett

      That’s not good – how did you get here?

      • Dean

        by typing webpronews.com into his browser, I would guess. When Port 80 is blocked by an ISP, it’s only for incoming connections, as in connections coming into a server. Outgoing is fine.

  • Guest

    Granted you don’t have to pay for it which makes it cheaper… and you don’t need a seperate machine for it which goes further towards being cheaper… nevermind, I’ve talked myself out of the comparison.

  • Michael Lang

    Does anyone else see the legal problems Opera is getting it’s users into? They should not even allow the option to share the media player tab publicly. A new round of pre-teens and teenagers are going to get their parents sued sometime soon.

    Also who is going to go back to the day of posting messages on your personal computer (The fridge, the lounge). That’s like back in the day when I ran a BBS. Do I really want to login to all my friends home servers to post a message or see what they are doing? I’d much rather check a social service or an aggregator to get all that activity in one location.

    The file sharing has a remote chance of being useful to me, but I’d probably rather use google docs or one of the many free sites that will host my shared files.

    On a positive note, the photo sharing portion seems really cool. Shutterfly hasn’t deleted any of my photos in the 3 years I’ve been a member, but I can’t trust them to keep the images forever. I do have multiple copies on other media also, but many people may not backup as well as I do.

  • Guest

    You still need a server, the opera unite central server which distributes traffic to your “server”. And you need an Opera account. Quite a revolution, i say…

  • Guest

    I guess nobody read the fine print from their ISP when they signed up for internet service. Many strictly forbid using their service for hosting related purposes.

  • http://www.dbd-sxa-psycho.webs.com/ Guest

    Okay. This all sound really cool and I’m excited.

    Now… I have yet to use it, but it sounds like this is a very great tool to use and whatnot!

    I’m excited!

  • http://www.fashion-in-bag.com Replica Designer Handbags

    it can do work really?
    i think if be like that really,there are some problems can be avoided.

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