Opera Breathes Down Firefox's and Chrome's Necks With Unite
Though the Opera browser isn't open source, it's free and its new server-in-a-browser feature, Unite, is really making significant inroads toward online collaboration. If Chrome and Firefox are to keep their edge over Opera, their development teams had better sit up and take notice.
Opera's Unite technology lets users run chat rooms, host Web sites, and share files that even people not using Opera can access. "The interaction is all done via a central Opera Unite server — Opera Unite uses a proxy between the server and its clients (found at operaunite.com) to avoid the need for any special firewall configuration," writes the development team. Unite launched today with six features but is calling on the Opera community to design and create any new services they'd like to see available.
Read on to have a look at what Opera Unite can already do and why Google and Mozilla haven't cornered the market on browsers just yet.
All the features are available from side tabs that toggle out of the way when not in use. Use File Sharing to make your files accessible to the world, lock them down so only you can see them, or create a password to provide limited access for others.
Fridge is a neat little feature that lets you leave notes for yourself or allow others to access your Fridge and post a note to you.
Want to share videos or other media files with your friends and family? Unite's Media Player gets the job done very efficiently. Just upload your files, choose your preferred access level, and quickly email the link.
Photo Sharing makes quick work of getting images into the hands of other people. Send a link to your online photos and friends will be able to quickly access or download them, but not edit or add to your albums.
Images are also availablefor individual viewing, zooming, or emailing.
The Lounge is a fairly bare-bones feature for hosting chats. Each room is assigned its own URL (and a password, if you choose), which users can access from any Web browser without first installing Unite.
The Web Server option lets users offer up content to visitors or run a Web site right from their own computer.