In its endeavor to reinvent the Internet, Opera which is known for its web browsers has finally introduced and is a part of the Opera 10 Desktop Web Browser. Opera Unite basically offers web server capabilities right in the web browser which allows users to share data and files on the Internet but also to host chat rooms, online applications and even complete web projects.
Our computers are only dumb terminals connected to other computers (meaning servers) owned by other people — such as large corporations — who we depend upon to host our words, thoughts, and images. We depend on them to do it well and with our best interests at heart. We place our trust in these third parties, and we hope for the best, but as long as our own computers are not first class citizens on the Web, we are merely tenants, and hosting companies are the landlords of the Internet.
The main difference between Opera’s approach and the standard approach is that Opera establishes direct client to client connections without data being hosted in the cloud on third party servers. Opera is attempting to take advantage of the rise of social networking and use it inside the browser, as a personal extension to one’s computing experience.
Social networking is important, but who owns it — the online real estate and all the content we share on it? How much control over our words, photos, and identities are we giving up by using someone else’s site for our personal information? How dependent have we become? I imagine that many of us would lose most of our personal contacts if our favorite Web mail services shut down without warning. Also, many of us maintain extensive friend networks on sites like MySpace and Facebook, and are, therefore, subject to their corporate decisions via “Terms of Service” and click-through agreements. Furthermore, what does it mean anyway to be connected to hundreds of our “closest” friends? What about our real social networks, the people we want to interact with on a regular basis (like once a week, or even every day)? Why are online solutions to help us with our real-world social needs so few and far between?
Opera Unite aims to make hosting and sharing data as simple as navigating around the Internet. They are embedding a web server in the browser, and making it possible to share files, music and photos and to post notes or chat directly with your anyone who knows the URL to your account and also you can secure it with your password.
We are connected to a Web that has democratized much and is an amazing source of information. However, “the wisdom of the crowd,” along with the notion that our data ought to live on other people’s computers that we don’t control, has contributed to making the Internet more impersonal, anonymous, fragmented, and more about “the aggregate” than the individual. In fact, quite the opposite of the original promise. For too long, we’ve been going online to connect to each other, but sacrificing intimacy as a result.
Opera claims to give users greater control of their data while still allowing for easy sharing of files and information between all web-enabled devices also now creating a full-service application will now be as easy as coding a web page.
Watch Opera Unite promotional Video