Browser-server now baked into Opera

Amid promises to "reinvent the Web," Opera unveiled Unite, a new beta feature, in its Web browser earlier this year. Now, Opera Unite comes as a standard browser feature starting with Opera 10.10.

Amid promises to "reinvent the Web," the browser Opera debuted a new beta feature earlier this year called Unite that has been deemed stable enough to offer to all users. Opera's own hype aside, the Unite service provides people with the capability to serve files, host and stream music, and send messages to each other from inside the browser itself--a feature that is unique among the big five browsers. Opera 10.10 is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Much like Opera's built-in e-mail client, Unite is basically a cloud-based, customizable server that includes multiple services, but its open API allows you to write and share your own services. The initial offering includes the default Unite Home, which is the Opera Unite Web page that is given to each user, a media player for creating your own publicly available music stream, the "fridge" for a Facebook-style message wall, an instant messenger with a public/private toggle, a photo sharing app, and file serving and Web hosting capabilities.

Besides including Unite, Opera 10.10 also includes an array of bug fixes, mostly aimed at smoothing out the Unite experience, tweaking mail, news, and chat features, and fixing three security problems. Two are relatively minor, one concerning an error message leak and the other a buffer overflow. The third error Opera is refusing to disclose at this time, but stated that it was discovered by the Google Security Team's Chris Evans. The full changelog for Opera 10.10 is available.

As I've tested Unite over the past few months, it's generally been a stable experience, with a few hiccups to be expected by the beta. However, it hasn't exactly set the browsing world on fire, either, and its target audience is still hard to define. Do you have an opinion on Unite? Let me know in the comments.