Opera Unite was going to change the Web, according to the hype from the Norwegian browser maker. Despite only being available for a number of months in a beta separate from the main Opera build--and the Internet looking more or less like the same place in the aftermath--the release of Opera 10.10 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux indicates that Unite is about to become a standard Opera feature.

File sharing from the first Opera Unite beta in June 2009. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Unite is basically a peer-to-peer system designed through the browser, but its API allows users to create feature-rich apps using only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. By default, Unite comes with six apps: photo sharing, an instant messenger based around My Opera, file sharing, a Web server, a media player, and "the fridge," a communal place to share short notes with friends. When Unite was released during the pre-Opera 10 beta testing period over the past summer, it was generally stable and didn't significantly impact Opera's performance. A free My Opera account is required to use the Unite features.

Users interested in creating Opera Unite apps can check out Opera's tutorials. If you've used Unite, or built an app for it, tell us about it in the comments below.