Opera has recently announced a new software/service offering called Opera Unite. This is included in a beta version of the Opera 10 browser that you can download directly from the company's website. With Unite Opera plans to help you bring a piece of the cloud home with you, by allowing you to simple and almost effortlessly host content for public consumption, within your own computer.
Opera Unite will work as a platform, allowing new services to be added to the browser and thus adding new functionality for the end user. What interest this platform will stir up amongst developers is still too soon to tell.
While the concept is rather interesting whether or not the implementation will prove to be useful, or even usable, also remains to be seen. The main drawback to proposed approach is that while more and more people have permanent broadband connections to the Internet, even more people have notebook computers which they carry around all the time and which are thus unavailable to serve content on-line. This can, however, prove to be a powerful tool for people working in small distributed groups or that are part of tight communities such as college students.
My first contact with Unite has me interested but not yet overly optimistic about its usability. I will continue to follow the product's development, and even more importantly to follow what new services are added to this platform Opera is introducing.
What do you think of Opera Unite?