Opera tantalized everyone last week with its proclamation that the Norwegian company was about to reinvent the Web. We were skeptical at best. Here we are on launch day and, well, the Web kind of feels the same, but Opera has announced its latest and greatest innovation, dubbed Opera Unite. According to the post at Opera Labs, Opera Unite is an application that will turn any computer running the software into a web server. Users running Opera Unite will be able to share content with multiple computers over the Internet through the web browser, or even web applications called Unite services. Opera is pushing the service as a social media tool that requires no third party service, no complicated setup and no additional fees. Your data shared from your computer, on your terms and under your control. The service will launch with a few demo applications including Opera Unite Jukebox, an in-browser media player, and an instant messaging application. Opera Unite will work on Mac, Windows and Linux PCs with expansion to mobile browsers and other devices expected in the future. An alpha version of the Opera Unite software is now available for download.
Sorry Al Gore, your work here is done. The Internet as we know it will soon to be a thing of the past. No longer will a complex series of interconnected computers following a strict set of protocols connect us to the information we crave, the knowledge we relish and the kitty videos we yearn to “awwwwwwwwwwwwww” at. TCP/IP… Psssshhhh, peace. Copper wire, fiber optic cable… So long, suckas. Opera is about to kick it all to the curb. Or maybe, just maybe, Opera’s PR team is writing checks the company can’t cash and we’re just going to see Opera 10 come out of beta on the 16th. Yeah, that’s way more likely.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
As Opera continues to chip away at its competition and gain mobile market share, you can bet it’s not resting on any laurels. The software company has just released its 9.7 Beta version for Windows Mobile and promises to render pages faster and with better compression. The new version also includes Opera Widgets manager. Do note that this is still in beta and will have some issues:
- Opera Turbo in Opera Mobile is still a preview-feature;
- Downloads don’t work while Opera Turbo is enabled.
- Some settings (such as toggle on/off images) do not apply when Opera Turbo is enabled.
- On older WM 5.0 Devices with 480×800 resolution, switching between portrait and landscape may cause display errors. This is due to lack of support for this resolution in early versions of Microsoft’s driver.
- Some input method editors are known not to work well with Opera because they do not comply with Microsoft’s SIP and/or IME standard. When such an editor is detected by Opera, Opera will use a known (default) input method instead. An exception is EzInput v1.5, where the phone keypad and compact QUERTY, ABC mode doesn’t work, but the rest of the modes work fine. We recommend upgrading to EzInput v2.0 to avoid this.
- Only support for FlashLite 3.x. No Flash plugin included.
Still, it looks like a fine upgrade and a great direction for Opera mobile, especially with the new widgets manager. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Following a report from Forbes last Friday, Opera has stated publicly — at least in PR speak — that it denies suggestions of one or more US carrier agreements rumored to be announced in early April. Forbes’ report suggested US carriers were finally “coming around” and the Oslo-based browser company would be announcing agreements to bring its mobile browser to subsidized handsets in the US at CTIA. Opera’s public response:
Opera is aware of statements in the media that Opera will announce one or more agreements with US operators in early April.
Opera would like to clarify that it has no plans to announce any US operator agreements to the OSE in early April as mentioned in the media.
Well that doesn’t leave much room for debate now does it? The idea of less-savvy users in the US having access to a more real version of the web from feature phones was definitely exciting as typical, casual users are unlikely to seek out a browser like Opera Mobile on their own. Alas, no such luck if this announcement is taken at face value. We’re sure Opera will continue to push its browser to US carriers and we can only hope deals will be announced at some point. That point however, will not be next week at CTIA.
Forbes is reporting that Opera is bypassing handset manufacturers and striking deals with US wireless carriers in an attempt to further the distribution of its popular mobile web browser. Opera currently has agreements with European carriers Vodafone and T-Mobile that places the Opera browser on the carrier’s mobile phones. A loose-lipped Opera spokesman revealed that Opera will also be announcing several US carrier deals at the upcoming CTIA Wireless conference in early April. The spokesperson declined to identify the carriers but the US only has 4 major carriers so you can take your pick. Regardless or which carriers will be scoring Opera Mobile come April, this will be a big step for both Opera and feature phone customers whose browsing experiences are about to get a boost.