Opera’s Unite Breaks Records

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Opera has released an update to its browser, taking the browser to Opera 10.10, which sees its much-touted Unite service added to the browser. It’s meant a record-breaking week for Opera.

The numbers are fairly impressive; Opera has seen the latest version of its browser downloaded by around 12.5 million people in the last week alone, beating the record number of downloads it had had by fully 25%, set on the release of Opera 10. Of course, the big question is whether or not Unite, which many see as having been the driving force behind the latest figures, stands the test of time.

For those who haven’t had a chance to investigate it, Opera’s Unite, seems to be a strange blending of web-based applications and sharing. It’s an interesting idea, with Opera specifically targeting those with vast libraries of photos to share in its advertising of the service.

Rather than actually sending a person all of your photos, whether by email or by a piece of storage actually being shipped to them, the Unite version of sharing just gives the user you want to share with access to the folder, allowing them to browse your files directly from their browser. It’s strange, and we’d imagine it causes all kinds of headaches when it comes to connection and performance, but it’s also a fairly neat way of making a lot of data available to distant users.

The service also allows for music streaming by the same means, which we can only imagine opens users up to all kinds of legal headaches, but is no less interesting than it is with images.

Certainly we’re curious to see how well Opera does with Unite, especially because it seems to be moving in entirely the opposite direction to Google, whose whole drive has been towards entirely cloud-based data storage with Chrome OS. Unite seems to do the reverse, just pointing users directly from one machine to another… and somehow it feels a little more like user empowerment that way.

If you’d like to check out Opera, or even just if you’re curious about Unite, you can grab the latest version of the browser from Opera.com.

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