Opera Software has released a beta version of Unite, its browser-based application platform.

Opera Unite turns any computer running Opera into a web server, and lets users run applications and share content in the browser.

When Opera launched the Unite concept and an alpha version of the platform in June some experts voiced concerns about the possibility of cybercriminals using the platform for nefarious purposes. Opera is working on what it calls "a detailed walk-through" of Opera Unite applications, with widget security also in the works, according to its website.

"It's a way to show that we take security very seriously," said Christen Krogh, chief development officer at Opera.

Opera has also made some security improvements that are available in the beta. Users who want to share photos can no longer send the password with the URL (uniform resource locator) that provides access to the images, according to Krogh. Instead, users have to send two emails that separate the address and the password, he said.

The company is also adding applications to the Unite platform, with support for chat the most important one, according to Krogh. Users can, for example, also download applications for file sharing, accessing music and streaming video in the browser.

Unite is integrated in the beta of Opera 10.10, which can be downloaded from Opera's website.

Krogh declined to say when Unite will go live.

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