A Bright Future for Opera Extensions; End of the Road for Unite Apps and Widgets

As part of a streamlining of our add-ons platform, we're sunsetting support for Unite applications and Widgets in our upcoming Opera 12 release. They will be turned off by default for new users, and support will be completely removed in a release later on this year. This will allow us to focus more strongly on Opera extensions, which will also help clearing up confusion about the types of browser add-ons Opera supports and is committed to.

Looking back at the last six years, we have learned a lot from both our Widgets and Unite implementations, and certain bits of functionality live on in other parts of the Opera browser. Opera extensions, for instance, are another implementation of the W3C Widget platform that became an official W3C Recommendation in September 2011. And our upcoming UPnP support in Opera Dragonfly, which allows you to automatically find instances of Opera Dragonfly on the local network, is directly based on the work we did for finding local Unite users.

Together with this announcement, we want to highlight that we are very committed to our Opera extensions platform, which is a huge success with millions of extensions downloads every week, and will be expanded with more APIs and cross-platform functionality over time. If you haven't checked it out yet, we've released a Labs version of Opera Mobile with extensions support a few weeks back.

So, if you have created Widgets and Unite apps, we are now recommending that you start converting them to Opera extensions, or maybe even normal web applications: you now have AppCache, CORS, and other APIs available in Presto and other browser engines, allowing you to create powerful JavaScript-based applications straight in your browser.

As always, we're interested in your feedback and questions.