Norway's Opera Software on Tuesday unveiled its new free service enabling simple sharing of pictures, files or music from computers, with anyone on the Internet.
The direct downloading from PC to PC, which will be part of Opera's Web browser, means files can be viewed with any browser and removes the need for data storage on servers.
Similar technologies have been available before for tech-savvy consumers, but have required downloading separate software, paying usage fees, or involved a long process of uploading content -- limiting takeup of services.
Opera has built some sharing services -- for photos and media into the browser -- but has also opened up the platform to any developer to build their own sharing services.
We believe it is the revolution of the Internet. We see this as a disruptive technology for Internet services in the next 1-5 years, Phillip Gronvold, product analyst at Opera, told Reuters.
Opera is the world's third-largest browser maker, with around 40 million users, but is far behind Microsoft and Mozilla Foundation.
We hope to increase our desktop penetration with this service, Gronvold said. We feel there is significant time-to-market benefits in browser space.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer is used for about 60 percent of global Internet traffic, Mozilla's Firefox has about 30 percent, and Opera is at 4 percent, just ahead of Google and Apple, according to Web analytics firm StatCounter.
Microsoft has fallen foul of U.S. and European antitrust regulators for bundling its desktop browser with its operating system, which Opera, Mozilla and Google say is an attempt to drive them out of the market.
Microsoft said last week it plans to ship the newest version of its Windows operating system in Europe without the Internet Explorer browser.
Microsoft's move could be a boon for rivals, but Opera has said this is not enough to restore competition.
Opera has a small share of the desktop browser market, but its mobile browser is the most widely used browser on handsets.
Gronvold said Opera was also working on a mobile version of Unite, but has not decided on a launch schedule.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Mike Nesbit)