On Monday, RockMelt, a company founded and financed by a group of Netscape alumni, will release a new Web browser, 16 years after Netscape introduced the first commercial Internet browser, and 12 years after the company was sold to AOL after its defeat by Microsoft in the so-called browser wars.
“We think it is a fantastic time to build a company around a browser,” said Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape, and whose venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is the principal financial backer of RockMelt.
Although most people spend more time using their Web browser than any other program on their computers, most browsers have not kept up with the evolution of the Web into a social media hub, Mr. Andreessen said. He and Mr. Campbell, a former Netscape board member who is advising the new company as well as investing in it, say RockMelt is a browser for the Facebook era.
2:24 am on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Have to have facebook acct, no thanks. shrug.
5:48 am on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
OK, I don't get it.
What are they doing that anyone couldn't do building plug-ins/add-ons for Firefox or Chrome?
Do we really need yet another browser just to add a couple of toolbars on the side of the screen?
Didn't think so.
The only real play I see here is to bundle (aka sell out) the thing with facebook itself which is the only way it'll probably survive in the wild IMO.
7:23 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
It looks like it's based on Chrome - I can't see this taking off except maybe with teenagers and the like. It's hard to tell the future though and maybe there is cool stuff in it. I think it's safe to say that whatever cool ideas they thought off will be implemented in other browsers or replicated as add-ons.
It is interesting to consider what success could be had by a well-packaged, well-marketed rehash of a popular browser such as Chrome, with the right built in add-ons and easy shortcuts to the sites a large proportion of a target demographic (likely teens or the elderly) would use. In this case with the name and screenshot I've seen I'm thinking it's the former.
They've certainly drummed up some fair publicity for what is probably a similar idea to things seen several times before, e.g. Flock.