New Browser Called RockMelt

There will soon be another player among internet browsers soon. The name RockMelt may join the ranks of Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), and Chrome.  Mr. Andreessen, who helped found Netscape, a classic internet browser that launched 15 years ago buy eventually folded under the pressure of IE, will provide financial support to create the new browser. According Andreessen, it will function differently from most browsers.

While RockMelt is still in the early development of the project, there is some indication that it will work with Facebook. According to the NY Times,

The policy says that a person could use a Facebook ID to log into RockMelt, suggesting that the browser may be tailored to display Facebook updates and other features as users browse the Web. Another browser, Flock, based on Firefox, already incorporates feeds from social networking sites.

This makes sense since there are millions of people who use Facebook–why not tap into this user group and make a search engine that works around how people use the internet. According to the NY Times, the public relations person from Facebook knows nothing about the details of Rockmelt, and is not working with them.

The nature of the Internet has changed drastically from the days of the browser wars in the 1990s, and people use the internet differently and for many different purposes. Web pages are now dynamic and interactive, they can remember your previous visits and preferences, and many applications are performed online instead of through the PC.

Among the current popular browsers are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Apple’s Safari.  According to the original NY Times article, the foot traffic for each is respectively 68% and 23% [and between 6%–this number for Safari has been floated around by other sources]. Internet Explorer is still the dominant browser even though the number of users has declined from its high of 90% of foot traffic a few years back.

Is the world ready for another web browser?  Perhaps, as long as it ties in with how people communicate with each other, finds and displays information in a timely and efficient manner.  I think if they focus on how people communicate, they will have a good chance of catching on.

Facebook might be a goods start, but it will need to branch out in order to succeed, as I’m sure that it will. A number of blogs seem to believe that Facebook will be the primary focus. Perhaps, but for some reason I suspect that RockMelt will do much more. To get news updates about RockMelt, signup on the RockMelt home page.

Read the original NY Times article.


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on August 14, 2009, in Google, Macs-Apple, Microsoft, RockMelt, Tech Toys and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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