August 15, 2009

Browser War: Is Netscape Founder coming back with a vengence?

15 December 1994, Netscape Communications Corporation launched Netscape Navigator, the Web Browser that changed the way people approached Internet. Microsoft bought the licence of the source code of Mosaic, and with that they created Internet Explorer, which eventually killed Netscape. That browser war was somewhere in 1995. And Andreessen and his Netscape was history!

In July 2009, techedIN was launched, amidst another browser war booming! [Yes, the very same techedIN you are reading now!] Because of the success of Firefox, Google entered the browser market and now the war is between Google, Mozilla, Apple and Microsoft. And today New York Times reported the entry of another player  into the browser market! A man the Internet World always remembers with a lot of respect -Marc Andreessen!

New York Times reported that Marc is funding a Software Development firm called RockMelt, which is secretly into the business of developing a new generation browser. NYT reports:
But Mr. Andreessen suggested the new browser would be different, saying that most other browsers had not kept pace with the evolution of the Web, which had grown from an array of static Web pages into a network of complex Web sites and applications. “There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch,” Mr. Andreessen said.
So Marc is building a web browser from scratches, the one that will slowly kill the current ones? Like Microsoft took over his browser kingdom way back in 1995? And what is Marc and his team building? RockMelt does not give you much idea about what is happening with them, on their site. They just have a page that shows off their mysterious logo. [Believe me, the logo sticks! Great sense of logo selection!]

There are people who claim that they got a chance to take a look at the 'thing' RockMelt is attempting to make. And as I understand, it is mostly designed as a browser that integrates Facebook into its build. In other words Marc seems to be targeting the millions who use Facebook like Google once targeted Firefox users, buying the rights to be the home page of every Firefox Browser.And Marc is on the Director Board of Facebook, which would probably make it easy for him to strike a deal with Facebook.

Does it have any other feature built into it other than Facebook integration? No one knows. If it is just about Face Book integration, then what is Flock for? Flock is a web browser launched by Mozilla, the makers of Firefox. Flock integrates Face Book and Twitter very well into its build. It also lets you keep in touch with your feeds real time. It permits you to access your mail, post your blog and all these features are built into the browser. This means once you have your account open you don't have to go directly to the website to access information. The browser brings you all that information by itself. Flock is much more powerful than any browser I have seen so far. Not even Chrome or Firefox can match it! [I'm not so sure about security though!]

If there is already a browser [Flock!] that fits the description of what Marc probably has in his mind, then why re-invent the wheel? Is he just trying to take his vengence on Microsoft for having him out of the game? Or is it about controling the web, because today owning a browser that people use is how on-line might of Software Companies is defined? Is the new browser to be created by the RockMelt Team going to be a powerful new generation one? Or is it going to be a Facebook Homepage thing that is going to die once another social networking site better than Face Book will take over the market? Only time will tell! [I have given my email address to the RockMelt team and am waiting for their updates. Till then, I'll try and use Flock for some time and see if it can get me out of my Chrome Addiction!]

Images from Wikipedia and RockMelt Official Site

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