The web browsing space has been congested with new web browsers, with many purporting to be the latest in innovation and security. Many have failed to truly deliver- but new web browsing company, RockMelt has decided to use the Cloud to give it an edge.
But before we focus our attentions on them, let’s have a quick potted history of the web browser. In the beginning we had the WorldWideWeb- established 1991. Then rivals emerged. First came the NCSA Mosaic in 1993- the first graphical web browser. And within the Mosaic team, there was a desire to take the concept a stage further.
So step forward Marc Andreessen. After building his own company (Netscape), he launched the Netscape Navigator in 1994, which at the time held an enormous stranglehold over the browser market at its peak.
Microsoft took charge of proceedings in 1995 with Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer once held an enormous monopoly of the market (95%) in 2002, but it has seen its market share considerably reduced over the last eight years.
Opera appeared in 1996, and while it never achieved widespread popularity, it has managed to infiltrate a percentage of the mobile phone web browser market in more recent times. Apple has also enjoyed relative success, growing numbers by integrating the users of their products with the launch of Safari in 2003.
And most recently, Google have attempted to infiltrate the market with Chrome. The open-source package has gained a growing following in just two years, and with its apps, and connectivity,
But it was the Netscape launch of Mozilla in 1998 which provided Microsoft Explorer with its most consistent market rival. The business later evolved into Firefox- who are currently the second most-used web browser on the market.
Now Andreessen’s back, having pumped in a great amount of money into the team formed largely from his successful Netscape group. Unlike other browsers on the market, RockMelt will be able to boast the Cloud and increased social interaction as the two most important weapons in their arsenal.
Let’s start with the Cloud. RockMelt is to become the first browser that you can log into and fully backed by the Cloud. It means that users are able to accesse their personal browsing experience and personal pages from anywhere and can customise their internet experience.
However, the Cloud aspect will mean that RockMelt has a fair degree of control over the viewing history of its users- but the company promises to put this data to good use. Like its other competitors, RockMelt will be free and will make the majority of its money from advertising space. The new browser will make the internet experience quicker. It might be a boss’s nightmare, but it will certainly make recreational internet browsing a more interactive process.
The company has tried to re-invent the shape and design of its webpages by attempting to update the very tried and tested web browser format which has been followed across all platforms. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are to be made available instantly from wherever you are on the web, with tool bars for these facilities existing on either side of the page.
The left hand side integrates Facebook friends, so you can chat, write messages and read status updates, while the right side is for Twitter and RSS feeds, with notifications springing up to alert you to the number of messages and posts you’ve accumulated.
In the opening post of the RockMelt blog, the team said: “RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.
“And of course, RockMelt is fast, secure, and stable because it’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser. It’s your browser – re-imagined and built for how you use the Web.”
Eric Vishria, RockMelt’s co-founder and CEO said: “Today’s Web users need a browser that does more than just navigate pages. RockMelt helps people do the things they do every single day – keep up with their friends, share, get updates, and search.
“We are very excited to begin offering early access to the RockMelt beta as we begin the race to our first million users.”