November 9, 2010

New Social Browser RockMelt Now In Beta Phase

RockMelt launched a beta version of its new Web browser on Monday, entering a crowded sector that already includes Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox.

"The rumors are true"¦ starting today, we're offering access to an early version of RockMelt, a new browser designed around you and how you use the Web," the company said in a statement posted on its Web site.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which is backed by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and other prominent tech leaders, said it has "re-imagined the browser for modern Web users, building in the Web's most popular services."

"RockMelt enables you to interact and share with friends on Facebook, Twitter and other sites instantly from anywhere on the Web."

The new browser is built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google's Chrome browser, and allows users to incorporate their online social connections into their browsing experience.  For instance, RockMelt displays a user's social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in a margin on the right side of the page, with friends displayed on the left side.

"RockMelt integrates your Facebook friends directly into the browser, so you're always ready to chat, share a video, or keep up on what your friends are doing, wherever you are on the Web," the company said.

"Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you're on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens."

RockMelt co-founder and CEO Eric Vishria said the browser makes the Web a more personal experience.

"Today's Web users need a browser that does more than just navigate pages," he said.

"RockMelt helps people do the things they do every single day -- keep up with their friends, share, get updates, and search."

Marc Andreessen, who launched Netscape in 1994 and sold it four years later to AOL, is among RockMelt's backers.

"RockMelt is onto something huge," he said.

The new browser is "the freshest, most innovative take on browsing since browsers were created."

"They've rethought the browser around the massive shifts in user behavior that will drive the Web over the next decade," said Andreessen, who launched the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in July.

RockMelt will run on Apple's Macintosh computers as well as those running Microsoft Windows.

Invitations to use the beta, or test, version are available at http://www.rockmelt.com/.