A new browser has launched, called RockMelt. The idea behind the new browser is to combine all the elements that people are accustomed to when using a typical browser-surfing the Web, for example-with the things they actually do while they’re browsing pages, like talking with friends on Facebook or catching up on the updates from their favorite blogs.
But RockMelt is entering a crowded and hostile browser market. Currently, Internet Explorer still stands atop the space, with Firefox trailing behind. Google’s Chrome browser is making strides in the market with its share continuing to gain. The browser market is hotly contested and extremely volatile. Trying to break into that space at this point in the game is bound to be difficult.
But RockMelt has the ability to capture some market share. It’s unique if nothing else, and it delivers the kind of functionality that power Web users might really like. Read on to find out why RockMelt, against all odds, might have some promise in the browser space.
1. It has the right backing
One of the most important aspects of RockMelt’s chances of succeeding is that the company has famed venture capitalist and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen behind it. To those outside Silicon Valley, it might not mean much. But Andreessen is a powerhouse on the Web, and he has a tendency to back the right companies with the right ideas. Now RockMelt has become one of his crown jewels. With Andreessen’s help, RockMelt could be more successful than some might otherwise believe possible.
2. It’s more than just Web browsing
The beauty of RockMelt is that it delivers more than just Web browsing. Those who want to just check out a few Web pages can obviously do so, but it also has access to Facebook and Twitter built right in. It also includes the ability to see the user’s Web feeds, top services and much, much more. The browser provides a full, end-to-end experience that’s designed to give people everything they typically want without requiring them to go elsewhere to get it.
3. RockMelt is everywhere you go
RockMelt’s services are cloud-based. What that means is regardless of where you are using the browser, you can access your bookmarks, preferences and everything else from the software. It’s able to achieve that functionality by being a browser that users log in to. Upon doing so, all the information found on the home PC is available at the office PC or anywhere else. It’s a neat idea, and it’s one that could appeal to quite a few users.
4. The best idea for search
Rather than be forced to open a new tab, open Google Search and look for pages, RockMelt integrates search into the browser. So, while staying on the same page, users can type a query into the search box and view all the results as an overlay on the current page they’re on. Then they can simply click the page they want and there they go. It’s a unique idea that many folks will really like.
RockMelt Attempts to Streamline Users Web Access
5. It limits the need for extensions
Much of RockMelt’s functionality can be done with extensions on several browsers, including Firefox. But having to manage those extensions can be a pain. The average novice user likely won’t do it. RockMelt has all that functionality built right in, making it ideal for the power user who wants everything. It’s also easy enough to use for the novice who likes having the ability to see Facebook updates without necessarily going to the page.
6. The design is just right
RockMelt’s design is quite impressive. And for most users, they will feel right at home with the browser. The software is still quite young, which means it has some bugs, but for the most part, it’s designed well for the average user who typically downloads beta products as soon as they’re made available.
7. It’s based on Chromium
RockMelt is based on open-source Chromium code originally developed to support Google’s Chrome browser. That has given developers the leniency they need to continue improving the software while still making it quite zippy when loading pages. Even better, it gives the software some much-needed credibility in the open-source community, which has been known to support projects until the bitter end.
8. It tracks the user’s favorite sites
One of the best features of RockMelt is that it tracks the user’s favorite Websites, providing them with alerts whenever a specific page is updated. The service can also tell folks when pictures are uploaded by friends, videos are shared by others and much more. It’s quite similar to having an RSS reader built into the browser. It’s a nice idea. And it’s one that some users will definitely like having.
9. The browser is the last line of defense
Part of the beauty of RockMelt is that it doesn’t force users to go to different sites to do the things they want to do. So, for instance, if they want to share a link with their friends on Twitter, they can do it from the browser, rather than use the different links and boxes on various Websites. That’s something that most other browsers are lacking.
10. It works on Mac OS X and Windows
In today’s browser market, running on both Windows and Mac OS X is an absolute necessity. Wisely for RockMelt, it does just that. As Google and Mozilla have shown, providing a browser to as many customers as possible is the best way to even come close to matching Internet Explorer’s market share.