A new Web browser, Rockmelt debuts in limited beta Monday and aims to help you keep tabs on your Facebook friends and your favorite sites, and make your Web searches faster. Backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, Rockmelt was first reported on by The New York Times in August 2009. At the time, Rockmelt was supposedly going to be a next-generation Web browser designed to take advantage of new Web applications and services.
All About Facebook
You can use Rockmelt as you would any normal Web browser by just firing it up and surfing the Web. But Rockmelt’s real power is unlocked when you log into the browser using your Facebook ID. This allows the browser to display a list of your Facebook friends in a slim sidebar on the left side of the browser window; feeds from your favorite sites in a sidebar on the right; and stores your browser bookmarks and preferences.
All of this personalized information is saved on Rockmelt’s servers so that you can access it by logging into the Rockmelt browser from any computer. Rockmelt does not, however, save your Web searches or browsing history, according to an interview with Rockmelt co-founders Eric Vishria and Tim Howes by blogger Robert Scoble. The company also says that all of your personal data is stored as an encrypted bundle on its servers to keep it private. It’s not clear if Rockmelt has the ability to decrypt your data, but the company does say they are not interested in your information for the purposes of ad targeting.
If you are going to create a new browser from scratch and go up against the Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple, you might as well make it really different. RockMelt, a company backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen which has been under wraps until today, is trying to build a new browsing experience from the ground up. Are they crazy? “The big thing,” says Andreessen, “is that the browser world is very much in flux right now.”
Special thanks to TechCrunch, and PC World for their contributions to this article.
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