Does the world need another browser? The co-creator of the first Internet browser thinks so.
Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape, is a lead investor in RockMelt, a new browser backed by his Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm.
“RockMelt is onto something huge. They’ve rethought the browser around the massive shifts in user behavior that will drive the Web over the next decade,” Andreessen said in a statement. “RockMelt is the freshest, most innovative take on browsing since browsers were created. Eric and Tim have built a stellar team that will continue delivering breakthrough innovations.”
“Eric and Tim” refers to RockMelt’s founders, Eric Vishria and Tim Howes, who started the company in 2008. RockMelt is available now in a limited beta release at the company’s home page, but the firm apparently has high hopes for a fast ramp up.
“We are very excited to begin offering early access to the RockMelt beta as we begin the race to our first million users,” said Vishria, RockMelt’s CEO.
The company says RockMelt integrates more closely with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and other Web services than traditional Web browsers.
By integrating with Facebook, RockMelt makes Facebook chat, sharing videos and other Facebook activities directly available regardless of where you browse on the Web. Ditto for making status updates, tweets or sharing content on services like Facebook and Twitter that RockMelt says can be done with one click from within its browser.
RockMelt is also claiming to be the first browser with push notifications, sending users an alert when, for example, their favorite site posts a new story or a new picture is posted by a friend or a new video becomes available.
It also builds on earlier open source project code that is used by Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari.
“RockMelt simply would not be possible without all the great work that has come before us. In particular, we’d like to thank Google for the Chromium open source project, Apple for starting WebKit, and Facebook and Twitter for their APIs, help and support,” said Howes, RockMelt’s chairman and CTO. “We are proud and deeply grateful to be able to build on the shoulders of these and other giants.”
David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.