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Posts Tagged ‘browser’

Browser War 2.0: Netscape founder Marc Andreesen and Facebook plotting to take on Google?

Posted by andreaitis on August 14, 2009

Netscape founder Marc Andreesen is back in the browser business with a new startup called Rockmelt.   Details are rockmelt 8-14-2009 12-02-03 AMscarce so far, but we know Andreesen is regrouping with some familiar faces. Rockmelt co-founders Eric Vishria and Tim Howes worked with Andreesen at  Opsware, a company he co-founded and then sold to Hewlett-Packard for about $1.6 billion.  That was just two years ago.

Last time Andreesen fought the browser wars he lost to Microsoft. This time he’ll take on  Google’s Chrome along with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but he won’t be doing it alone.  If we think of this as an episode of Survivor, Andreesen is forming his alliance with Facebook.

A privacy policy on the site, which was removed after a reporter made inquiries to Mr. Vishria, indicates the browser is intended to be coupled somehow with Facebook. Mr. Andreessen serves as a director of Facebook.

The policy says that a person could use a Facebook ID to log into RockMelt, suggesting that the browser may be tailored to display Facebook updates and other features as users browse the Web.

via Netscape Founder Backs New Browser – NYTimes.com

ReadWriteWeb got a look at a very early build, and Facebook Connect is front and center.   This is likely a step towards a pervasive Facebook experience, but we don’t know if it will be client-based, an ever-present navigation bar (expanding on Facebook’s current navbar) or something else that’s completely unexpected.

Why does the world need a Facebook browser? A cynical and sarcastic answer would be “because Facebook is the internet and the internet is Facebook.” It’s a little harder to be too cynical, though, when you look at the team of people who appear to be working on the project. These are people who have done a lot for the open web. Hopefully RockMelt will be a game changer in the same spirit…It might seem outlandish, but desktop software dedicated to serving Facebook and perhaps integration of other sites with Facebook, could go over very well with millions of people.

RockMelt: Netscape’s Andreessen Backing Stealth Facebook Browser via readwriteweb.com

After Facebook’s still-fresh purchase of Friendfeed and the introduction of a soon-to-come Facebook Lite, Mark Zuckerberg is taking no prisoners.  A Facebook-Friendfeed-Rockmelt triumverate could shake up the balance of power.   That’s clearly what they intend to do, with Google directly in their line of sight.

google bullseye logo

Don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this rumble.

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One billion reasons not to use Internet Explorer

Posted by andreaitis on July 30, 2009

Mozilla Firefox

Image via Wikipedia

On Friday Firefox is expected to  hit a huge milestone:  one billion browser downloads.  One billion! Say it like Dr. Evil for full effect.   That doesn’t mean one billion people are using Firefox.  Still, it’s a remarkable number when you consider the first release was just five years ago.

Mozilla has a Web site and a Twitter feed where people can keep track of the total. On Thursday afternoon, the feed showed more than 999,180,000 downloads, with about 15 more happening each second.

Mozilla said initially that it expected to hit the billion mark some time over the weekend. An hour later, as the news trickled out and the pace of downloads increased, Mozilla revised its estimate to Friday. An enthusiast Web site with a “Firefox Download Guesstimator” predicts it will reach a billion on Friday at noon GMT.

via Firefox to Hit 1 Billion Downloads Friday – PC World

Let’s put this in perspective.   The one billion number includes all Firefox browser versions since 2004.   The United States Census Bureau estimates the Earth’s population at 6.7 billion.  If we assume people have downloaded 4 versions (with upgrades and all), that means approximately 268 million  people are using Firefox.

Here’s the math:

1 billion divided by 4 divided by 6.7 billion = (rounding up)  4% or 268 million

Now, it’s no secret that I harbor some petulant dislike for Internet Explorer.  It’s the Nicolas Cage of browsers for me:  ever-present but never really delivering what I expect or need and never quite meshing with everything around it.   So you’ll understand if I mark this  Billion Browser Bash as a special occasion.  Hey, I’m sure there will be refreshments and you can bet Firefox will pick up the tabs.

Hah.  Refresh-ments.  Tabs.  Get it?   Internet Explorer wouldn’t even attempt that kind of browser humor.  Okay, I can see how that might be one point in their favor so i’ll just uninstall my pun plugin now…

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IE8 Out Today. Will I Need Regular Aspirin or Extra-Strength?

Posted by andreaitis on March 19, 2009

Yes, that’s judgmental.  Especially considering I haven’t even tried Microsoft’s latest browser upgrade.  But, seriously, have you used IE7?

A friend said to me just yesterday: “Internet Explorer is the bane of every CSS developer’s existence.”

So many people using it just because it’s a convenient default browser does not a good product make.

So, with trepidation (and some cautious notes from Walt Mossberg) I will test it out and report back.

IE8 is more stable than IE7, more compatible with industrywide Web standards, and packed with new features that improve navigation, search, ease of use, privacy and security.

Some of these features can’t be matched out of the box by its main rival browsers. For instance, related tabs are color-coded, the search field can show images along with text, you can get instant fly-out maps of place names in Web pages, and you can easily hide your tracks online from the prying eyes of advertisers.

But, in my tests, IE8 wasn’t as fast as Firefox, or two other notable browsers — the Windows version of Apple’s (AAPL) new Safari 4 and Google’s (GOOG) Chrome. IE8 loaded a variety of pages I tested more slowly than any of the other browsers, and it grew sluggish when juggling a large number of Web pages opened simultaneously in tabs

Microsoft Ups Ante With New Browser | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD

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the google garden

Posted by andreaitis on September 2, 2008

google chromes microsoft

google chromes microsoft

a heated debate raging on techcrunch today over the pronouncement that google’s imminently-launching browser will, in effect, kill windows.    if that prediction comes true, it would certainly be a slow and agonizing death.  windows still has over 70% of the browser market.

besides, there’s nothing to fear here.  google announced it with a comic book. see?  they’re funny and quirky, those googlers.

except…there’s something uncomfortable here.  like the walls are closing in, despite the trumpeting of openness, the “do no evil” mantra.  they have me surrounded. gmail…gtalk…docs…youtube…search…googlemaps…targeted ads…and so on.

they probably know me better than anyone else — whether i want them to or not.  and i’m not the only one who’s worried.

gigaom says: Not having seen Chrome, I will withhold any final judgement myself, but I would look at the privacy implications of Chrome very, very carefully. I have long since stopped buying into the “do no evil” drivel the company keeps espousing.

having come from the walled gardens of aol, i know the signs.  blugh.  i have to go.  gotta google ‘claustrophobic’ now…

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