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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Andreessen’

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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