RockMelt Looks To Liquefy Browser Rivals With Cloud Computing, Social Networking

RockMelt is putting the leading web browsers on notice: the clock is ticking and cloud computing and social networking are the way of the future for web browsers.

The RockMelt browser, backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, launched into beta on Monday, looking to unseat Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and the growing Google Chrome as the new king of the browser mountain; and it plans to do so by riding the cloud computing and social networking waves that currently dominate the web.

According to RockMelt, the browser leverages a cloud computing architecture that lets it create a personalized browsing experience. Because users log into the RockMelt browser via a username and password, users can bring their customized web experience with them wherever they go with their personal Facebook friends, feeds, services, bookmarks and preferences regardless of which device they log into.

"RockMelt is also the first browser to be fully backed by the cloud," RockMelt wrote in a blog post unveiling the new web browser. "This means you can access your personal browsing experience from anywhere, and you get quick updates from the people and sites that are important to you."

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The fledgling browser also keeps track of users' favorite sites and when a new story is posted or new information shared, that content is waiting in a RockMelt feed within which users can like, comment, reply, retweet or share. That capability, plus a host of other social networking-focused actions are also key differentiators for RockMelt, the company said. The browser also lets users share links via Twitter and other social networks directly from the browser, with a share button next to the URL bar.

"Your friends are important to you, so we built them in," the RockMelt crew wrote. "Now you're able to chat, share that piano-playing-cat video everyone's going to love, or just see what your friends are up to, regardless of what site you're on. Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you're on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens."

Two years in the making, RockMelt is built on the Chromium open source platform, the same open source project behind Google Chrome. It syncs with sites like Facebook, Twitter and others through APIs.

NEXT: 'More Than Just Navigate The Web'

RockMelt is already taking shots at its main foes like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, saying that it does more than simply let users browse and search the web.

"RockMelt does more than just navigate Web pages," the company wrote. "It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search...It's your browser -- re-imagined and built for how you use the Web."

RockMelt also points out that it presents search results differently than its chief rivals. Instead of clicking back and forth to find the right results, RockMelt offers search results in a magazine style that lets users use their keyboard to flip through Google search results and pick which one they want.

The company warns that because RockMelt is still in beta, there may be some bugs and kinks to work out.

"With RockMelt we've re-thought the user experience because a browser can and should be about more than simply navigating Web pages," RockMelt wrote. "Today, the browser connects you to your world. Why not build your world right into your browser?"