RockMelt – The New Mysterious Web Browser – Netscape is Back?

With new Browsers coming every fort-night, everyone wants to try their hands into Browser market. Whether it’s small or big player, they come and go. But this one could be different.

Have you met RockMelt yet? Neither have most people, it seems — but the Web is definitely buzzing with word of the mysterious new browser. It triggered with the story in The New York Times , then onwards, RockMelt rapidly became the talk of the tech community.

So what exactly is RockMelt, and who’s behind it? Most of the available info is sketchy at best. If you piece it all together, though, you can get a very rough picture of what the browser might be about. Here’s a roundup of what’s been revealed so far.

1. RockMelt’s founders are two former Opsware (Netscape) employees.

The guys reportedly creating RockMelt are Tim Howe and Eric Vishria, both of whom used to work at networking company Opsware. Opsware was founded by Netscape creator Marc Andreessen and sold to HP in 2007.

2. Andreessen himself may be involved with RockMelt.

Andreessen is investing in RockMelt, according to unnamed sources quoted by The New York Times. Andreessen apparently alluded to the project in an interview earlier this summer as well, telling The Times he had “backed a really good team.” Within minutes, The Times reports, Andreessen “appeared to regret his comment” and declined to elaborate any further.

3. RockMelt will be “different” from other browsers. What?

It’s a vague statement, but Andreessen is quoted as telling RockMelt would stand out from the pack of browsers currently on the market, focusing somehow on the “network of complex Web sites and applications” into which the Internet has evolved.”

4. RockMelt may feature some kind of Facebook integration.

One of the areas of focus may involve some kind of social network integration. A Times reporter claims to have seen references to a RockMelt-Facebook relationship in a privacy policy once posted on the RockMelt home page. (The policy is no longer accessible from the site.) The reporter says the policy discussed the presence of features tied to a user’s Facebook ID, including built-in access to Facebook updates and other content.

The idea of a Facebook relationship. An Early build of RockMelt can be called “semi-independent desktop client for Facebook.” Here is a screenshot as an illustration.

Despite those reports, Facebook is denying knowledge of any kind of formal relationship with the startup. A Facebook spokesperson has gone on the record as saying the company is “not aware of any details about RockMelt and its product.”

5. RockMelt may have its own URL shortener.

RockMelt has registered the domain as a URL shortener, ReadWriteWeb’s Kirkpatrick claims. He says the domain was referenced on the RockMelt home page up until early this week.

According to DNS records, the domain was registered on April 16 of this year under the name “Klute-Thiemann Informationstechnologie GmbH & Co. KG.” As of now, it points to a generic server landing page.

6. RockMelt team is staying quiet, purposely.

The guys involved with RockMelt definitely don’t want to say much about it. Eric Vishria tells he and his group are “at very early stages of development,” adding: “Talking about it at this stage is not useful.”

RockMelt’s Web site does have a form to register for updates as they become available. I already did it, will keep you updated.

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