Saturday, October 22, 2005

Is Firefox Flocked? New browser by Decrem and Co.

As soon as we thought the browser war was over, a new player is entering the market. Bart Decrem, a Firefox/Mozilla Foundation veteran, is leading a group in developing Flock. The group is located in Palo Alto, California, and has spent the summer creating another open-source browser. Flock released it’s beta Friday (it is said to be a developer beta and, therefore, somewhat unstable).

The browser is designed to work nicely with web services like Flickr, Technorati and Flock also features widely compliant WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop blogging tools. The browser even promises to detect and authenticate all those user accounts automatically.

RSS content feeds, blogs, bookmaking, and photo sharing are yet more of the key next-generation browser features Flock provides.

Do we need another browser? According to Decrem the answer is YES. “The browser has not evolved all that much," he says. "The basic concept or vision has not changed."

It is clear that his team is targeting Web 2.0--providing a stream of events, people, and connections to this new platform.

Decrem claims that Flock will not compete with Firefox.

Hmm. We'll see. "We are not trying to do Firefox with five more features," Decrem says. "We are trying to solve a very specific problem--yet it's a problem commonly experienced by many users." The Flock team is saying that they are moving to the original vision of Tim Berners-Lee of a two-way experience.

This is a brave move and I think it will be interesting to see what Flock will bring to Web 2.0 and to us, the consumers of these tools and services.


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