Netscape founder backs new web browser

Marc Andreessen, developer of the Netscape browser that introduced millions of people to the internet but lost to Microsoft in the so-called browser wars of the 1990s, appears to want a rematch, reports the New York Times: Now a prominent Silicon Valley financier, Andreessen is backing a start-up called RockMelt that is building a brand-new web browser. Andreessen suggested the new browser would be different, saying that most other browsers have not kept pace with the evolution of the web, which has grown from an array of static web pages into a network of complex web sites and applications. "There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch," he said. After Microsoft defeated Netscape, it controlled more than 90 percent of the browser market. But in the last 18 months–prompted by a giant shift in computing that is increasingly making the web, not the PC, the place where people interact with complex software applications–the internet browser has become a battleground again, with giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft fighting one another. "The days of working in isolation on your computer are mostly gone," said John Lilly, the chief executive of Mozilla. "Because the web has become so central to what we do, and the browser is the technology that mediates our interaction with the web, the way the browser works is really important. There is a lot of room for innovation."

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