Andreessen talks up Rockmelt browser

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Andreessen talks up Rockmelt browser

Netscape founders return to roots.

Netscape founder Marc Andreessen is climbing on board a new browser project known as 'Rockmelt.'

In an interview with the New York Times, Andreessen said that he was providing financial backing for the product, though he declined to provide any further details on the project. The official RockMelt site likewise provides little information on the nature of the company.

According to news site Read Write Web, which claims to have obtained an early build of the project, Rockmelt is intended to serve as a third party browser for Facebook, allowing users to search and manage their social networks within the browser.

The site also reports that former executives and engineers from both Facebook and Netscape are involved with RockMelt.

News of the new project signals a return by Marc Andreessen to the browser space following the collapse of Netscape. He has already set up a venture capital firm to foster new companies in Silicon Valley.

Originally launched by Andreessen in 1994, the browser enjoyed huge success in the market for several years until Microsoft lured users away with its free Internet Explorer browser.

Though the move helped Microsoft take a stranglehold on the browser market and eventually killed Netscape, the decision to bundle Internet Explorer as a free component of Windows played a key role in the landmark anti-trust case against the company and is still a major point of contention between Microsoft and the EU.

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