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Netscape Inventor Backs New Web Browser

There's a new Web browser in town, and it's name is RockMelt. What's so special about this browser, you say? After all, there's a heaping already available to download including Firefox, Chrome and a few more.

Well here's why: it's backed by the co-founder of browsing pioneer Netscape. Before Firefox, Opera and others came along to steal Microsoft's built-in Internet Explorer thunder, the feature-rich Netscape browser was offered as a 3rd-party option, a shiny new wagon venturing into the virtual frontier. After its launch in 1994, the browser was sold off to AOL in 1998 and then discontinued ten years later.

The new RockMelt aims to transform the browsing experience again, re-imagined for modern Web users and packed with the Web's most popular services. The company behind the software was founded by founded by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria in November 2008. It's also backed currently by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, former Intuit chief executive Bill Campbell, Facebook, Twitter and Google investor Ron Conway, and others.

According to the company, RockMelt was built on top of Chromium, the open source project behind Google Chrome. Key features include push notifications, Facebook integration, speedier search, and social media tools for sharing on Twitter, Facebook and other services. If anything, RockMelt could be the ultimate social networking tool, piping friends and feeds directly into the browser without an external 3rd-party client or a browser plug-in.

"RockMelt is onto something huge," Andreessen said. "They've rethought the browser around the massive shifts in user behavior that will drive the Web over the next decade. RockMelt is the freshest, most innovative take on browsing since browsers were created. Eric and Tim have built an outstanding team that will continue delivering breakthrough innovations."

Currently the beta is invite-only. Interested Web surfers can head over to the RockMelt website and sign up using a Facebook account. The company will then send an invite email days later. To learn more, there's a RockMelt Facebook page, a RockMelt Twitter page, and a RockMelt blog,