The State of the Browsersphere - Part 5: The Minor Players

Album Cover: Icky Thump

"I'm gettin' hard on myself, sittin' in my easy chair."
White Stripes / 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues

Posted on October 20, 2005 1:07 AM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

As promised, here comes the final installment of my coverage on the current state of the "browsersphere." This time around, I'll be covering the "minor players," or the web browsers that have either seen better days or have nothing but high hopes for the future.

First off, I of course have to mention Netscape. What once was a popular, stable and usable browser is now the browsersphere's biggest blemish (in my opinion, at least). Netscape 8.0.4 was recently released, apparently with all the fixes that have been made in Firefox up to version 1.0.7. This is all fine and dandy, but I can't help but ask the question, why not just use Firefox?

Those of us on the cutting edge of the browsersphere know that there is a new player in town, Flock. Flock, somewhat like Netscape, is based on Firefox, but is geared toward the social aspects of web browsing (think Flickr and del.icio.us). It's a bit too early to say how successful Flock will be, but I do have to say it's got one of the coolest default user interfaces I've seen on a web browser. If you're interested in Flock, you can read a whole lot more about it over at Business Week.

Before we get off the "Firefox relatives" train, I should probably mention SeaMonkey, or "the project formally known as Mozilla." The hard-core Mozilla fanboys have spun off on their own and created a new project for maintaining what was once Mozilla's bread and butter browser. SeaMonkey 1.0 Alpha was recently released to the public, and the team has a blog set up for people who want to keep up on the latest SeaMonkey happenings.

Before I close out this post (and the series), I want to give brief mention to one interesting, if far-fetched, aspect of the browsersphere. It was recently reported on Digg that development has been done on 3D browsers.

Well, it's been fun. If you're a browserphile like myself and enjoy staying on the cutting edge of developments in the browsersphere, I highly recommend paying attention to what people like Asa Dotzler, Blake Ross, Henrik Gemal, Dave Hyatt and the developers of Internet Explorer have to say.

The coming year is sure to be one of the most exciting in web browser history, as long as you're slightly obsessed like I am ;)

See also:
Part 1: Safari
Part 2: Opera
Part 3: Internet Explorer
Part 4: Firefox

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