It was built around the premise that the browser is busted. The thought is that older browsers aren't made for the way we now use the web, and maybe it's a solid way of thinking. After all, browsing is a passive activity, and the Internet is increasingly about interaction.
There are some unique concepts here, namely the fact that RockMelt lives in the cloud. This allows your "browser experience" to be, in a way, profiled. Your settings, bookmarks, etc., are all backed up online.
Using Facebook for authentication, your user environment can be replicated anywhere RockMelt is installed. And really, that's what RockMelt is all about: The user environment.
Users of Google Chrome will feel at home, because RockMelt is built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google's browser. The major differences are columns running down each side of the browser.
The left side depicts your favorite Facebook contacts. When a contact is listed on the left bar, you'll be able to quickly initiate Facebook chats with them or post content to their Facebook walls. You can also easily send them e-mails through the seamless contact popout.
Straddling the right side is your bookmarks -- and here's another area where RockMelt's cloud is put to clever use. Bookmarks are updated from the cloud, so content is cached and waiting for you when you log on.
All in all, RockMelt is an interesting twist on the browsing experience. The social elements of the browser make for a compelling and streamlined online interaction process. And because it's powered by Chromium, it not only supports Chrome extensions, it's guaranteed to support the latest and greatest aspects of the web, like HTML5 and CSS3.
RockMelt is now in limited beta and you can apply for an invitation. The company has released this video demonstration of its new browser.
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