Perhaps the world does not need another web browser — but it may want Bart Decrem’s.
Decrem and a small cadre of programmers in Palo Alto, California, have spent this summer quietly readying Flock, an open-source browser, for an early October beta launch. Several members of the team, including Decrem, hail from the Mozilla Foundation, which produced the Firefox browser upon which Flock is built.
Flock advertises itself as a “social browser,” meaning that the application plays nicely with popular web services like Flickr, Technorati and del.icio.us. Flock also features widely compliant WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop blogging tools. The browser even promises to detect and authenticate all those user accounts automatically. It’s a clear attempt to be the browser of choice for the Web 2.0 user.
It’s no coincidence that the buzz has built rapidly to a rolling boil. Blogger and tech pundit Robert Scoble simply calls it “awesome.” Given the recent swell of anticipation surrounding Flock, the preceding stealth period seems quaint by contrast. Since an August demo at Bar Camp, enthusiastic blog posts have amounted to love letters in their enthusiasm.
By Jeff MacIntyre