Netscape founder Marc Andreessen is back in the browser game. He’s not trying to get his revenge on Microsoft (MSFT) Internet Explorer, which crushed Netscape in the 1990s. But he is reportedly backing a startup called RockMelt, which is supposedly building a browser designed to browse Facebook, where he is on the board of directors.
You can read more about it at ReadWriteWeb, which seems to have gotten an early peek, or the New York Times, which got Andreessen to admit his involvement with RockMelt “earlier this summer,” but seems not to have reported it until now.
But what’s the point? The same way third-party Twitter browsers like Tweetie and TweetDeck have made the service much more useful than its relatively limited Web site, third-party Facebook browsers could potentially open up new or specialised uses (or provide a better design) than Facebook’s team has made itself.
So far, Marc has recruited a team full of old friends to build the thing: Robert John Churchill, who was the lead engineer for Netscape Navigator, is the lead engineer for RockMelt, too, according to ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick also reports that Firefox creator Blake Ross — who now works at Facebook — and Facebook iPhone app developer Joe Hewitt could be involved. But Hewitt disputes this on Twitter: “I’d never even heard of RockMelt until today, but apparently I helped to create it?”
Disclosure: Andreessen is an investor in The Business Insider.
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