Launch Date: Beta in February 2005, Version 1.0 launched today, July 13, 2005
What is it?
Browster is a tool, available only for IE (damn, I just lost half of my readers right there) that pre-fetches content from links on a web page, and makes that content available by mousing-over the link. Too see it visually click here.
So we dusted off IE (used only for FTP these days), downloaded 334k of stuff and had at it.
Browster allows you to browse search results more quickly and with fewer clicks. Browster will also pre-fetch content from non-search sites if you tell it to (there are a couple of easy ways to do this).
There is a nice feature to basically scroll through search results quickly by clicking on an arrow. It’s hard to explain but works very well.
Browster has CPC advertisements on the top of its window. I don’t mind the ads, but the copyright holders of the content they are showing may. I also wish they would have focused on Firefox before IE…Even though IE still has a very large market share, it seems like most of the cutting edge users are on firefox, or macs. Not having support for those browsers is a serious mistake because your most important customers (bloggers, for instance) won’t use it.
Tom Foremski wrote about Browster a few hours ago and pointed out a number of very serious flaws (we agree with some, disagree with others). At the end of the day, our only real concerns are those mentioned above (browser support and copyright infringement issues). From a business model perspective, there’s very little that’s viral or sticky about the product. That means ultimately their liquidity event valuation may be based on their technology rather than their network.
It’s a great tool and as soon as they support firefox I’ll use it regularly.
Additional Screen Shots:
Scott Milener, CEO and co-Founder
Jim Kelly, Vice President, Engineering
Steven Lurie, Vice President, Business Development
Wendell Brown, Chairman and co-Founder
John Zeisler,Member, Board of Directors
First Round Capital
Wendell Brown, co-Founder and Member, Board of Directors
John Zeisler, Venture Partner, Gabriel Ventures
Ken Sawyer, Managing Director, Saints Ventures
Rick Magnuson, former General Partner, Menlo Ventures
Robert Simon, General Partner, Alta Partners