Maxthon Reaffirms Commitment To PC With New Windows Desktop Browser

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Cloud-based browser maker Maxthon’s latest announcements have been for mobile products (including its deal with MediaTek to be pre-loaded onto 100 million mobile devices next year). Despite keeping pace with the rapidly growing mobile market, however, Maxthon is still focusing on its desktop products. Today the company announced the release of its latest Windows PC browser (download link), with features like proprietary multi-threaded downloads and a third-party cookie policy meant to protect users’ privacy.

Maxthon’s 120 million monthly users are divided between 60% who access its browsers mainly on desktop and 40% on mobile products. Although its mobile business is growing three times as quickly as PC, Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon’s International Division, says the company believes that releasing new or upgraded PC products is still a crucial part of its overall business strategy.

Maxthon users are located in 150 countries. Over the last two years, its main base has shifted from the Asia region and users are now divided equally among the U.S., Russia, China and India.

One of its fastest growing markets is Russia, where close to a quarter of Maxthon users are now based. According to IDC, PC shipments there decreased 30.7% in volume year-over-year to 2.7 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a decline that reflects the desktop market’s slowdown throughout the world. But sales in the business sector, as well as new purchases after the expiration of the Windows XP operating system in April 2014, could still propel quarter-on-quarter growth, says the research firm.

“We still have a number of users around the world on the PC side and we’ve found that this is not a small market. For a company like us it would be foolish to disregard it for a couple of reasons,” says Mattson. Most people still prefer using a PC to work. Making desktop browsers is also an important part of Maxthon’s cross-platform philosophy.

“You still can’t beat PC or Mac browsers for monetization at a higher RPU. Mobile still has some catchup to do in terms of lifetime value per user,” says Mattson. “So any little bit that we can grow on our PC side is good for not only our cross-platform strategy and markets, but also for our bottom line financially.”

Maxthon’s new Windows PC browser includes these features:

  • Broad support of HTML5
  • Support for WebGL and GPU accelerator for enhanced graphics and image processing
  • Reduced memory footprint and CPU usage
  • Proprietary multi-threaded downloads
  • Improved mobile app-promotion
  • Lower RAM usage
  • Third-party cookie policy that protects users’ privacy

So how does this translate into user experience? Maxthon claims that its new Windows PC browser is 10% faster than Chrome 30. The third-party cookie support enables “do not track” without users needing to download a plug-in first. Maxthon’s browser separates cookies from subframe pages, which means its cookie is saved in a different place. That means users can still take advantage of personalization features, including instant login, without worrying about the subframe page’s third-party cookie sharing information with other domains.

The new features also reduce bandwidth consumption, which is important for users paying for flat rate data packages or per gigabyte.

The multithreaded downloads, which are supposed to boost download speeds up to five times, means that your browser downloads files through five different connections at the same time.

“We’re really proud of the multi-threaded piece because we’ve taken something that’s been relegated to a plug-in used by power users and made it a default experience that actually makes it a lot faster,” says Mattson. “What that translates into for users is that that movie, that video clip, that enormously large PowerPoint file that someone emailed you is going to arrive five times faster in a lot of cases.”