Can A New Web Browser Break Into the Market?
The browser business is booming, and it’s lead by a few familiar faces including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. It’s incredibly difficult for new browsers to penetrate the market, but there’s one such browser called Waterfox, which is attempting to gain a foothold into the market by claiming to be the fastest browser in existence by leveraging on the 64-bit architecture of the latest operating systems.
Built in Mozilla Firefox, Waterfox bills itself as an alternative to the popular browser, and it manages to do so simply because there isn’t a 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows—at least not at the moment. Much like Firefox, the browser is fully open-source and free to use.
The team says that, “Waterfox is a high performance browser based on the Mozilla platform. Made specifically for 64-Bit systems, Waterfox has one thing in mind: speed.” That’s a bold claim.
The browser was started in 2011 as one of the very first 64-bit distributions of Mozilla Firefox and quickly grew to become one of the most popular versions, alongside the likes of PaleMoon and Cyberfox–two other popular alternatives.
Ease of Use
Built with Intel’s C++ compiler, the code enables its creator to build something fast and sleek without changing too much of the core code of Firefox. Fully compatible with Firefox add-ons and 64-bit browser plug-ins, its creator expects Firefox users to find themselves fully at home with the client.
Waterfox comes with full support for Adobe Flash, Oracle Java, and Microsoft Silverlight, so you’ll never find yourself unable to browse the web the way you’d expect.
Installing the browser allows you to import all of your bookmarks, customizations and plugins that you already have installed for Firefox.
Given that they share the same architecture, it doesn’t hurt to make the switch to Waterfox from Firefox. If you’re in the market for a 64-bit alternative to the most popular browsers out there, Waterfox is a decent option.
In practical terms, Waterfox isn’t limited to the 2GB or so that Firefox instances tend to clock out at.
Who’s Making It?
Unlike other browsers with large development teams, Waterfox is created by a small team lead by 20-year old Alex Kontos, who says he held a fascination for the web and wanted to expand upon the ideals Mozilla had for a free and open web.
Kontos, a student at the University of York, pitched his project before the Pitch@Palace event, an initiative by the Duke of York to encourage entrepreneurship in the UK.
Beyond its creator, the Waterfox community remains one of the more active ones in the browser scene, offering plenty of support for would-be users.
Why Use It?
The reluctance to install and try out a new browser is certainly understandable, but there’s no expense in trying out Waterfox, seeing how it’s completely free.
It remains to be seen whether speed and its embrace of 64-bit architecture is enough to drive users into its arms.