Blog Post

Who Says Flock Switching to Chrome? Not Flock

Update: OStatic talks to Flock CEO Shawn Hardin who says that the company “will continue to make architectural decisions that balance what’s best for our users and what’s best for Flock as a business.”

Flock, the four-year-old Redwood City, Calif.-based browser maker, according to a report in TechCrunch today is said to be making a switch to Google’s (s goog) Chrome (actually Chromium) from Mozilla Firefox.

However, a senior Flock employee says that it is not the case. “No, we haven’t switched. We’ve looked at it, just as we’ve looked at Mozilla 2, and will look at whatever else is promising,” is how Flock employee and director of engineering technology Matthew Willis described the situation in a tweet. Willis in the past had worked on Mozilla’s calendar efforts, Sunbird and Lightning. [digg=]

My sources say that towards the end of 2008, Flock devoted a single person to work on an experimental version of its browser using Chromium as a back end instead of Firefox. But why would Flock be interested in Chrome?

My wild guess: the mobile browser market. WebKit (and thus Chrome) have a clear path to netbooks and mobiles over Mozilla. WebKit is dominating the mobile web market, as shown by market share data released by Net Applications recently. Mozilla’s mobile offerings are slow in coming. At the same time, there is a lot of demand for full-blown mobile browsers, a point asserted by Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of the Opera Software in an interview with me yesterday.

Flock has raised close to $29 million in venture funding and has about 6 million users for its browser.

12 Responses to “Who Says Flock Switching to Chrome? Not Flock”

  1. Asa Dotzler

    The only problem with that sentiment is that Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all “within the margin of error” on JavaScript performance. Moving to an entirely new code base based on almost immeasurable JavaScript performance differences doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Firefox is actually coming out slightly ahead of Chrome in JS perf and slightly behind Safari in JS perf.

    – A

  2. Flock would definitely be interested in Chrome because of the new Javascript engine that Chrome has. Since a lot of what Flock is about is social networking, and a good majority of the social networking sites out there utilize AJAX in some fashion, it only makes sense that Flock would want a core browser that has a fast Javascript engine.