Feeds

Web2.0rhea browser axed

Flock user distraught

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Flock, the browser with built-in Web2.0rhea, is to be discontinued. The project burned through $30m of capital investment, a rather expensive way of acquiring 9 million non-paying users, and became an early emblem of slack-jawed social networking hype.

Flock received enormous coverage when it was unveiled in 2005, including this toe-curling extended profile on BBC TV. Paul Mason might have joined the social networking bubble two years after everybody else, but he made up for lost time with enthusiasm.

"I am not predicting Flock will wipe Microsoft Internet Explorer off the world's desktops, but the browser it is built on, Firefox, already has a 10% market share," he wrote.

In the end, and despite the popularity of social networks, hardly anyone saw any value in a social-networking browser. The indiscriminate attention paid to Flock also created its own backlash. One site, Go Flock Yourself, described its business plan as follows:

Raise a bunch of capital in order to hire old people for pennies on the dollar. Use this vast, untapped resource in order to 'develop' a browser that consists of an amalgamation of buzzwords (and other useless garbage) and code stolen from pre-existing projects. Shortly after the product comes out of 'stealth-mode', appear at many different conventions in order to hype it even further and then wait for a fool with a hundred million dollars to buy us out.

Chris Messina (pictured) quite wisely jumped ship a few months after launch. He now works for Google and as a marketing consultant.

Farmville developer Zynga, which has over 1,000 employees, acquired the Flock team in January, but will cease development on 26 April. It may continue as an open source project – if anybody's interested.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.