Writing for ZDNet’s
, Daniel Drew Turner notes that Mac OS X may be giving new life to alternative Web browser development besides just efforts from AOL/Time Warner and Microsoft. His comments come in a recently posted article entitled
Developers offer new browsers for Mac OS X. Turner briefly examines as part of this growing trend Opera Software’s new Opera browser, iCab, and The Omni Group’s alternative, OmniWeb.
Opera is currently in beta testing, and the publicly available version works on Mac OS X’s “Classic” environment. Norway’s Opera Software is working on a Carbonized version, however. Opera Software CEO Jon von Tetzchner told Turner that building a Carbonized version of Opera to run natively under Mac OS X wasn’t too much of a problem, although doing a Cocoa version definitely presented some additional technical hurdles.
By comparison, The Omni Group — a long-time NeXTStep developer and a supporter of Mac OS X from the start — offers a Web browser called OmniWeb that has gained much popularity with Mac OS X users, especially since the first release version of OS X hit shelves in late March. The software has been built from the ground up as a Cocoa application, designed to run only on Mac OS X. Turner explained that OmniWeb is accordingly able to take full advantage of the new OS, but runs into compatibility problems with some Web pages.
Last on Turner’s list is iCab, a Web browser currently in development by a German development team. Right now iCab is distributing a freely available preview version of their browser, which they admit is missing some features, but unlike Opera, the iCab pre-release version is available in Carbonized form.