Summary: Browsing the web is a part of everybody’s daily life nowadays. With Chrome, Safari, IE/Edge, and Firefox being the dominators in the browser landscape, most internet users will choose any one of those browsers to access the internet, whether on the desktop or mobile. However, there is still a small yet growing market for alternative browsers that offer different features and experiences for the users. Maxthon is one of those alternative browsers that quite a lot of people choose to use, whether as a companion browser or as a main browser for their daily browsing activities. This is mostly because this browser offers something different, separating itself from the other similar browsers. And, many people might not notice that it has been around since 2003.
Many of us are centering our life on the internet nowadays, especially with the availability of mobile devices that make it easier for us to get connected from anywhere. The internet allows us to connect and communicate with other people, as well as find any information about anything and do various other activities, such as banking and shopping. It is a convenient place full of possibilities, and we can access this digital world thanks to the existence of internet browsers. Whatever browser that you are using to access the internet today, it is an invaluable tool that you need to use regularly throughout the day.
Although most internet users only use one of the most popular browsers, which are Google Chrome, Safari, IE/Edge, and Firefox, there are still quite a lot of people who are trying to seek alternatives to these dominant browsers. Many people might not know that there are quite a lot of alternative browsers that they can use to access the internet, whether it is from the desktop or mobile devices. These alternative browsers usually offer different features that are exciting enough to make people interested to try it out.
Maxthon, one of the most popular alternative browsers today, has been downloaded by 670 million users since its first release. It has been around since 2003 with the name MyIE2, offering exciting features that are not available in Internet Explorer at the time. It was the first browser that introduced the multi-tab function, along with other useful features. To learn more about Maxthon, we have interviewed Jeff Chen from Maxthon to explain to us about this browser.
The Background History of Maxthon Browser
Maxthon was first developed as a result of Jeff’s dissatisfaction toward Internet Explorer 6, which was the most widely used browser at that time. When he was in Singapore, he developed his own version of the web browser called MyIE2, which packed lots of features that IE6 didn’t offer at the time. These features include pop-up blocker, multi-tab support, and super drag and drop. The browser was developed in his spare time, but it did receive a good feedback from the users, as evidenced by MyIE2 having 2 million users within 2 years. With this success, it began to transform as Maxthon after receiving some VC funding. Nowadays, it has become a widely known browser with 670,000,000 downloads so far. Jeff Chen told us the story about the origin of Maxthon browser,
“Maxthon was created in 2003 when IE6 dominated the browser market. I was in Singapore, doing a security-related developer job. I often browse the internet and feel quite annoyed using IE6. At my spare time, I developed Maxthon browser (it was called MyIE2 at that time). It had created new features like multi-tab browsing, pop-up blocker, Super drag and drop, etc., and get very popular across the world. It attracted over 2 million users in less than two years. Then Maxthon got some VC funding and started as a company, continue to grow, accumulated over 670 million downloads worldwide.”
What Makes Maxthon 5 Cloud Browser Different from Other Browsers
As with regular browsers, their main function is to browse the web. Yes, you can install some extensions in order to enhance the functionality of the browser, but often time, they don’t have any other features other than the regular internet web browsing functionality with its base installation. However, with Maxthon, it is a bit different. Maxthon is the browser that is not just trying to provide a way for the users to browse the web. It is a browser that offers advanced features that make it possible for the users to use it as a personal information assistant. So, it is highly personalized for each user. Jeff Chen explained about the difference between Maxthon and other browsers,
“Maxthon 5 goes a bit further with the browser. It defines itself as a personal information assistant. It does not only let users browse the web with ease but also provide features like MaxNote to help users save information from the web (or create original content), PassKeep to help users easily manage password, private information across different devices.”
The Evolution of Web Browsing Market and What the Future Holds
Nowadays, the dominant browsers of today have more or less the same features that the users can enjoy, such as multi-tab browsing, ad-blocker, bookmarking, and so on. These are the features that were introduced in MyIE2 back in the days, and it seems that the browsing market is not providing any more breakthrough innovation these days. Thus, it feels like the market itself is similar to the situation in 2003, with the difference being that Google Chrome is now the current market leader instead of Internet Explorer. In the case of today’s market, unlike IE6 back in the days, Google will now keep adding some new features to their browser since they have the resources to do that.
As with the future of the browsing market, it will be possible that it can evolve to a bigger and better form, with the addition of different types of devices and the new technology that they bring, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and more. It will take some more time for the browsers to adapt to such new technology as it is getting more and more used by the users. Jeff Chen explained about the current web browsing market and the future of it,
“The browser market now feels like 2003, not much innovation. The innovated features like multi-tab, ad-blocker, online bookmark which was introduced by Maxthon over ten years ago have been adopted by most browsers. Now Chrome is more like IE6 in 2003, dominate the market. But unlike IE6, Chrome will absorb great features from other player and use Google’s resources to distribute. Small players like Maxthon does not have the resource to compete with Google.
The Web browsing market will evolve with the changes in browsing devices and scenarios. With the technology like VR, AR, and screens will be anywhere; the browser market will continue to evolve to adapt to the changes.”
The One Thing that Makes Maxthon Different from Other Mainstream Browsers
When compared to the current mainstream browsers, such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer/Edge, and Firefox, Maxthon excels in one thing. It is that Maxthon is trying to become a personal information assistant for the users, not just simply a tool to access the internet. With Maxthon, users can create and store any type of information that they need to keep as they browse the web, such as notes, passwords, and so on. Jeff Chen further asserts this one thing that make Maxthon different from the other regular browsers,
“Like above said, Maxthon is trying to provide something, not JUST a Browser. Maxthon 5 is trying to be a personal information assistant.”
The Security and Privacy Features Offered by Maxthon
As a browser that allows the users to access the internet and doing various online activities that require a high level of security and privacy, such as banking and shopping, Maxthon offers the best security and privacy features that the users can have when they use this browser. This browser ensures that they have the most up-to-date security protection for their users, offering the best data protection system built-in to the browser. This ensures that the user’s data stays private and secure all the time. On top of that, there is a feature called PassKeeper, which allows the users to store and manage their passwords securely and privately, as well as allowing them to access it from other devices. Jeff Chen explained the security and privacy features of Maxthon,
“Maxthon offers up-to-date security protection to users. In addition to that, with PassKeeper, people can have a better solution to manage passwords, keep them safe while still easily access them from different devices.”
How Maxthon Can Deliver a Fast Browsing Experience for the Users
Unlike other regular browsers, Maxthon is jam-packed with features that ensure the users to browse the web quickly and efficiently. It is designed to be memory-efficient, meaning that it won’t use too many resources on the user’s device. It has the features like dual-core technology, smart cache, fast startup, cloud computing, and others that ensure the best browsing experience for the users. Aside from that, Maxthon is developed by a focused team that focuses only on the development of the Maxthon browser, as opposed to the big corporations that own the mainstream browsers of today, which have many product lines to focus on.
To conclude our interview, Jeff Chen explained about why Maxthon is able to deliver a fast browsing experience for the users,
“Maxthon uses the dual-core technology, smart cache, fast startup, cloud computing, etc. Any technology we could access to make sure the browsing experience is the best for users. But in the end, I think it’s because we are FOCUSED, on browser product. The small team with the focus can always create a better product than big companies.”