The world of browsers has a new kid on the block – Epic Browser. It is billed as an “Indian Browser”. It is a product of Hidden Reflex, a software product company in Bangalore. Hidden Reflex was founded by Alok Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj was a mergers & acquisitions investment banker for technology and other companies. He has a degree in philosophy from Princeton University . His interests include world music, cinema, art, poetry, and science.
The main strengths of this browser are:
- Support for Indic Languages: you can type and save documents in Indian languages within the browser itself. One can do searches in Indic languages.
- Contextual content with respect to India: India related news and content as regular add-ons. This is one of the issues in most browsers – because if you want India specific news and content, you have to try and get it on your own. The browsers don’t have much of them as regular add ons.
- Security: It filters millions of malicious web sites.
- India-centric Media content: Over 200 India shows and movies. I haven’t watched them yet, but its great to have it easily accessible (specially for the NRIs) as opposed to do hours of searches on the Youtube.
- Social Media integration: Integration for Facebook and Twitter is inbuilt. This used to be a good feature of Flock – another browser based on Firefox, but it is no longer available.
- Epic does provide some tangible features out there and using it shows that despite these features being inbuilt, it is blazing fast.
Browsers are expensive
Browsers are not easy to build and maintain. The returns are not easy to come by. But these guys seem to have figured revenue streams out somehow.
We can earn revenues from driving searches, from driving e-commerce transactions, and also potentially from advertising. For example, if you want to support Epic and make your life easier, you can use the Travel sidebar in Epic to book your next flight and Epic will earn a commission.
I think they have a chance to survive and do well. Specially since the costs will be lower in India and also the numbers for the adoption will be high since it is India based. I now believe – with the advent of social media and contextual advertising – that browsers can play a bigger role in creating an immersive and a contextual experience for a person.
A lot of stuff that websites do – can easily be ported over to the browsers by using the add-ons and extensions. So, go ahead and give it a test drive here.
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