Creating an EPIC!



If Karl Marx was to appear in Cyber era, his saying would have
gone  like this Workers of the Cyber World Unite! You have
nothing to lose but the world wide web. The importance of Internet has
grown manifold over the years with several new actions happening.
Dataquest recently did a story on how  Microsoft’s Internet
Explorer (IE)
is losing its market share to Google Chrome, Apple
Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Now the competition gets more tougher with
several new
browsers
making their appearance that too with really interesting
add-ons. Start up companies are doing several activities in the mobile
content and the Internet space, and STPI has encouraged small and
start-up companies to use their infrastructure to build new and
innovative applications. For example, Tachyon Technologies introduced
their transliteration tool, Quillpad for mobile applications. Similarly
there are several other start ups who have introduced new concepts with
their only focus to increase Internet
penetration
in India.   

Just a month old, and India’s first web browser, EPIC is creating
ripples in the world wide web. The browser (www.epicbrowser.com) has
been created by a team of six Indian engineers and is built on open
source Mozilla platform.  Headed by Founder and CEO, Alok
Bhardwaj, Hidden Reflex has already seen a total 4.5 lakh downloads
(and still counting).

However all said and done Internet penetration is still low in India.
And why would India need its own web browser? Comments Bhardwaj of
Hidden Reflex, Through EPIC we foresee some major changes in the
Internet usage in India considering that Internet penetration is still
low. This is one of the  reasons why we have introduced adds ons
such as Google’s transliteration tool Indic where users have the option
to communicate in 12 different
regional languages
. This is just the beginning and we see a heavy
traction in terms of downloads happening from the Tier I and II cities.
Our main aim for coming up with a new web browser in India was
primarily due to the fact that a lot of vulnerabilities still exist in
web browsers such as security
issues
, privacy and speed. What we intend to give to the users
through EPIC is multi-tasking and productivity aligned to factors such
as security and privacy.

An interesting feature of the web browser is an in-built anti-virus.
Which means if any file is being downloaded the browser automatically
does a virus scan of the file. This would save users on cost as they
won’t have to buy an anti-virus and can perform regular virus scan for
free. The browser also has  a suite of sidebar applications to
improve multi-tasking and productivity. Pre-installed applications
include communication applications for Facebook, Orkut, and Gmail;
entertainment applications such as a Picture-in-Picture Video Sidebar
and Games, and utilities like File Backup, My Computer, a To-Do list,
and Maps. Over 1500 user-installable applications are also available to
the end user for free.

However Bhardwaj also points out some loopholes as was received as
feedback by the users. He points out that most Yahoo users have
complaining about the secured login (http:// rather than https://)
which might affect their privacy. However Bhardwaj argues that Yahoo
needs to take a serious step to rectify this.

The company also partnered with Google’s Indic for a built-in
transliteration tool in their browser. With this the company aims to
reach to the multi -lingual community in India. With a drop down menu
with 12 regional languages included, the user can select the preferred
language for communication and all Roman characters are converted into
one of the 12 languages.

Security is still the biggest challenge and the topmost concern for web
browsers. This might be one of the reasons why IE lost a significant
market share in the recent past due to several security threats, while
its competitors such as Safari and Chrome added security features in
its browsers. As per a recent report, India is the topmost destination
for malware or other online malicious activities. In this regard,
Hidden Reflex partnered with security giants ESET for anti-virus
solutions and Web of Trust, a free surfing tool for browsers that has a
database of 13 mn websites and keeps a tracks of malicious websites and
filters the content.

Mobile connections in India are doubling every month in India. We are
now seeing GPRS handsets that costs a minimal Rs. 2000 with several
applications and adds on such as social networking, games etc. This is
one key area which we will be looking forward in few months from now,
says Bhardwaj who is optimistic that web browsers in mobile apps is the
next big revolution in India. The next wave, Mozilla 4.0 in India would
make it more convenient for the company to experiment in the mobile
space as well.

Global trends have suggested that small business and start ups are the
biggest contributors to the economy of any country. We particularly see
this trend in India too.  The Government of India has undertaken
several reforms to attract more investors to the small business sector
in India. Some of the reforms undertaken include provision of training
facilities, availability of machinery on hire-purchase terms, special
bonus for setting up small business in backwards areas, tax deduction
for small business and assistance for marketing the products in
domestic markets and exports. The growing business trend in India
indicates that start ups and small business sector in India are poised
for growth. Investors in this sector must ensure that they make use of
all the resources available to reap the benefits.

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