WebSplit Windows RT app proves the 3rd Party Browsers Are Possible

Users have been begging for an alternate browser like Chrome or Firefox that works on Windows RT since day one.
It’s not that Internet Explorer doesn’t do a good job, some users are just reliant on the unique features from those other systems.

Until today, I was under the impression that we’d never see a 3rd party browser on Windows RT. I’ve read that without some magic key from Microsoft, any other browsers would just be too slow.

websplit windows store

Apparently that’s not true. WebSplit by SlickScreen is pretty darn fast. It’s definitely not a browser that most people would consider using as a replacement for IE10, but it does bring an interesting feature to the table. WebSplit allows you to have four browsing windows open at the same time. The windows are infinitely resizable in case you want to minimize three out of the four and maximize the one that you’re currently working in.

That’s it. Outside of the apps ability to render four webpages at a time, there are no special features to speak of and navigation is far from perfect. I’m under the impression that this app is more of a proof of concept than anything and I definitely appreciate it for doing that. Choice is important, even when it comes to a web-browser. With over 100,000 apps, it’s obvious that Microsoft knows how important choice is to their customers. Internet Explorer 10 is leaps and bounds beyond any browser that the iPad or Nexus devices offer, but we’d still like to have other options.

Websplit for Windows RT

Try out WebSplit by clicking the image to the left. What do you think of this app? Can you think of a way to actually make us of this unique feature?

  • Daniel Bentley

    Are these really 3rd party browsers, or are they just new UIs for Internet Explorer’s DLLs?

    If they don’t implement their own renderer, they’re not really browsers so much as just GUIs for IE

  • Robert Whiting

    “WebSplit Windows RT app proves the [sic] 3rd Party Browsers Are Possible”

    Didn’t UC BrowserHD – http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-nz/app/uc-browserhd/3438cb63-1da0-4262-b204-175c3a748904 – already prove this?

    • Lane Freeze

      Have not tried this browser but thanks for the tip!

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Exactly. Although UCBrowserHD is quite buggy but the interface itself is 10x better than IE10/11. They proved it’s possible some time ago.
      Anyway, still waiting for the day that Mozilla at least tries to bring Firefox to RT… even if only the interface because that Metro interface of them is gorges.

      • Lane Freeze

        Have you seen this? http://technomaverick.com/2013/10/25/surface-2-tips-always-show-address-bar-and-mini-tabs-in-ie-11/

        Much better for keyboard and mouse on larger screens.

        • Heimen Stoffels

          I know, that’s the first thing I did after setting up my Surface 2 (and previously Surface RT). But IE11 is still horrible.

        • Lane Freeze

          The only problem that I have with it is general slowness. Especially when going back a page, sometimes it just refuses to load.

        • NavinJay

          Yeah but this is a problem not just in RT or in IE. Chrome and Firefox has the same issues too on some webpages. Most times its a coding problem from the webpage itself.