Tokyo-based web software company Lunascape Corporation recently released a web browser called the Lunascape 5 Alpha. This Windows-only browser is the English version of their popular Japanese version (downloaded 10 million times) released back in 2001. What makes Lunascape unique is that it’s the world’s first hybrid engine web browser that uses three rendering engines – Internet Explorer’s Trident, Firefox’s Gecko, Safari and Chrome’s Webkit.
With Lunascape you can choose which rendering engine to use and there are two ways to do that. First, by right-clicking on a tab and second by clicking on the engine switch button located at the bottom left of the browser. Lunascape also has a “auto engine switcher” function which remembers the rendering engine you last used and uses that engine the next time you load Lunascape.
To the average user, Lunascape is just another browser. But for the power users like geeks and web developers, Lunascape is more appealing because of its features. Lunascape 5 Alpha’s features include: Rendering engine switcher, crash protection, mouse gestures, tab browsing, support for RSS feeds and podcasts, form auto saver, skins and plugins which at the moment are only available in Japanese.
The Lunascape browser is ideal for web developers who would like to test their work on different engines using only one browser. No need to open Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome individually which will save the user a lot of time and use less of the computer’s resources.
Checking out my blog using Lunascape
After trying and testing out Lunascape, I’ve noticed that the startup time was a bit faster than Firefox 3 but slower compared to Google Chrome. When it comes to page loads, Lunascape was quite fast but you can’t really tell the difference from Firefox 3 more even with Google Chrome (did tests using same rendering engines). Lunascape also hung or crashed on me a few times. Since Lunascape is still in Alpha testing, this bugs and issues are expected.
I’m not sure how much of the current global browser market share they can get but if they can add support for Firefox addons and include plugins in English, they might just be able to snatch a good number of users from other popular browsers. I think when their user base increases, we would also see an increase and improvement in the current list of available plugins and skins.
Lunascape 5 Alpha is free to download and use.
What is your current default web browser? Have you tried the Lunascape web browser? Would you consider switching to Lunascape or use it as an alternative? Do you think that it is the world’s fastest browser? If you were to change/add something to it, what would it be? Please share your thoughts and thanks for your time!