Browsers are back? Maxthon gets funded

Paul Kedrosky wonders whether the independent browser market is set for a boost, now that both Flock and Beijing-based Maxthon have received VC funding. The press release stated: "Charles River Ventures (CRV) today announced that it has led an investment in Beijing-based Maxthon, the originators of the Maxthon Browser, which has been downloaded more than 55 million times since 2003.

Paul Kedrosky wonders whether the independent browser market is set for a boost, now that both Flock and Beijing-based Maxthon have received VC funding. The press release stated:

"Charles River Ventures (CRV) today announced that it has led an investment in Beijing-based Maxthon, the originators of the Maxthon Browser, which has been downloaded more than 55 million times since 2003. CRV joins early investors Morten Lund, a seed investor in Skype, and WI Harper in providing Maxthon with funds to further fuel the company's already rapid growth."

Maxthon is available for download on ZDNet, where it's described:

"Maxthon (formerly MyIE2) is a multipage browser based on the Internet Explorer core (IE 5 or 6 required). It can open multiple Web pages in just one window, and it takes only a few system resources when you're surfing with the integrated user interface."

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TechCrunch also did a review, noting that it's "a beautiful product" with a growing community (55 million downloads ain't bad).

Maxthon appears to have more features than IE7, but even so it's a tough road to hoe against Microsoft and open source Firefox. I'd be interested in ZDNet readers opinions on Maxthon - do you use it and if so, what are the differentiating factors for you?