RealTime IT News

Hotbar.com Revamps Browser Appearance

Israeli Internet company Hotbar.com Inc. this week formally launched its site and a free flagship service that allows users to create their own browser design.

The site offers more than 1,000 skins, which change the look of the browser. The company expects that, by offering prettier browser interfaces, the entire online experience will become "more enjoyable and efficient."

The plug-in uses Microsoft's ActiveX open architecture programming technology and works only on Internet Explorer. A Netscape compatible version is in the works.

The company claims that it adds features not found on any other Internet browser, and operates over the interface without compromising the browser's normal functions.

"We are excited to be the first company to offer Internet users such a significant enhancement to their Web browsers," said Hotbar.com co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Oren Dobronsky. "The standard browser interface is a very boring gray color, and takes up 20 percent of the total screen area. We let people customize their computers, making them more interesting to look at and more fun to use."

New designs are added to the site's Skin Gallery regularly, and can be organized into a catalogued skin manager. Users can create skins in standard bitmap format using their own artwork and photographs.

Additional features include a pull-down link menu, a "Top 10" site list ranked by user popularity, and link to AltaVista's translation service.