On July 25th, the much talked about macOS browser by The Browser Company Arc is finally available without an invitation. I’ve used Arc for some months and I had the time to appreciate its boldest design decision. Arc had the gusts to kill the bookmarks, it introduced vertical and nested tabs by default, it offers a pretty handy split screen functionality. I like some of these changes; others I like less.1 But, in general, I think Arc is a good browser.
Nevertheless, I don’t trust it.
I’ve seen this happen before. Arc is a VC founded company in the “acquiring users’ trust” and expansion phase. Why should I trust a company that is burning money with no credible business plan?
I know Arc wants to sell licences for their future “collaborative features” to businesses. But I can see only two outcomes:
- Or, it is a successful business model, and therefore the current Arc experience will bloat with useless (for me) business features (it is already a bit bloated for my tastes).
- Or, it is unsuccessful and therefore will go over the steps of a decaying VC company desperate to extract money from its users.
In both cases, we have the classic enshittification cycle of VC companies. We know that it will happen. These companies will enshittify. It is a cosmic law that never failed.
Therefore, I am sorry, I am not joining. I would be happier if they just sold me the browser for 50€ a year. I am willing to pay for a piece of software that I use 99% of the time.
But for now, I’ll wait outside.
Among the others: the absence of PWA, the requirement for an account to even open the browser, and the “easel” (a kind of whiteboard). ↩︎