Flock, the social Web browser built using Mozilla's implementation of XUL, is based on one principle: More of what you want the Web for, connecting with people and services, should be built into and aggregated by the browser. I used Flock 2.0 beta 2 for several days and found a lot to like and a few shortcomings. Overall, however, Flock achieves its goal. The changes in Flock 2 from the previous version don't seem to me sufficiently major to merit a full version-number bump, though perhaps moving to the underlying Firefox 3 foundation justifies it, bringing all the goodness from that new release, including its lauded Awesome Bar.
As with Firefox, Flock has installers for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Installation is routine, but paranoid users should beware: The "Allow gathering of anonymous usage statistics" check box is selected by default. The option that makes the app your default browser is also checked. On the other hand, the installer does ask before importing bookmarks and settings from your existing Firefox or Internet Explorer setup.
Flock's interface is a bit more fun than Firefox's or Internet Explorer's, and tabs are somewhat clearer than those in Firefox. A My World button loads a Web page combining all your Feed, Friend, and Media activity. Flock's side panel lets you view and interact with Friends from your social networks, and there's a Media bar for viewing image and video feeds. A built-in Blog Editor, Web clipboard, and Photo Uploader also set Flock apart from other browsers.
Several small buttons right next to the address bar let you interact with the page you're visiting. The most unique and useful are just to the left of the address bar, signaling pages with media streams, feeds, and search. The buttons make it easy to incorporate the page's content and services right into the browser. To the right of the address, two options—the first for Digg and the second for e-mail—make it easy to share the current page with others