Feeds

MS dangles desktop-like browsing for mobiles

Trawling for Deepfish

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has taken the wraps off a prototype version of a browser for mobile devices that it claims will make it easier and faster to view full-fat web pages on a small screen.

The Deepfish browser displays thumbnails on a web page as a point of reference. Users can then highlight a section of a page and zoom in or out as required to view the page in detail, as explained in a demo video here.

The browser is designed to maintain the page layout of web pages, rather than reformatting them to fit a small screen, making it easier for surfers to find menus or other navigational information.

Instead of expecting web designers to shoulder the burden of making sites mobile-friendly, Microsoft is working on the premise that client software should shoulder the work of presenting standard web pages on small-screen devices. The browser aims to recreate the desktop browsing experience on a mobile phone or PDA.

The software giant said Deepfish is faster at loading web pages than earlier browsers for mobile devices because it only loads only portions of a page a user is interested in. "It loads a thumbnail of pages initially and then only what is needed for more detail when requested or in the background as you browse the initial view, resulting in substantially quicker load times for most pages," a posting on Microsoft's Live Labs website explains.

The "alpha" software is compatible with Windows Mobile version 5 (or higher) and available for download as a technology preview on a restricted basis via the Microsoft Live Labs website. The software is a work in progress. At present there's no support for common web features such as cookies or JavaScript, for example.

There's no firm timescale for the roll-out of the product or even definite plans that the technology will be incorporated in the next version of Microsoft's mobile browser software.

Earlier this week, Microsoft said it was backing the launch of ZenZui, a firm focused on mobile device content. ZenZui's Zooming User Interface is based on technology from Microsoft's research labs. Microsoft's IP Ventures also helped ZenZui secure venture capital funding.

Against Microsoft's re-invigorated push into the mobile browser marketplace, rival Opera announced that downloads of its Opera Mobile Web browser increased more than 50 per cent on Opera's website from February 2006 to February 2007. Manufacturers, such as HTC and Toshiba, are preloading Opera on their handsets, it added. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.