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Firefox's little cousin pops out of den

Fennec for all (at least those running Windows Mobile)

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The mobile version of Firefox, Fennec, has gone into general release with a version available for Windows Mobile 6 devices - though anyone hoping to replace their existing browser might want to hold off for a while.

The release is officially versioned "alpha 2" and is designed to gain more feedback on both the browser and, critically, the user interface: aims that are reflected in the slow execution and incompatibilities present in the release, but it's interesting to see how far the team has come.

For those not willing to risk their mobile phone's stability there are also Windows, Mac OS X and Linux versions available to download - which, obviously, run much faster but don't show off the touch navigation and efficient use of screen space (though in portrait mode that efficiency also hides the Awesome Bar, for better or worse).

Fennec Screen Shot

Awesome Bar slightly less awesome when in portrait mode

But the release does support zooming, bookmarks, tabbed browsing and a password manager, as well the ability to find, install and manage add-ons - one of the features that has made Firefox such a compelling proposition.

Taking a look at Fennec is worthwhile, if only to contribute to the feedback for developers - but don't expect it to replace Opera Mini (or SkyFire, or Bolt or even Pocket IE) any time soon. ®

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