Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Microsoft's Mobile Browser for Windows Mobile

Microsoft has been limiting the distribution of their Deepfish beta, but I finally had an opportunity to try it out recently on my HTC S620.

The idea behind Deepfish is to make the mobile browsing experience more similar to the desktop computer web-browsing experience. While Deepfish does preserve the formatting of web pages, I found the navigation clunky and unusable as my daily browser. Web pages initially load zoomed waaaaaaaay out so you can't read any of the type, then you move a rectangle around to show which areas you want to zoom in on. You can read text and click on hyperlinks, but you still have to do scrolling left and right and up-and-down sometimes to read body copy, which I find annoying.

I'm sure web designers and advertisers like the idea of their designs reaching mobile users in the format that they intended, but at this stage in the life of the mobile web, what people really care about is content, not presentation. Google figured this out a while ago, when they started reformatting full-sized web pages for the small screen.

I do applaud the fresh approach to the problem at hand. I might be tempted to keep Deepfish on my device in case I ever want to see a webpage in its entirety on my mobile device, but will continue to use Internet Explorer or Opera Mini as my primary browser.

I don't know that this link will work, but if you want to try Deepfish out yourself, you may be able to do so through this link.
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