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MS aims at iPhone-like browsing

updated 10:55 am EDT, Thu March 29, 2007

Microsoft Deepfish Browser

Microsoft today issued a response to the iPhone's mobile version of Safari with Deepfish, the codename for a new technology designed for Windows Mobile 5 or 6 smartphones to provide a more desktop-like web browser experience. The software automatically creates a complete image of a website, preserving the formatting intended by its creator; instead of using a touchscreen, however, the Microsoft-developed component uses the joystick or keypad to guide a selection box over an area to zoom in for a closer view of an image or text. Pressing the select button on the phone again lets the user switch between dynamic elements such as hyperlinks and text forms.

Deepfish is currently available for free only on a first-come, first-serve limited public beta, Microsoft says: when an unspecified limit is reached, downloads of the test version will stop for the foreseeable future. The company hasn't revealed if and when it expects to release a final version.

Though characterized as a "great opportunity for innovation" by Microsoft, the technology is extremely close in spirit to the full-screen web app developed by Apple for the iPhone, which relies exclusively on finger taps to zoom into and launch individual page components. The primary changes beyond the physical input method include hiding the address bar in a menu and offering more advanced options such as clearing the browser's file cache.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. scottnichol

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    oh joy(stick)

    a joystick to navigate a web page! that's innovation... honestly, i can't think of a more tedious way to do this.

    i think as other companies try to catch up to the iPhone, you're just going to see more and more how far off the mark they really are.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999


    touch screen

    It's funny how the competition and critics glosses over the fact that the iPhone's touch screen is much more capable than your average smartphone touchscreen.

    No device on the market today has a screen that works like the iPhone's multitouch screen. I'm interested to see how useful it really is.

  1. chucker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2007



    didn't steve said they were protecting like 200 patents on the iPhone. I can see another day in court looming for Microsoft's lawyers

  1. adrian_milliner

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005


    almost like DS

    Looks a bit like the Opera browser on the Nintendo DS, except a bit more clunky. Nice to see MS innovating.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: touchscreen

    No device on the market today has a screen that works like the iPhone's multitouch screen. I'm interested to see how useful it really is.

    Of course, since the iPhone's not on the market, we can say that no device at all has a touchscreen that works like the iPhone's is supposed to work in 3-6 months.

  1. dashiel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2001


    this is why microsoft...

    ... is in trouble. not two days ago they hyped up their zenzui, yet another mobile internet browsing technology. they're a hydra with no inter-department communication. balmer has lost control, they need billy g back in charge. say what you will about megalomaniacs (jobs, gates), they keep their companies lean and focused.

  1. machead

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    but wait!

    In reality you wont be experiencing the joy of navigating a web page with a joystick, you get double joy of getting to navigate a web page with one of those little thumbsticks that they put on the phones. Yah! This might be an acceptable experience on a blackberry perl, since it has that nice little track ball...

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002


    how does...

    .. M$ copying [badly] a design feature puyt forth by Apple and a couple of others after they already did it - make it as a Top Story on a Mac specific News Site ?

    And why is it actually worth my time to care - unless M$ did it first - Not ! - did it better - Not !

    So why MacNN do you consistantly waste the time of your readers with this non-sense ?

    You might want to add some of these ponders to your FAQ page_

  1. PookJP

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2001


    Missing the point...

    You guys are missing the point. The point is that they got to name a product Deepfish.

  1. nativeNYer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    play on words?

    Perhaps MS knows they are in "deep s***", so they named this DeepFish? Stupidest name for a product ever. I know that's only the codename, but they should never have even let that info out. These kinds of names tend to stick to products, and this will be forever referred to as DeepFish, or something worse.

    Whatever, it's just another of the famous "me too, me too!" products from the MeToo company, Inc, aka Microsoft.

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