Microsoft Backed ZenZui is Now Zumobi, Announces Beta of New Mobile BrowserS

Our first look at Microsoft backed ZenZui came back in March when we discovered a new mobile browser that promises to make "painful loading delays a thing of the past." In a call today with the folks at ZenZui, I learned that they will now and forevermore be known as Zumobi, along with new details about the browser and information on how the general public can get involved in the beta that launches on December 14th.

As mentioned in March, Zumobi's UI is based on a system of "tiles" that allow users to navigate in an out of bite-sized web content quickly and easily. A user's "zoom space" can be customized to include personally relevant items like photos, blogs, and friends in addition to generic web content. These tiles can also be sent to other friends and groups that share the same interests. The experience is said to be significantly faster than traditional browsers because of a new background data caching system that makes it possible for users to access data even when cellular service is nonexistent.

One of the most interesting aspects of the new technology comes in the form of Zumobi's SDK, which will allow developers with even a basic level of knowledge in JavaScript and SVG to develop and potentially earn money on their tiles. Apparently, if a tile gets hot among Zumobi users, it could pick up sponsorship and a cut of the advertising revenue for the developer. Naturally, that means that targeted advertising is going to be part of the equation here, but the software will be free when it is released —and that, my friends, is what you call a trade-off.

Both the public beta of the Zumobi browser and the SDK will be available starting on December 14th. If you would like to be part of it, make sure you have a phone equipped with Windows Mobile 5 and 6 (Blackberry and selected J2ME compatibility will be coming early in the second quarter of 2008.), and hit the following link for a beta signup and product demo. [Zumobi]