Hands-On Video With Microsoft's Deepfish Windows Mobile Browser

To say that Windows Mobile web browsers are hard to use would be tantamount to saying babies are fairly easy to beat up. Microsoft's trying to remedy this with their experimental Deepfish web browser, which tries to give you desktop-class rendering on your WM smartphone. Does it work? Well, sorta.

Watch the video and hit the jump for our impressions.

It's true that the whole setup look quite nice. By taking a snapshot of a webpage on the server side and sending the image to your phone, you get proper rendering without a lot of CPU use. The downside to this is that dynamic pages, javascript, flash, and other web advances since Netscape 1.0 aren't supported.

Other quirks are that it's quite bandwidth heavy and slow if you're on a skinny pipe. Whenever you zoom in, the zoomed-in high quality has to be downloaded from the server. Not too bad, but it does slow down the web browsing experience.

Scrolling isn't bad on my Cingular 8525, but it's nothing to brag about. There are noticeable delays and the page actually cuts off a certain distance down the page. We're not sure what's going on here.


So all in all, it's a nice start for an experimental browser. Sure, there are kinks to be worked out, but in the meantime you can actually get desktop-quality HTML rendering on your WM smartphone. Other phones like the iPhone and certain Series 60 phones support similar browsing features as well. We'll have to put the three together and see who wins.

Project Page [Deepfish]

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It looks like they're using a similar interface to the Live Search app. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a hacked together version of that browser, with a page rendering backend. Interesting I suppose, but only really useful for devices with _really_ small screens, IMHO.