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Microsoft Previews 'Deepfish' Mobile Browser

Microsoft's Live Labs applied research group announced Wednesday it is making a limited number of previews available for a new mobile browser technology it has intriguingly dubbed "Deepfish."

Microsoft says users can view any Web site "as-designed" through a mobile device; Web sites look much like they would on a desktop.

"With the Deepfish technology, we capture the full layout of the page and deliver it to the mobile device, resulting in an experience similar to that on the desktop," Gary Flake, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and the founder and director of Microsoft Live Labs, said in a statement.

Most mobile browsers have to shrink and distort Web pages to fit their smaller screens, which typically use a single-column format.

Deepfish's interface lets users zoom in and out on the parts of a Web page, making it easy to use large-screen formatted pages on a mobile device. The previews will be available only on a "first-come" basis, according to a company statement.

Flake did not directly address whether the Deepfish technology is in any way related to, or in competition with, ZenZui, another mobile browser technology – this one developed within the Microsoft Research division – being spun off as an independent company funded by Microsoft However, he did say that Deepfish is an applied research demonstration and ultimately may not end up in any Microsoft products.

The Deepfish preview is available here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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