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Microsoft is aiming to broaden your web surfing horizons with their new "Deepfish" software available for the next version of Windows Mobile. Among other large improvements over the previous browsers used on the PDAs, this one includes a thumbnail view, which will allow you to view content in a scaled-down version, and giving you the ability to zoom, much the way that Apple's Safari for the iPhone works. The goal of this is to eliminate the need for web developers to create "mobile version" of their site to allow PDA users to view it. A quote from the website reads, "The Deepfish Technology Preview enhances existing mobile browsing technologies by displaying content in a view that is closer to the desktop experience."

However, the browser isn't available quite yet. It's currently in a stage that Microsoft calls "pre-beta", so well, you get the idea. It's also possible to sign up for beta-testing at the Deepfish website.

Sounds like a good improvement. After all, there is not a huge variety of sites you can visit currently, or if you can, a lot of the websites display horribly in the browser.

But I don't think that web developers can breathe a sigh of relief just yet. How easy will it be to view content with this new browser? In other words, Apple implemented it in their iPhone, but it at least looked intuitive with the "pinch" maneuver. Depending on how Microsoft implement this new way of web browsing on mobile devices, it may not necessarily be that much easier. It's not possible to view the text that makes up the web page in thumbnail view, so then you're forced to zoom in to read a paragraph of text. Then with the increasing trend of web designers sprinkling content all over the page, you must zoom out again to see what you want to read next. And then zoom back in...

So should Microsoft have left IEM the way it is right now? Of course not. This new browser will most certainly be a huge improvement in browsing, but I don't think that web developers should trash their mobile versions of their websites just yet.

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