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Desktop grade IE6 coming to Windows Mobile 6.1 by the end of 2008

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">
" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355">]This comes straight to you from the 'hang on, why aren't people more interested by this?' department :D

This wasn't really covered back at the Windows Mobile 6.1 launch at CTIA, partly because we were a bit slack when it came to the actual Windows Mobile 6.1 announcement when it FINALLY came and partly because the press release was so, well, vauge... but Microsoft did made a significant announcement regarding Pocket Internet Explorer, and I figured today was as good a day as any to round up the facts :(

Right, so as the title suggests... "Desktop grade IE6 is coming to Windows Mobile 6.1 by the end of 2008".

The official release comes in the form of the 6.1 announcement over at Microsoft Presspass...

Updated Internet Explorer Mobile Brings the Quality of Desktop Web Browsing to Phones

The new version of Internet Explorer Mobile adds the ability to easily view full-screen Web pages and multimedia on the Web with a smartphone. By taking advantage of Internet Explorer 6 technologies and supporting established and upcoming industry standards such as H.264, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, the updated Internet Explorer Mobile gives people a rich mobile Internet experience. The update will be available to mobile phone partners in the third quarter of 2008, with the first Windows Mobile phones using the new version expected to be available by the end of 2008.

Pretty sweet eh? Come the end of 2008, you'll be able to forget about the second-rate rendering in Pocket IE, and enjoy the same experience you'd get on a desktop PC through IE6, but optimised for mobile!

The facts...

- It's IE6, ported to WM
- It includes FULL Flash
- It will include Silverlight (although perhaps not immediately)
- It is not a core component of Windows Mobile 6.1
- With Flash (full) + silverlight later
- Not in core 6.1
- It will be implemented at the discretion of OEMs, on selected devices
- It will be avialable by the end of '08

What with the browser wars definitely hotting up (Opera, Skyfire, Netfront, Iris, Firefox Mobile etc.) it's very interesting to see how they will compare with Microsoft's own offering!

Despite by best efforts to beg / borrow / steal there's no build yet for me to have a play with and let you know what it's like (probably unsurprising, given the time between now and release!) but I CAN provide you with a screenshot of the BA site rendered on IE6 mobile (not that it really gives much away, but apparently that IS a IE6M shot) and a short video courtesy of Brighthand (well worth watching!)

Discuss :(

P

ie6mobileba.jpg

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This comes straight to you from the 'hang on, why aren't people more interested by this?' department :(

Coming right back at you from the I'll beleive it when I see it dept :D

It sure would be sweet though, just wonder how a WM device would be able to handle a very graphic or flash heavy site?

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Pessimist :D

hehe...

Well, I guess this is why it's implemented on certain devices by OEMs. There will be some fast hardware out by end of 2008 I imagine :(

P

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End of 2008? Getting to be too-little-too-late? I just don't get how it wasn't done a few months after the iPhone demonstrated how web browsing should be. Hell, even the Wii browser beats the speed and inconvenience I suffer on my Vario III.

What does it matter if you've got 2G or 3G if the results can't be rendered anyway?

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Am I reading this right? The next version of PIE to come out later this year is based on IE6? Why 6? I mean ok, it's older so perhaps the code is simpler etc, but still.. it's old, why wouldn't they base such an important new product around current code?

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End of 2008? Getting to be too-little-too-late? I just don't get how it wasn't done a few months after the iPhone demonstrated how web browsing should be. Hell, even the Wii browser beats the speed and inconvenience I suffer on my Vario III.

What does it matter if you've got 2G or 3G if the results can't be rendered anyway?

The Wii runs Opera :D

P

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IE 6 vs 7 vs 8, I don't know, is the rendering engine in IE7 a significant advancement over IE6?

P

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I'd be very surprised if that was missing. It's a long way off being finished yet!

P

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Yeah, but it's the rendering engine that is the key here, the UI will be custom for WinMo of course.

P

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End of 2008? Getting to be too-little-too-late? I just don't get how it wasn't done a few months after the iPhone demonstrated how web browsing should be. Hell, even the Wii browser beats the speed and inconvenience I suffer on my Vario III.

What does it matter if you've got 2G or 3G if the results can't be rendered anyway?

It is no trivial task developing a web browser, let alone a mobile browser, which is used on a very wide variety of devices. Apple has the luxury of developing software as well as their own hardware. It's also a little unfair to compare the Wii browser to a smartphone browser. However kudos to Apple for setting the standard with their iphone web browser.

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Definitely too little too late in my book. As a regular traveller the killer app for me would be to allow me to complete the on-line check-in process for all the major airlines so I could skip the lines of the great unwashed in airport terminals. So far the only browser that will run through the BA check-in process is Opera. Shame on you Microsoft!

Or should that be shame on BA for an unnecessarily painful check-in process - Emirates, Cathay, United and even South African Airways work fine on PocketIE

Edit to add: the BA regular site always worked on PocketIE so I'm not sure why showing the BA screen shot is anything ground breaking. It's the check-in process it can't handle.

Edited by Stuart_f

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Does this mean people will be able to upgrade/install this for free when it comes out - it'll make my upcoming MDA Compact 4 even sweeter !

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I've been using IE Mobile in WM 6.1 for a few weeks now, and it's a vast improvement over the version of IE in WM 6. Not sure why, but layout, javascript, graphics, and navigation are all way better. Obviously, this isn't the same as the one that's coming later this year, but to me it's a good sign.

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IE 6 vs 7 vs 8, I don't know, is the rendering engine in IE7 a significant advancement over IE6?

P

Nope, it's in IE8 that there are some significant standards compliance increase over IE7 (not that it'd come close to Opera 9.xx on the desktop); in this regard, I7 is equally crappy as IE6. See my tests at http://www.modaco.com/content/Pocket-PC-Ge...pliance-report/ . The relevant excerpt:

The Internet Explorer 8 beta (also the latest) results are pretty bad – actually, it’s the same as with IE7:

w3ctest-desktopIE8b.png

(IE8)

w3ctest-desktopIE7Emu.png

(IE7)

Interestingly, Acid2 is far better rendered by IE8 than IE7 (screenshots HERE and HERE, respectively) – while it still fails the Acid3 test (which also makes the browser crash), albeit it still fares a bit better than IE7. That is, based on the Acid results, I expected far more – not even the forthcoming IE8 is as standard-compliant as Firefox, let alone Opera.

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Aren't the gecko and webkit engines already way more efficient than the ie6 one?

They are - but MS will hardly use WebKit in their IE - for obvious reasons :D

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I've been using IE Mobile in WM 6.1 for a few weeks now, and it's a vast improvement over the version of IE in WM 6. Not sure why, but layout, javascript, graphics, and navigation are all way better. Obviously, this isn't the same as the one that's coming later this year, but to me it's a good sign.

Strange you've found it far better - it's almost exactly the same, engine-wise, than previous IE's. The only difference is the zoom menu item in the COntext menu.

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Coming right back at you from the I'll beleive it when I see it dept :D

It sure would be sweet though, just wonder how a WM device would be able to handle a very graphic or flash heavy site?

It's possible when the Flash support is properly (!!) written. Just take a look at the Flash Lite 3 implementation on Symbian (like the v21 N95) - it just rocks and is VERY fast & efficient. Look at its YouTube playback performance and compare it to the old, full Flash 7...

If MSrewrites and heavily (!) optimizes (full) Flash, you won't encounter speed problems - Adobe / Nokia have certainly shown this with Flash Lite 3.

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- It's IE6, ported to WM

Good to hear it won't be a client/server browser - that is, won't be anything like SkyFire or, even worse, DeepFish. The latter would be a real letdown and plain useless.

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