Mozilla’s Fennec mobile browser ‘basically useless’

Mozilla has admitted that an early version of its Fennec web browser for Windows Mobile devices is "basically useless" for many users.

A pre-alpha version of Fennec was released earlier this month, but just for testing on the HTC Touch Pro running the Windows Mobile operating system.

"We knew there would be problems lurking around so we wanted to get a preview version into the hands of more testers," explained developer Mark Finkle in his blog. "The good news is we found a showstopper! The bad news is the browser is basically useless for many people."

The bug is memory related, and leaves many users with nothing other than a background image when Fennec loads. "Windows Mobile has some exciting restrictions around memory use," Finkle noted.

Finkle and his fellow developers are working on a fix and expect to have a new test version ready for release soon. "We are digging into the problem and have been able to reproduce it internally. It's obviously a top priority and we will get a new version released as soon as we get a fix in place," he wrote.

The Fennec mobile web browser has also been released in alpha version for Nokia's N810 internet tablets, and could be on phones running the Symbian operating system by the middle of this year.

Click here to read our Q&A with Mozilla's Tristan Nitot.