‘Fennec’ alpha hits Windows Mobile

Mozilla Fennec

A test version of Mozilla's mobile browser, dubbed Fennec', is now available to download. A pre-alpha version of the browser was made available some months ago, first for Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet and then for the HTC Touch Pro but the alpha has now been officially released. This alpha is only intended to operate on the latter device, but IT PRO successfully installed the application on an HTC Touch HD.

In a blog post, Mozilla said that support for more devices would be coming.

Mozilla warned that it did not recommend using this release for daily browsing tasks. The release concentrates on testing performance, and support for Firefox style add-ons. Mozilla's Firefox is the second most popular desktop browser after Internet Explorer, but until now, Mozilla had yet to develop a mobile version. The mobile browser code is all new hence gaining a different name from Mozilla's desktop product.

The arrival of Fennec will provide competition for Opera, which offers Java-based Opera mini and Opera Mobile browsers for the platform.

In related news, Mozilla is looking for alternatives to tabbed browsing, a browser feature it helped popularise with Firefox. Mozilla is now running a Design Challenge encouraging developers to reinvent' the browser, asking, "How can we create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance?"

Fennec can be installed directly to supported Windows Mobile devices from this link.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.