Mozilla Releases Fennec Builds For Windows, Nokia Devices - InformationWeek

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6/29/2009
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Mozilla Releases Fennec Builds For Windows, Nokia Devices

The latest version of mobile Firefox brings Windows Mobile users better support for touch screens and better stability, Mozilla said.

Mozilla continues to work on its mobile version of Firefox, and it released two new builds of its Fennec browser for Windows Mobile and Nokia's Maemo devices.

The latest versions of the mobile browser use the Gecko HTML rendering engine, and both versions support the TraceMonkey engine for JavaScript support. Additionally, the latest versions will improve the touch-screen support for Windows Mobile devices, as well as polish the overall performance and user interface.

"For these releases we have worked on improving the user experience, replacing our old theme with a much nicer looking one and fixing numerous usability issues," Mozilla wrote in a blog post. "We've continued to increase performance and responsiveness."

One of the reasons Mozilla was able to be successful on the desktop is the ability for users to create and install extensions for things like blocking advertisements or playing music. The company is bringing this element to Fennec, and it said the developer community is beginning to create some "exciting" add-ons like GeoGuide's location-aware mapping, and GraffiTwit's Twitter client. The company said it should be relatively easy for developers to port existing extensions to the mobile browser.

Mozilla will be facing an increasingly crowded field when Fennec is released before the end of the year for Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones. Along with on-deck browsers like Apple's Safari mobile on the iPhone, the company is facing competition from multiple third-party browsers.

Opera is the leader in this market, as its Opera Mini browser is being used by more than 20 million customers. Startup Skyfire has received a lot of attention because its mobile browser lets users access and interact with Web sites that have Flash, Ajax, Java, QuickTime, and other Web technologies.


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