Microsoft Live Labs - Deepfish Project Canceled

Michael Schwarz on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

deepfish Some of you have heard about the Deepfish project at Microsoft Research. In March 2007 Microsoft announced [1] a new mobile Web browser to bring desktop-like browsing to mobile devices. Since some days the Deepfish project Web site has been removed, you'll get an http 404 (file not found) or get redirected to the new Live Labs overview [2] (there is only one page a Microsoft New Zealand talking still about Deepfish [3]). Deepfish is canceled, and there is no other news about a better Web experience on Windows Mobile devices.

What does this mean for Web developers or Windows Mobile users? When do we get a new Web browser for mobile devices? Since PIE is really slow and doesn't support common standards companies are adding other Web browser i.e. Opera mini [4]. Nokia has their own We browser called Nokia Mini Map browser [5], Apple iPhone includes a mobile version of Safari [6].

I'm currently thinking about my next phone: Nokia N85 [7] or Samsung SGH-i900 Omnia [8].

Update: I didn’t read the blog post Deepfish: Hello, I Must Be Going [9]:

When Live Labs began working on Deepfish, we set out to prove our theory that there was an unmet demand for a better mobile browsing experience than what was available at the time we started the project in 2006.  It wasn't our intent to create a full browser for the preview, but rather simply demonstrate that a novel and simple new user experience was the best way to achieve that.  The positive reception and incredible demand for the Deepfish technical preview went a long way towards proving that.  And now, thanks in part to Deepfish, many better alternatives are emerging.

Mobile browsing is now advancing to the point where mobile devices rival the desktop—which is what we wanted to see.  User experience advances such as usable touch and intuitive zooming interfaces weren't widely available at the time.  Deepfish helped drive that innovation.  And now that the marketplace has caught up to where we thought it needed to go and continues to advance.

For our dedicated users still using the technical preview to this day, we are sorry to announce we will be retiring the proxy service on September 31, 2008.  The Deepfish client will no longer function after that date as a result.

Thanks to all of those who enthusiastically supported Deepfish.  We learned a lot from you, and we assure you that your feedback is influencing Microsoft's future products.

Hm, I get no answer if Microsoft will offer a new Web browser for Windows Mobile.