Microsoft launches new browser for smart phones

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled an early version of a new Web browser for mobile devices that it said will make browsing full-sized Web pages faster and easier on small smart-phone screens.

Deepfish, as the software from Microsoft's Live Labs group is called, takes a Web page intended for a desktop Web browser and turns it into a small image that fits on a mobile phone's screen. Users can zoom in on the part of the page they want to read or click on.

To date, most Web browsers for mobile phones work best with pared-down versions of existing sites, limiting mobile users' access to the Internet to a sliver of what's available to desktop Web surfers.

Microsoft said on the Live Labs Web site that the Deepfish technology is in very early stages, and "still a few releases from beta quality."

Deepfish's launch follows another mobile Web browser development from Microsoft. On Monday, the software maker launched ZenZui, a startup that used technology from its research lab to build a visual way to store and navigate bookmarked Web pages on a mobile phone.

For now, a limited number of users with smart phones or Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile 5.0 or later can download Deepfish from the Live Labs site.