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5/27/2009
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Mobile Browser Skyfire Hits 1.0

The release version of the mobile browser enables Windows Mobile and Symbian users to have a desktop-like experience while on the go.

Startup Skyfire has completed the release version of its mobile browser, which the company said brings a desktop browsing experience to smartphone users.

The Skyfire browser uses server-side compression technology to enable users to access and interact with Web sites built with Flash, Ajax, JavaScript, Silverlight, and other rich Web technologies. This gives it an advantage over competing browsers like Apple's mobile Safari and Android's Chrome Lite, which can't fully access complex sites like YouTube or Hulu.

Skyfire also has multiple social networking features built in, and users can integrate their Facebook updates or Twitter messages into the start page. This home page also can be customized with RSS feeds from various sites.

"As Web content continues to include more Ajax applications, JavaScript, video, Flash 10, and Web pages double in complexity every 12 months, there will always be a gap between phone and PC capabilities," CEO Nitin Bhandari said in a statement. "Skyfire's architecture keeps pace with Web technologies and seamlessly bridges the gap. Using Skyfire, consumers continue to get their PC Web on their phones, no matter how complex a Web site."

The 1.0 version is available now as a free download for Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, and the company said it's rapidly working on a version for BlackBerry.

Along with on-deck browsers like mobile Safari, Skyfire is facing an increasingly crowded market. Opera is the leader of third-party mobile browsers, as Opera Mini and Opera Mobile have more than 20 million users around the world. Mozilla also is looking to capitalize on the growth of mobile Internet usage, and its Fennec browser is inching closer to completion.


With strong browsers like Skyfire, smartphones could eventually replace your laptop as a mobile computing device. InformationWeek analyzed how handhelds are becoming over-the-air portals for enterprise apps, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

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