Pretty much the first thing I do when I review a phone running the Windows Mobile platform is to download Opera Mobile. Why? Because the mobile version of Internet Explorer is sadly lacking, especially when it comes to that whole HTML thing. In order to remain relevant in the increasingly crowded mobile browser market, Microsoft is making sure the next version of mobile IE includes HTML capabilities.A rich mobile Internet experience has become a core requirement for smartphones. If a smartphone doesn't offer a browser that at least provides desktop-like functionality, then it's no good. Being able to work with full HTML Web sites is one key to providing that better-than-WAP experience. To date, the current version of Mobile Internet Explorer has fallen into this "no good" camp. Looks like that might be about to change.
Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 6 earlier this year and said that it would be available by the end of the year. Screen shots of the as-yet-unreleased mobile browser show that it will support a mobile browsing mode and a full HTML mode. That's an important improvement for mobile IE6 to include. What isn't known is to what extent it will incorporate support for Flash or Microsoft's own Siverlight.
With the native browser on WinMo devices lacking compared with what's being offered by third parties, it's high time that Microsoft fires back with something that is more useful and competes with Opera Mobile, Safari, the S60 browser, Skyfire, and others.