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Mozilla Goes Mobile

Mobile-phone version of the popular Firefox browser is previewed for developers.
The Mozilla Foundation last week released a preview of a mobile-phone browser that uses the same code base as Firefox, the popular desktop browser that recently topped 75 million downloads.

Minimo 0.1, for mobile devices running Windows CE, offers many of the features in Firefox such as tabbed browsing, support for plug-ins, and an interface written in Extensible User Interface Language, says Chris Hofmann, Mozilla's engineering director. Mozilla hasn't set a timetable for Minimo's general availability.

"This is a technology preview release for engaging the [developer] community to join the project and help out in the development and generate new ideas," Hofmann says.

Minimo is designed to address problems with current mobile-phone browsers, which are difficult to use and don't display Web pages very well. Only 9% of cellular-phone subscribers in the United States use browsers to access news and information, according to JupiterResearch. Mozilla is in talks with mobile-phone manufacturers interested in offering Minimo.