Monday, October 6, 2008

Microsoft exterminates the Deepfish project

When Microsoft, the Live Labs division to be exact, announced its plan to retire the Deepfish project back in August 18, 2008; not many took notice. Only when the news hit ZDNet, and then followed by PCW Business Center, that's when we're all become aware of the extermination.

What was Deepfish? For you who don't know of it yet; Deepfish is mobile browser research project aiming to display web pages on Windows Mobile phones just like they look like on a PC, and then let users zoom in and out of parts of the page they were interested in examining closer. The browser worked in conjunction with Microsoft servers that delivered the web pages to the mobile phones, and it was an example of the company's software plus services strategy.

The Live Labs explains the reason in its
web blog, in the same exact way we would expect an explanation from Microsoft that we all know too well:

"Mobile browsing is now advancing to the point where mobile devices rival the desktop—which is what we wanted to see. ... 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."

I agree with Mary-Jo Foley (ZDNET) about the vague explanation above: "I wondered exactly what Microsoft believed has been achieved,..." And I believe most of you have the same question too, when Microsoft with its Windows Mobile platform (or in particular is the Internet Explorer Mobile) hasn't even come close to rival the superiority of other mobile web browsers in the market such as iPhone's Safari, Opera Mini, and Skyfire. Not to mention the upcoming arrival of Fennec, the code name for Firefox's version for mobile web browser. Why stopping now?

It's a puzzle that we must wait to be answered, for we're still waiting for Windows Mobile 7 (set to release in latter half of 2009).

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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