CNET reports Microsoft is working on a new browser for the Windows Mobile platform that will feature the full Internet Explorer 6 rendering engine. The current Windows Mobile browser is not compatible with all websites but the new mobile browser should be 100% compatible with websites that render properly in the seven-year old IE6 browser on the PC.
I saw the browser running on Windows Mobile Standard--meaning on a non-touch-screen device. The browser makes good use of a D-pad controller to go from link to link, but it's still not as elegant as on a touch screen. I'll be interested to see how the browser works on a touch-based Windows Mobile device, but am still not expecting navigation to be up to the iPhone level.
Navigation may be better on the iPhone, but IE 6 will have some advantages, such as full Flash support.
"The market today is really at 'Can I see a page?' Very quickly we're getting to 'Can I do something?'" he said. "That's where we will really shine."
Another interesting option on IE 6 is the ability to quickly shift from a site's mobile page to its standard desktop version. Just because IE 6 can show the full site, doesn't mean that's always what people want. It's particularly true in Europe where even so-called "unlimited" data plans typically have data caps that can easily be reached by loading a lot of standard Web pages. IE 6 toggles between mobile and standard Web pages by sending a different user agent, depending on which page type a user wants to see
The IE6 browser for Windows Mobile should be released later this year.