The web browsing experience in Windows Mobile has long been terrible if users stick with the default web browser. Internet Explorer Mobile has never been good at all and that’s the reason that Opera Mini/ Mobile has done so well. Microsoft has been touting for a good year that the next version of the browser would be very cool, Internet Explorer 6 Mobile would finally start competing with those third party browsers in an area in which Microsoft has no business being poor. The new browser will start hitting the shelves by the end of the year, but only on new devices. Microsoft has stated that it will not be available to current Windows Mobile customers in any fashion and that new devices are the only way to get it:
Regarding making IE Mobile available as a separate download or update,the rich media experiences that IE Mobile 6 enables require morepowerful, advanced devices. That is why it will not be available as anupgrade or direct download for current phones, but rather will be madeavailable on new phones.
This is a total load of bunk, I’m sorry. Other browsers are currently available even better than what Microsoft has demonstrated in this as yet unreleased browser and they run just fine on today’s hardware. This is the perfect example of how broken the Windows Mobile ecosystem is today. Microsoft is so beholden to the partners who produce the devices that they leave important decisions like who gets an upgrade to those partners. This shoots the existing customer in the foot every single time and it’s getting very old indeed. Don’t forget that Microsoft’s partners on Windows Mobile devices are usually the carriers, and they always have customers best interests at heart.
UPDATE: Reports are coming in that the first device to ship with Internet Explorer Mobile 6 is the Samsung Omnia being released in China. Why China?
Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft’s director of Windows Mobile, mobilecommunications business, told ZDNet Asia over the phone Tuesday thatChina Mobile was chosen as the first operator to get mobile IE6 because Microsoft hopes to tap the vast growth in the number of new mobileusers in the country.
“We want to have users in [emerging markets] get their first onlineexperience with Windows Mobile,” he said. “Our target is not to convertexisting users of the competing phones like the iPhone or Google’sAndroid. We want to grow faster than the market.
So take that you. You already have alternatives available besides Windows Mobile so you don’t need it. Straight from Microsoft.