Browser wars are coming to a pocket near you as makers port their Web viewing technology to handheld PCs, smart phones and other tiny devices shipping over the next 12 months. Spyglass will rejoin the browser battle with a new slimline version of Mosaic that vies with Microsoft's Pocket Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navio software.
Palo Alto, California-based Spyglass's Prism technology strips down the HTML code from Web pages so they can be viewed on PDAs, phones and other small-screen devices. Spyglass recently unveiled two products which use Prism: Remote Mosaic, a Web browser for portable devices, and Device Mosaic, a browser for Network Computers and set-top boxes. The Remote Mosaic software integrates with code held on a server or by an ISP which filters Web pages to reduce the graphics and deliver just text.
Microsoft said the Pocket version of its Internet Explorer browser also currently delivers text only. Users will be able to install the cut-down browser onto a Windows CE-based handheld from a PC. "It reads HTML, but we want at least animated GIFs," said Jeremy Gittins, Microsoft's product manager for Internet platforms. He added that the Explorer variant will eventually support ActiveX and Java.