Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

Nov 7 2008   2:08PM GMT

Overheard: Browser wars, mobile-style

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

baby-fennec-fox.jpg With the iPhone, Apple showed how to surf the Web on the small screen. Now, it seems, a modern version of the browser wars of the 1990s could be shaping up, with the battleground being the mobile phone.Kate Greene, Firefox on your cell phone

Last week, Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind Firefox, released an “alpha” version of Fennec, just as the desktop version of its browser reached 20 percent of the market for the first time. This early release lets programmers play with the interface, catch bugs, and write add-on features, says Jay Sullivan, vice president of mobile at Mozilla. Fennec (named for a type of small fox) is hardly consumer ready: it currently operates only on the somewhat bulky Nokia N810 Internet tablet, and there are plenty of bugs and interface challenges to iron out, says Sullivan. But by the first part of 2009, Fennec could be ready to run on consumer phones.

The name is brilliant. Who could resist a cute little Fennec? Like ferretts, they’re legal in some states to be pets. Neutered males are supposed to be more sweet-natured than females. Like dogs, they’re omnivores. Like cats, they can be litter trained. Which would you rather interact with on a daily basis? Chrome, Opera or cute little Fennec?

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