Hey – remember back in 2007 when Microsoft Labs released Deepfish (here’s the press release)? It was a neat browser concept that was really never intended to turn into an actual product. Only a handful of people got access to the program before the downloads were shut off. Well, we have an official update from Microsoft Labs posted in August of this year, which totally went under our radar, (thanks to Michael’s Blog for the tip):
When Live Labs began working on Deepfish, we set out to prove our theory that there was an unmet demand for a better mobile browsing experience than what was available at the time we started the project in 2006. It wasn’t our intent to create a full browser for the preview, but rather simply demonstrate that a novel and simple new user experience was the best way to achieve that. The positive reception and incredible demand for the Deepfish technical preview went a long way towards proving that. And now, thanks in part to Deepfish, many better alternatives are emerging.
Mobile browsing is now advancing to the point where mobile devices rival the desktopwhich is what we wanted to see. User experience advances such as usable touch and intuitive zooming interfaces weren’t widely available at the time. Deepfish helped drive that innovation. 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.
Thanks to all of those who enthusiastically supported Deepfish. We learned a lot from you, and we assure you that your feedback is influencing Microsoft’s future products.
So, there you have it. By today’s standards, Deepfish wouldn’t be anything fantastic, but back in 2007 before the iPhone was being sold, it was quite innovative and a step in the right direction. I think that if Microsoft had aggressively continued development on the browser and had actually released a product, Windows Mobile would be an even more competitive mobile platform today with a truly robust mobile browser. Good thing we have SkyFire and Opera Mobile.