Windows Mobile 7’s Internet Explorer could use open-source WebKit
WebKit is a great browser rendering engine. It’s currently used by the likes of Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and Google’s Chrome (and is part of what makes those browsers work so good). But Microsoft? No can do–they’re still using proprietary stuff for their browser, Internet Explorer, which costs real money as opposed to the free and readily available open-source WebKit.
As with its desktop counterpart, Internet Explorer for Windows Mobile also uses a very old version of Microsoft’s proprietary web engine, which tends to make it a pain to use and stink nearly as bad as a dead skunk.
However, there is hope yet in the horizon, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has expressed interest in the idea of using WebKit as Internet Explorer’s rendering engine. Ballmer added that Microsoft “may look at that,” and as such, it could also eventually make its way to mobile Internet Explorer on the release of Windows Mobile 7.
Currently, WebKit is used as the rendering engine in many of today’s top mobile web browsers, including Nokia’s S60 browser for S60-based devices, Apple’s mobile Safari web browser for the iPhone, and Mozilla’s recently confirmed Fennec mobile web browser (which is essentially Firefox for mobile).
Opting for the open-source WebKit in mobile Internet Explorer would no doubt bring new and improved features to the Windows Mobile browser, or at least make it as good as some of its competitors. But it’s up to Microsoft to decide whether it’s worth investing in or not. If you’re a Windows Mobile smartphone user and believe that WebKit is any good, make like a devil and whisper in Ballmer’s ear: “WebKit on Windows Mobile’s Internet Explorer, now!”