The handheld version of the Opera browser will never be available for Windows CE-based mobiles.
The announcement, which can be seen in the context of an escalation in the tension between the relationship between Opera and Microsoft, was given yesterday by the Norwegian software house which justifies the choice as a marketing tool.
"We think the navigator – Pal Hvistendahl, Opera's head of external relations, told ZDNet UK – is the killer application in the field of smart phones. We do not want Microsoft to win in this area and for this reason we will never make a version of our browser for Windows CE "
The "reduced" browser designed by Opera is attracting a lot of interest from various companies operating in the field of telephony and pocket computers. Its essential feature is that of adapting complex pages designed for normal desktop screens to small cell phone screens on the fly by recompiling the code so as to avoid lateral scrolling.
At the moment the only mobile phone to use this browser is the Sony Ericsson 800 but according to Opera within a few months the browser will be present on many other similar products. A version for Palm OS is also under study which will be released when there is enough demand. Also scheduled is its free release on the Internet, a system that alongside the versions specifically designed for each mobile phone manufacturer, should increase its diffusion on the market.
Recall that Microsoft and Opera have long been at loggerheads. The Norwegians recently accused Redmond of preventing users of Opera from visiting the MSN site by sending buggy style sheets. In turn, Opera released, in an action between the goliardic and the demonstrative, a version of the browser that, by visiting MSN, transforms the text into an incomprehensible language. "A way to make it clear that if standards and a basic philosophy based on honesty and correct relationships are not respected – Opera said – the Internet becomes an inextricable jungle"