Firefox for Windows Mobile 6 Milestone Release: Fennec Alpha 1
Article by George Norman
On 18 May 2009
Fennec, the smartphone version of Firefox, has made one more step in its journey to get to Windows Mobile powered devices with the release of Fennec Alpha 1 – a pre-alpha version was rolled out back in February. Fennec Alpha 1 is available for download and will work on Windows Mobile 6, but since this is an early development build, it is meant for testing purposes, not day to day usage.

Brad Lassey comments: “We are pleased to announce that Fennec Alpha 1 for Windows Mobile 6 is available for download by developers and testers. This is an early developer release intended for testing purposes only. We would like to invite interested Windows Mobile developers and users to join with Mozilla’s developer and user community to help develop, test and refine the product.”


The most notable changes and enhancements in Fennec Alpha 1 for Windows Mobile 6 are:
- JeMalloc memory management library is turned on, allowing Fennec to manager memory in a more efficient manner.
- UI (user interface) controls are now CSS based. The development team had to rebuilt all the UI controls, but with this change it will be able to adjust the UI for all sorts of screen sizes and resolutions. The UI interface controls in this release are just a taste of the direction in which the evolution of Fennec is heading.
- Fennec Alpha 1 for WinMo6 now supports add-ons. According to Brad Lassey, “add-ons are integral to promoting openness and innovation on the web and are unique to Fennec in the mobile space” and several of them have already showed up.

“It is not yet recommended to use this release for daily browsing tasks. Certain performance problems will become immediately apparent to the user,” adds Brad Lassey. “Panning has a noticeable delay between the user first touching the page and the page moving. We are certain that other less obvious bugs exist and we invite you to help bring them to light.”

An installation tutorial for Fennec Alpha 1 for Windows Mobile 6 is available here.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Fennec, Windows Mobile 6
About the author: George Norman
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