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The Microsoft's Internet Explorer for Pocket PC is shipped as the default browser with the mid-April of 2000 release of Pocket PC, the customised version of Microsoft Windows CE 3.0 for PDA. This Pocket Internet Explorer is a full-featured web browser that can display full Internet Web pages; it supports both online and offline browsing.
The browser supports almost all key web technologies, but one notable exception is Java, technology that allows programmers to develop software for any computer platform. Microsoft has had legal struggle for implementation of Java with the inventor Sun Microsystems.
Microsoft has built a page compression technology that shrinks the page and associated fonts to run on smaller handheld screens so that full web pages can be displayed by scrolling through a window across the expanse of the page. Which makes the web browsing on small devices more comfortable to a certain extend. This handy "Fit to Screen" feature is able to scale down an online web page to Pocket PC-size, as long as developers do not use fixed sizes for tables or frames, so that only vertical scrolling is necessary to browse the full page. With this functionality, a virtual 640 x 480 display is presented on the 240 x 320 screen of the PPC. If the print is too small, the Zoom menu option allows the displaying of text on the screen in different sizes.
The Pocket Internet Explorer supports the commercial standards that Web developers are using today, including HTML 3.2, XML (Extensible Mark-up Language), and XSL (Extensible Style sheet Language), and also can handle Web pages with technologies such as frames, JScript 1.1 and Microsoft's ActiveX technology. The browser also has 64-bit SSL encryption, which allows secure connections to shopping pages or corporate intranets. Microsoft is also working with web content company AvantGo, to provide information from third parties that are optimised for the small screen.
ActiveSync, the program that allows the Pocket PC device to synchronize with a desktop PC, will also fetch Web pages so that they can be copied to a handheld device and be browsed off-line. Off-line browsing is set-up by creating a Mobile Favourite, which is as easy as bookmarking a Web page on the desktop. When the user creates a Mobile Favourite for example, his stock portfolio or frequent flyer airline, Microsoft ActiveSync automatically sends a downloaded version of that page to his Pocket PC every time he syncs up.
The popular AvantGo service is a built-in feature of Pocket Internet Explorer. Users can select from more than 300 information sources and whenever he synchronizes with his desktop, the latest news is automatically delivered to the Pocket PC for offline viewing.
The design of the Pocket Internet Explorer is based on the optimised mixture of following components:
Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann