NetFront Browser 4.0 "Concept Version" gets released

Remember NetFront?  Made by Access, they were the original must-have browser on Windows Mobile, going back years ago when Mobile Internet Explorer was even worse (and called PIE).  (See the v3.5 review as a refresher).

While Opera Mobile and Skyfire have mainly taken the lead, it seems Access is making an attempt to woo us back, releasing NetFront 4.0 "Concept Version".  We imagine the concept part makes this a beta, so not everything will be peachy.

The big thang that Access is pushing is their new JavaScript engine, which is suppose to be way faster than....the one in version 3.5.  So how this racks up to Opera Mobile and Skyfire is anyone's guess at this point, though we'll take a look soon enough.

Our initial opinion of 4.0?  Meh.

Read their full press release and info here.  Go through the download process here.

And look for a full review from George, coming up next week.  In the meantime, why not comment on your experience with 4.0?

If you're hip and cool, you'll use your MS Tag app to just download directly to your phone, see below.

[thanks John Kreuzer!]

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • internet explorer on windows xp work fine for me. i think its hilarious that WM cant recreate the same experience. WM7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • that was actually the first time i got to use MS Tag. pretty cool.
  • Isn't it though? I'm going to try to use it more often for these situations as it's way more fun and easy to grab an app.
  • Both urls are same
  • Fixed, thanks!
  • Wow... just about everyone's probably trying to download it because MS Tag opens my browser but it just hangs.
  • It's their servers. Very slow. It took me numerous times to get it and that was *before* I posted the article, lol. Just keep trying, or not, it's not really that remarkable.
  • Using MS Tag or QR codes is only cool for downloads when the barcode actually links directly to the file. On some sites it links to the download page which is hardly much more convenient than typing the URL directly into my mobile browser of choice. + For a proxyless-browser, it seems pretty fast
    + Changes very quickly from portrait to landscape
    + Cursor snaps to clickable items and there's some decent mouse emulation options for those who browse via d-pad
    + Rendering is very crisp, especially for fonts
    + Despite being finger unfriendly (to be expected since it's a Japanese browser) it's pretty easy to tap links, even on my Fuze's tiny 2.4" display
    + Tabs ("windows" as the browser calls them") can have their own viewing mode -- PC, wide PC, simple, or text[-only] - No easy way to zoom in it seems (double-tap zooms out to a scrollable "page overview" mode)
    - Switching windows isn't quite as easy as Opera Mobile
    - Other interface annoyances
    - Needs more options! Overall, it's not bad. i haven't used NetFront since ~2001 when it was the best browser on my Sony UX-50 Clie, which is akin to being the healthiest Burger at Hardee's. It's a bit quirky in it's interface, but even at this stage i'd take it over IE. i might try to see if i can get Flash support working on it later.
  • craapp!!!!!!the 2006 version was way better than this I might also have to say that the standard PIE is better than this because it was loading some of the sites I goto on a daily basis that this NF couldn't even do.