Good news folks, the SkyFire Beta is now open to everybody! Head on over to http://skyfire.com to get it. The other piece of news from Skyfire is they've updated their beta to 0.8, with new features:

  • Better video quality
  • Ability to make Skyfire the default browser
  • Faster launch and auto-reconnect
  • Improved zooming
  • Ability to download content
  • In-line text entry

We decided to show Skyfire on a Motorola Q9h because of all the new browsers coming out these days, Skyfire is one of the few that actually gives some love (aka: compatibility) with Windows Mobile Standard.

After the break: our quick take on Skyfire, a screen shot of how Skyfire looks on WM Pro, and the full press release.

Our quick take on the Skyfire browser if you can't watch the above video (you could on Skyfire...): great for browsing multi-media-heavy sites, a little less great for just reading text. Since Skyfire can view pretty much any inline media on a web page and renders everything on their proxy server before you get it, it's better than any other browser for watching video. However, that same rendering means that quickly scrolling through gobs of text sometimes means waiting for the text to 'de-fuzz.'

One last note, Skyfire is still “Beta as in Actually Beta” instead of “Beta as in we are afraid to call it done” like so many companies do these days. To wit: it doesn't seem to work especially well on the Sprint Diamond's high-resolution screen.

Press Release

(MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA) – September 24, 2008 – Skyfire, makers of the full PC Web experience browser for mobile devices, Skyfire, announced today that they are opening up registration of their free browser to all. In addition, the Mountain View based company is announcing the .8 version of their revolutionary product for Windows Mobile. The new version of Skyfire adds even more speed and ease to browsing the Internet from a mobile device.

The Skyfire browser was the first mobile browser to support full web PC browsing, including rich media content, supporting Ajax, Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media, and others.

“We don’t like to think of ourselves as a mobile Internet browser,” said Skyfire CEO and Co-Founder Nitin Bhandari. “Skyfire is a full feature Internet browser on the mobile device.

”Leaving private beta is a huge step for us,“ continued Bhandari, ”We have accomplished our goals of the private beta – launch, listen, improve. Demand for Skyfire has been extremely strong and we are excited to bring this more evolved product to more devices and users.“

Previously, people who wanted to enjoy the exact PC web experience on their handsets had to sign up on a waiting list for Skyfire. With today’s announcement, the latest version of the Windows Mobile Skyfire browser is available to anyone. The 0.8 iteration of Skyfire for Windows Mobile includes marked improvements.

”Our users love media rich sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and ESPN on Skyfire “ said CMO Adam Sexton, ”and based on their input we added the most requested features and improved our user experience. Users can now find content more quickly with Super Bar, and can now easily share that content with anyone in their address book. “

Super Bar Super Bar makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, by combining URL and search entry in one bar. It also features auto complete, so you can find what you’re looking for by only typing a few letters.

Share Content Skyfire now lets you easily share your favorite web content with others. You can send any web page via text message to anyone in your address book or beyond.

In addition to known bug fixes and general performance gains, the 0.8 version of Skyfire for Windows Mobile also adds the following functionality:

  • Better video quality
  • Ability to make Skyfire the default browser
  • Faster launch and auto-reconnect
  • Improved zooming
  • Ability to download content
  • In-line text entry

Today, Skyfire will begin the migration of current 0.6 users to the 0.8 version and will also allow new Windows Mobile users to download it directly from www.skyfire.com.

Skyfire, which supports all Web 2.0 standards like Ajax and full Flash, is also available in version 0.6 on the Symbian S60 platform. The 0.8 version will be released for Symbian shortly.

About Skyfire Skyfire is the creator of the Skyfire mobile browser, which extends the PC Web to mobile phones so users can experience the mobile Web exactly like they do on their PCs. The company was founded in 2006 by Nitin Bhandari and Erik Swenson, who serve as CEO and CTO, respectively. Skyfire is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures and Matrix Partners.

For more information, visit www.skyfire.com, or follow Skyfire on twitter at twitter.com/skyfire.