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Startup hopes to redefine smartphone Web content access

Mar 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Microsoft this week announced the launch of ZenZui, an independent company aimed at “transforming the way people engage, consume, and interact with Web content” on mobile devices, including those having J2ME platform support. ZenZui's “Zooming User Interface,” a technology initially developed and patented by Microsoft Research.

ZenZui's Zooming User Interface is touted as an alternative to using a traditional Web browser for discovering and consuming Web content and services on a mobile phone or other handheld device. According to Microsoft, the high frame-rate ZenZui interface employs up to 36 individual “tiles” selected and customized by users to reflect their interests and lifestyle with relevant content, interactive communications, and fresh data. The modular tile interface is said to enable users to sync, surf, and share digital content quickly, easily, and in a “distinctly new way.”

Navigating “Zoomspace”

A user's personal collection of tiles is called a “Zoomspace.” Thumb movement lets users “fly in and out” of their Zoomspace. Two taps move directly to any tile. Through some “clever engineering,” ZenZui says, the tiles are constantly refreshed in the background.

ZenZui is developing an advertising-supported distribution ecosystem whereby advertisers can “sponsor” a tile with relevant ad content. By matching relevant sponsors with each tile, the service will be available free to end users.

ZenZui “ecosystem”

A software development kit (SDK), slated for release in the third quarter this year, will enable developers to create applications as tiles, according to ZenZui. The company says it plans to provide a means through which popular tiles that achieve wide distribution can receive “sponsorship,” and a portion of the advertising revenue will be paid to the developer of the tile.

ZenZui CEO Eric Hertz stated, “This innovative technology developed with the help of Microsoft Research has provided a strong foundation from which ZenZui has developed a unique user experience. ZenZui's compelling platform is already creating excitement among carriers, content providers, interactive agencies and major marketers.”


According to a report by, the client application will first target the Windows Mobile platform, with a beta expected this summer. Shortly thereafter, a J2ME version (that ought to support Linux-based handsets) will be released, followed by versions for Qualcomm's Brew platform and the Symbian OS. Additional perspective is available from the article at, and further details may be found on ZenZui's website.

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