Pogo is AT&T's (T) - Get Report code name for its new Web browsing project. I'm not sure why it chose that exact name, but after playing with the software on a number of computers, I can report that we like what we see.
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Pogo is based on the same software code base as Mozilla (which means it's similar in some ways to Firefox) and provides what are being called "advanced visuals" (rather than text) to enhance the browsing experience.
Pogo can be used on desktop versions of
Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and Vista 32-bit operating systems.
What sets Pogo apart from the rest is what AT&T calls the Pogo Doc at the bottom of the browser window. AT&T describes it as its agent for "visual tab browsing." Rather than using just text, Pogo uses small versions of actual page views called cells. You can jump to any different page just by tapping on the page's cell.
There are lots of other cool features too:
- One-button bookmarking (by pressing the icon right next to the URL). You can also save the Web page's cell for easy reference.
- You can group bookmarks into categories, then scroll and view the categories as a full screen, cascading array once you tap the "Collections" button. You can also drag and drop a Web page "cell" from the dock into a Collections folder.
- Springboard is the way Pogo lets you visually save your favorite Web homepages. That's pages, plural. It's available by clicking the Springboard button at the top of the browser page.
- The little clock icon at the top lets you access your visual history. Instead of a simple list of sites you've visited, Pogo lets you visually browse through icon views of the pages you've looked at.
- Pogo Search is based on Google's (GOOG) - Get Report Web search engine and gives you results in a separate window. Pogo Find allows you to find items within Pogo.
Overall, using Pogo takes a tiny bit of getting used to because of all the new features and the location of some of those features' icons. You can probably master using Pogo in one session.
As for overall feel, all you need to know is that Pogo is fast. Very, very fast. Here at
, a number of us have tried using Pogo on a half-dozen or so different computers. Old company desktops, new, state-of-the-art laptops and even a wide array of micro-notebook models were used in the testing. On each and every one, Pogo was the fastest Web browser we've had the pleasure of using.
, I have one warning. Pogo for Windows is still beta software. It's version 1.1, to be exact. That means you download it and try it at your own risk. On the other hand, I wish all beta software were as stable as the Pogo Beta we've been playing with.
I'm not sure AT&T's Web browser will keep the Project Pogo name when it is finally in official release. But, whatever they wind up calling it, Pogo just might be a Web-browsing force to be reckoned with.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.