Skyfire halts BlackBerry browsing alpha

In the wake of a major leak, Skyfire temporarily pulls the plug on the BlackBerry alpha testing program for its popular alternative browser.

Updated July 28 at 9:45 a.m. PDT with more information about the leak.

On Monday afternoon, Skyfire announced it would put a temporary halt on its alpha program for BlackBerry. The makers of a popular alternative mobile browser for Symbian and Windows Mobile phones pulled the private testing program when they discovered earlier Monday that a nondisclosure agreement had been broken and the program's download link had been leaked.

Co-founder Nitin Bhandari wrote on Skyfire's blog, "During the time it was leaked, there were many BlackBerry users trying the alpha release on Curves, Storms, and other BlackBerry models--it was not intended for these devices."

This statement suggests the company might fear the possibility that negative press could plague the product before its sanctioned beta release. A Skyfire spokesperson told CNET that the leak was not internal.

Skyfire for BlackBerry alpha--leaked

This alpha photo was leaked last April.

This is not the first time Skyfire has had problems with overenthusiastic alpha testers. In April, screenshots of an even earlier-stage alpha build for BlackBerry hit the Web, much to Skyfire's consternation.

Skyfire has not said when it will reinstate the alpha testing program for its BlackBerry browser.

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