File this under "strange, but true". AT&T announced months ago that its working on its own browser, Pogo.

It's still not available for public scrutiny. But, its in beta by invitation only. And a pitch video by AT&T and various screen shots are making the rounds in the blogosphere these days.

AT&T's party line, as explained by the PR tool in the pitch video, sounds like the biggest bunch of hooey ever. To hear him tell it, AT&T just thought it would be a fun thing to offer customers, blah blah blah.

Since when do really, really big companies jump into an overcrowded field like the browser market just to spread the joy of web surfing?

Reviewers who've seen Pogo are pretty much in agreement. It's actually a nice browser. It should be. It's basically Firefox 2 (soon to be upgraded to Firefox 3) with it's own customized features and extensions.

This is a real head scratcher. What is AT&T thinking? I haven't stumbled upon any good theories, so far. So here's my own. I think this is the equivalent of custom publishing in the magazine field; taking a quality information platform and tailoring it for corporate use and public relations.

All I know is I don't want to find out that I'm being charged a dollar a month to use it buried in the fine print of my monthly statement.