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Microsoft has been trying to get more developers to release their apps for the Windows Phone platform, but there's also a problem with major app creators and publishers that don't bother to update them with new features or improvements for months. In a couple of cases, the apps haven't been updated for nearly a year.

Microsoft recently revealed a new Developer's Code of Conduct for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps that stated, among other things, that developers must stay active in the store. That's certainly not the case for these five popular free apps, which have seen numerous feature and bug fix updates for their iOS and Android counterparts over the past year. In fact, most of these apps have seen some update in the past month for those two platforms, and none have been updated later than early September. That is certainly not the case for their Windows Phone versions.

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Combine animated GIFs with text messaging in GIF Chat. The app is from Pinger, the creators of the popular free texting and calling app, Textfree. Quickly record videos, add captions and swap them privately with your friends. It’s like putting Snapchat and Vine together in one app. The app has been available on Android and iOS, but has just been released for Windows Phone 8.

Head past the break to watch our hands on video and walkthrough.

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Although Facebook Beta received yet-another-update this morning, here are a few others that have just come in as well. These are some of the bigger titles that many of you are using, so they should pique some interest.

So far at 11 AM ET, we have new updates for the official Vine app, Angry Birds Go! and the popular photography app Pro Shot. Read on to see what’s new!

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Has Windows Phone finally come of age? Microsoft emphatically says 'yes'

With today’s announcement that Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone along with Waze (Mint and Xbox Video are still “coming soon”), Windows Phone as an operating system has finally reached a significant turning point. At least according to Microsoft.

We recently sat down with Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, who walked us through some of the recent accomplishments. Brix and Microsoft are claiming that with the recent spate of app releases, a “critical mass” has finally pushed Windows Phone into the big leagues. Windows Phone now has parity on most of the top download apps found on iOS and Android with an “85% overlap” in top-25 titles, according to the company.

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