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HTML 5

Windows Phone 8.1 has been released, at least in its Developer Preview form, for several months now, but we are still learning about what Microsoft has put into the OS. Late on Friday, the company offered some information on the HTML5 video and audio changes and improvements it has made for the version of Internet Explorer 11 that was made for Windows Phone 8.1.

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Microsoft’s cloud based storage solution; SkyDrive has picked up its first set of updates as we go into 2013. The service has quickly evolved to become the hub for nearly every product in Microsoft’s line up. Windows Phone has always been deeply connected and the past year has seen Windows and Office hook into the mesh.

The public face of SkyDrive is through a web interface and it's here that many will create folders and share them. The team has improved sharing, speed and touch responsiveness to the latest update.

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Hang on to your pants WP fans, because an HTML 5 version of Bing Mobile is right around the corner, and it's bringing some neat new functionality along with it. While the Bing team is currently only making the update available to iOS and Android devices (WP7 is, strangely, waiting for a future update), the latest news coming from the Bing blog does show one more thing that we can look forward to in the future for Windows phones.

HTML 5 is not just a new bit of code to provide the same search engine to mobile devices. By going with the latest standards in mobile development, the Bing design team is working to create one universal Bing experience across all devices. This new version will allow Microsoft to make future updates automatically without asking the user to download new versions of the app, and will significantly enhance their experience as well. Rather than downloading separate Bing-powered applications developed with proprietary code for individual platforms, each device will provide users with a Bing that can hook into functions and features on the device just like a native application would (such as voice input or camera support).

Yes, it is true that the new app will only be released on Android and iOS devices first and not WP7 devices until later (doesn't make too much sense to us either), but it's good to see Microsoft deliver a unified experience for their products to all applicable devices, and not just their own. What's more is that this new app, coupled with HTML 5, won't be like a native application or a mobile website - it will be a hybrid of the two. And we all know that hybrids are better at everything.

Hit the break to watch a video explanation on what the Bing design team plans to do with their mobile service in the future.

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