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Microsoft Announces Mobile Platform of IE9

Microsoft's next browser, Internet Explorer 9, will move to its mobile platform later this year, CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed.

Like the desktop version, the mobile edition of IE9 will make use of hardware acceleration and HTML5, Ballmer told attendees of Mobile World Congress.

"IE9 is a great example of bringing assests togegther from across Microsoft to improve the Windows Phone experience," Ballmer said. "We need to give people the full web, the full interent… like they expect with the PC."

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows Phone 7, said the "core browsing engine that ships on PCs is the same one that ships on Phones."

That will help developers, as sites that "work well on the PC will work well on Windows Phone as well," he claimed.

Ballmer didn't say if IE9 would be ported to any other mobile platforms, but it seems highly unlikely. The update will be free and arrive later this year to all Windows Phone 7 handsets.

New features

Other new features include using the handsets to interact with the Kinect gaming system, as well as third-party app multitasking, allowing music apps to play in the background.

The update will also bring support for the Skydrive file-sharing service and Twitter integration - along the same lines as how Facebook is built into the existing "People" hub.

Ballmer said the first update to the Windows Phone 7 platform would arrive "in just a few weeks in early March," bringing the ability to copy and paste. The more advanced features will follow later in the year.

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