Microsoft launches Mobile Test Drive for IE9 on Windows Phone

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled Mobile Test Drive, a smartphone-optimized version of its Internet Explorer Test Drive site featuring development samples spotlighting features and capabilities integrated into the IE web browser. Timed to coincide with the introduction of Internet Explorer 9 in the forthcoming Windows Phone 7.1 (a.k.a. "Mango"), Mobile Test Drive is organized like its desktop precursor but formatted for access and use across mobile devices. At launch, Mobile Test Drive includes 15 samples, including Geolocation, Audio Player, Scalable Vector Graphics, Animated Text and Browser Control Theming.

"It's important to note that even though we use the same core rendering engines on both the desktop and mobile versions of IE and adhere to the concept of 'same markup' when we produce our samples, we felt that it was worth creating a mobile test drive site to illustrate how we approach some of the key issues that developers face when creating mobile-optimized content: screen sizes, device capabilities, etc.," explains Internet Explorer-Windows Phone principal program manager Joe Marini on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

Microsoft officially unveiled Windows Phone Mango in late May. The upgrade is expected to reach consumers this fall. With the introduction of Internet Explorer with HTML5, Microsoft promises a faster mobile web experience as well as new browser tools including Local Scout, which prioritizes local search results according to user preferences and recommends nearby points of interest.

Mango emphasizes tighter platform integration exemplified by App Connect, which ties applications to Bing search tools to foster a more relevant and efficient user experience. For example, if a consumer searches Bing for movie information, their Windows Phone device will generate showtimes and theater locations but also anticipate subsequent ticket purchase requirements by presenting digital movie services provider Fandango's ticketing application. Also new in Mango: Improved Live Tiles to deliver more real-time information to the device's homescreen, app multitasking and Live Agents tools giving developers the flexibility to build app multitasking scenarios without compromising battery life and performance.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry

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