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You might not be familiar with Microsoft’s modern.IE website, but web developers around the globe sure are. The website launched by Microsoft focuses on providing tools, documentation, and industry connections for web developers who are trying to get the best optimization out of Internet Explorer and other web browsers. Recently, the site has claimed that it has saved over one million development hours using its various techniques since it launched in January 2013.

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The Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview has been leaked on the Internet today before being released in the coming weeks. What's included in the upcoming version? 

App Development

Windows Phone 8 Developer Preview supports native C++ development and is able to support a significant subset of the Windows 8 SDK, allowing developers to share a significant amount of code between apps on Windows Phone and Window 8. The lack of native development support in Windows Phone 7.x has proven to be an issue with developers in the past, which has now been recognised by Microsoft.

The SDK Preview reduces the need to port and maintain components such as compute engines, graphic libraries, and API sets. Direct3D is also making its way to Windows Phone, which will enable developers to create and release games built using DirectX and share code base between PC titles (D2D, DWrite and WIC aren't supported). The supported vertex shader model version is 2.0, as is the pixel shader.

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We last looked at PhoneGap, the Adobe-owned open source mobile development platform, when version 1.3 arrived which included support for Windows Phone. Adobe has now released 2.0 and further expands on the feature set provided to developers who wish to build apps that can easily be submitted to multiple platform app stores.

Using HTML5, CSS and Javascript, PhoneGap allows those who do not possess the knowledge of mobile platform native code to create and release apps for all the supported operating systems. So what's new in version two-point-oh? The team have implemented a new command line interface for building iOS apps, which removes issues surrounding Apple's Xcode tools, adds more support for enterprise app development, includes enhanced user guides and documentation, as well as security and stability improvements.

Cordova WebView is also present, which allows for the integration of PhoneGap as a larger native application. Listed with the new features is "Windows Phone support", which we're slightly confused at since it was added in version 1.3. We've reached out to the PhoneGap team for clarification just in case there are some incredibly useful features added. We'll update the article once we've received a reply.

Source: CMSWire

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Sigh. We hate to bring this info, but for those who hate the "feature" in Windows Mobile HTML email, whereby images have placeholders until you "agree" to download won't be pleased.

Evidently Windows Phone 7 uses the same approach, requiring an extra step and unsightly image placeholders until you sync up again. For those curious, this unique method is not present on the iPhone nor Android (Edit: Actually, you do have to hit "Show Pictures" on Android), both of which automatically just show the images.

The reason Microsoft chooses this system is security: opening an HTML email with inline images that is potentially malicious can send back information to the originating servers, hence the extra step.

We get that and totally like this ability as we understand the needs of enterprise can run pretty high. But we want it as AN OPTION not a default/you have no choice in the matter feature. Fact is, Windows Phone 7 is a consumer phone at this point and should therefore make email as transparent as possible--why not just give a simple initial warning sigh and give the use choice?  

C'mon Microsoft...

[via MobilityDigest]

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