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In advance of the launch Microsoft is readying updates to its built-in Bing search, Bing apps, and the Camera app.

The new Photo Loop feature requires new camera hardware that will be available... in the Surface 2 and other tablets this holiday season.

When you open the Camera app on Windows 8.1 with a compatible device it will start to instantly take pictures from the moment it’s lo...

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For example, search engine marketers spent more on advertising in Q1 to run ads on smartphone and tablet devices, says digital marketing agency IgnitionOne, which compiled the report. Spending on both... devices rose nearly equal amounts, with tablets up 112% and smartphones up 113% from last year. That growth came at the expense of money spent on trying to reach desktop users.

Impressions on tab...

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While these apps come bundled for free with Windows 8, some have been criticized for being less than full featured or, as Mary Jo Foley in ZDNet noted, some users have said they feel more like betas... and simply "not very good."

Those developed for Windows 8/Windows RT by Microsoft's Bing AppEx team get much better marks for being solid and useful.

Updates are expected s...

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Available today via the Windows Store or the Get Your Google Back website, the Google Search Windows RT app mimics the other Windows 8 app by allowing users to search for web results by typing or by... using their voice.

There is also the ability to run image searches and to view the recent and full search history, while the Instant Previews mode gives a snapshot of each web page in the searc...