Microsoft's Windows 8.1, which got a test release this week, responds to user and developer feedback and seeks to balance the mix of tile-interface features with traditional desktop buttons such as "Start," company officials say. Microsoft says Windows 8 development is going well, with about 100,000 applications in the Windows Store, and that Bing's application programming interface is being opened to third-party developers who may be eager to exploit its natural user interface. Meanwhile, Telefonica says it is teaming with Microsoft on a Windows Phone 8 marketing effort targeting Europe and Latin America as "an alternative to the current duopoly of Android and iOS."

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