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Internet Explorer Mobile Cell Phones

Microsoft Corp announced Tuesday it will offer Internet Explorer for mobile cell phones, complete with full Web browsing, by the third quarter of this year. The Windows Mobile company made the formal announcement at CTIA, the annual US mobile show.

The official announcement follows the Apple iPhone which has won praises for its Web site browser capabilities. Apple uses its own Safari Web browser for its iPhone.

Internet Explorer Mobile will be available to phone makers in the third quarter with the first mobile cell phones to go on sale by year end.

The software giant has been gaining steady ground with its operating system for smartphones with computer-like features such as e-mail, but it faces stiff competition from the likes of Apple, Blackberry maker Research In Motion and Palm Inc.

Before Apple launching its iPhone last year, cell phones mostly operated a stripped-down version of Internet Web sites as they were easier to view on tiny screens. Full graphic-heavy Web sites often take long during loads and are hard to read.

Following the IE Mobile announcement, Microsoft also unveiled a new version of its mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6.1, complete with easier navigation and new feature menus.

The renowned company has said it expects license sales of its mobile operating system to outpace smartphone market growth in the next few years.