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Pulse launches Web app tailored for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10

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Mobile-only is one of the hot new trends for startups. Instagram, Zite, Flipboard, News.me — all these and others have chosen to ignore the fact that Internet users do still spend time browsing the Internet on a PC. And now, one of them is jumping off the mobile-only bandwagon: News aggregation service Pulse debut its Web app today, with a design that doesn’t sacrifice its appeal as an app.

Pulse launched in 2010, and in the past two years has bolstered its list of publishing partners, while developing cross platform apps for both Apple and Android devices. The service has grown to 15 million users, solely through its mobile apps, who read over 250 million stories per month. But in the past nine months, with the help of Microsoft, Pulse has finally fulfilled the wishes of its users to bring the platform onto the Web.

The Web app acts much like a Web application intended for a tablet device. It’s built in HTML5; and with the backing of Microsoft, the design has been geared toward touch devices – primarily devices that will sport Windows 8. Articles on Pulse’s Web app are tiled by its corresponding images, keeping in line with the user interface of its existing mobile applications — but there’s a motive behind the tiled design.

Pulse is best viewed in Internet Explorer 10, a browser that has been developed with multi-touch gestures in mind, enabling the Web application to mimic responses to a user’s interaction much like a mobile app. For example, users can pinch to resize groups of article tiles on the home page, or side-swipe to open the next story in queue. As smartphone and tablet users, we’ve become accustomed to these simple gestures that we now take for granted, and IE10, with improvements to its Javascript engine, is hustling its way to become the defacto browser for touch-enabled devices.

“Tapping into the capabilities of a modern browser, like IE10, and advancements in Web standards, companies like Pulse are able to provide users with an experience that meets, and may even exceed, what is possible in an app,” Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer said in a statement.

After checking out Pulse’s Web app ourselves, we’d even go as far as to say that we may prefer the Web app over its existing mobile apps. While we’ll have to wait until at least October 26 for the first Windows 8 devices to go on sale, today’s release could be a huge step in the right direction for both Microsoft and Pulse.

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