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Bing gets HTML5 Google doodle

Bing is getting its own Google-style doodle with HTML5-powered moving images on its home page.

Bing is getting its own Google doodle. Microsoft's rival to the Google search engine now has HTML5-powered moving images on its home page.

The moving images add a dash of variety to Bing's home page when you head over there to search for something, by presenting you with a different image on an interesting theme. Microsoft says there won't be a Bing doodle every day, "just when the mood strikes us".

Google regularly posts special images or animations to liven up its logo on the search home page, known as Google doodles and usually themed to celebrate a famous person born on that day. Recent animated doodles include a kid's mobile, a rock-tastic 8-bit video of Freddie Mercury and a guitar you can actually play, all powered by HTML5.

Further HTML5 features are also in the pipeline for Bing, including shiny animations to move back through your search history and hovering preview thumbnails.

The doodle is only available in the US today, but us limeys will be able to see them in the next few months. All you need is an HTML5-capable browser.

Microsoft hopes the HTML5 features will encourage users to download Internet Explorer 9, but you can also see them in the latest versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other browsers. If you don't use one of those browsers, you'll see the still photographs that usually adorn the home page.

HTML5 is a relatively new branch of the coding language that underpins the Internet. It's best known for powering video that can run on almost any device, unlike Flash, previously the most popular video format on the Web. In particular, HTML5 content like the Bing doodle will work on the iPad and iPhone, which notoriously don't support Flash.

But the big question is: what do we call Bing's version of the doodle? If the Big G has the Google doodle, what should Bing's novelty animation be called? The Bing thing? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments or on our Facebook page.