Microsoft on Monday announced the release of updates to three Windows 8 core apps, as had been rumored earlier this month. The company says that the updated apps will deliver a much improved Windows experience through a combination of performance enhancements and entirely new features.
Although they were originally scheduled to begin rolling out on Tuesday, the updates to the Mail, Calendar, and People apps are already available from the Windows Store in some regions.
“These apps are designed to manage communication seamlessly on Windows PCs and tablets across multiple accounts—Outlook.com, Exchange, and others,” Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a post on the Windows Experience blog . “We know our customers typically have two or more email accounts for personal use and work use, they use these accounts throughout the day, and they have a large volume of email they’re continuously managing. So this update will bring improvements to your Windows experience across your whole life - your personal communication and your work. “
The updated version of the hitherto much-maligned Mail app includes a number of desperately needed features, including the ability to create folders, flag messages and mark emails as junk. Also, the new Mail app is said to offer faster syncing and improved access to search and printing. Given how the new features in this update are so unremarkable, it is easy to see just how bad the Mail app was in its original form.
The Calendar app now features a new “Work week” view and the ability to “forward meeting invitations, send email to all meeting attendees (great for sending out meeting agendas), choose more recurrence options for reoccurring meetings or events and set end dates for recurring events.”
And for all the gregarious folks out there, the People app has also been updated and now lets you filter the “What’s new” feed by social network and post directly to yours friend’s Facebook wall.