Microsoft gets personal with Windows 8 People Metro app

In the past, Windows has offered a way to store contacts and email addresses. However, with social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, more and more people are storing and using their contact information in new ways. In the latest post on the official Windows 8 blog, Microsoft talks about how the company developed its People Metro app for Windows 8 as a new way to organize contact lists from a number of sources.

The People app uses Exchange ActiveSync along with APIs used by networks like Facebook and Twitter in order to sync up a copy of all of your contacts into a cloud server. The People app also allows Windows 8 users to send messages to anyone on any of the supported networks, along with being able to view and comment on your friend's messages and photos.

Of course, most people use more than one social network. Microsoft says the People app for Windows 8 was designed to take this into account when displaying information and updates from your friends. The blog states that the app "automatically detects that all of these contacts are the same human being" and presents that information as one single linked contact

The People app also uses the secondary tiles feature in Windows 8 to receive updates from specific people when they are pinned to the Windows 8 start screen. You can also post to both Twitter and Facebook from any Windows 8 Metro app via the Share contract; you can also quickly select a number of contacts from the People app to send a mass email to all of them.

Having all of your contact information stored on a cloud server means that you can go on any Windows 8 device and your contact information will always be available. Microsoft said that so far, over 50 million people have connected their Microsoft account to their social networks from Windows  Windows 8, Windows Phone, Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive.

Microsoft also said it respects the privacy of Windows 8 users when it comes to contact information storage. For example, Exchange information is not currently synced to a cloud server. The blog adds, "We also recognize that each person uses their address book and networks in slightly different ways. So we put you in control of what you share with which network and individuals on the network. For example, when you connect Facebook you can decide to connect just the address book, or additional features like instant messaging."

Source: Windows 8 blog | Images via Microsoft

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30 Comments

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.Neo said,
It's all I ever wanted: A contacts app filling all the space on my 27-inch screen.

Ooooor you could just snap it to the side of your nice big 27-inch screen.
Are you trolling or just stupid?

I just noticed something. This has support for "Google" under Accounts... I wonder if this support will be coming to WP8 as well...?

M_Lyons10 said,
I just noticed something. This has support for "Google" under Accounts... I wonder if this support will be coming to WP8 as well...?

Check out "email+accounts" on a Windows Phone 7.5 device... tap "add an account"...

Google!

rfirth said,

Check out "email+accounts" on a Windows Phone 7.5 device... tap "add an account"...

Google!


Yeah, but this is a little different than an email program...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, but this is a little different than an email program...

Dosnt WP7 do contacts and calenders as well from google?

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, but this is a little different than an email program...
No it also sync calendar & contact since it's using EAS.

Anthonyd said,
No it also sync calendar & contact since it's using EAS.

Yes, but these are all things that are not in the People hub, which essentially is what this program is at this point...

Owen W said,
It's also awful. Very buggy still, and you can't link contacts together.

Indeed. I'm not sure what Microsoft is hoping to achieve with it but it's lacking even basic functionality and will be useless as soon as companies like Facebook and Google release their own Metro apps.

Owen W said,
It's also awful. Very buggy still, and you can't link contacts together.

Fingers crossed when its released there is a major feature set released to do these functions...

Its still beta after all

Possession said,
Yet you can't even create a status from the app...
Couldn't you click on the Me option, and update your status there?

KevinN206 said,
Couldn't you click on the Me option, and update your status there?

Nope, it does not appear that there is a box for doing that.

Possession said,
Yet you can't even create a status from the app...

Its still in preview mode, but i do hope this feature is a coming soon option, same as posting on alls and feeds etc..

I'd like to select certain Facebook contacts to appear in the People hub, not every single person/company. I don't need to contact "A Monster Ate My Homework."

srprimeaux said,
I'd like to select certain Facebook contacts to appear in the People hub, not every single person/company. I don't need to contact "A Monster Ate My Homework."

Windows Phone has a feature where you can have a person in your address book available via search, but have them invisible in your long contact list. And the people app is always being updated.

dagamer34 said,

Windows Phone has a feature where you can have a person in your address book available via search, but have them invisible in your long contact list. And the people app is always being updated.

I see the option to hide an account (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live) from showing up in the contact list, but no option to simply select a contact and delete it from my contacts. Why is that so difficult? I'd truly like to know. Is it because it'll blow up the phone?

srprimeaux said,

I see the option to hide an account (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live) from showing up in the contact list, but no option to simply select a contact and delete it from my contacts. Why is that so difficult? I'd truly like to know. Is it because it'll blow up the phone?

Tap and hold the contact name.

srprimeaux said,
Why is that so difficult? I'd truly like to know. Is it because it'll blow up the phone?

You're running Windows 8 on your phone?

Wyn6 said,

Tap and hold the contact name.

Tap & holding a contact I wish to delete only gives me the option to refresh. Moving to the settings, it states I can't change Facebook contact info on my phone. That's a problem. Why can't I?

srprimeaux said,

No. Read through again. Focus.

Well this is an article about Windows 8 and you brought up blowing up phones. Also, you're holding it wrong.

Enron said,

Well this is an article about Windows 8 and you brought up blowing up phones. Also, you're holding it wrong.

The conversation turned to Windows Phone since we see Microsoft using a similar strategy with Windows 8. We were comparing to the two. If the People App will act like it does on Windows Phone 7, I'm not impressed. That was the whole gist of it.

srprimeaux said,

Tap & holding a contact I wish to delete only gives me the option to refresh. Moving to the settings, it states I can't change Facebook contact info on my phone. That's a problem. Why can't I?


Because you can't change Facebook. You don't have permission to change someone else's Facebook. To change Facebook contact info, you can, but it syncs those changes to Windows Live. Your Windows Live contact settings override the Facebook contact info.

rfirth said,

Because you can't change Facebook. You don't have permission to change someone else's Facebook. To change Facebook contact info, you can, but it syncs those changes to Windows Live. Your Windows Live contact settings override the Facebook contact info.

I didn't ask why I can't change a persons Facebook. I asked why I can't delete a Facebook contact from my contacts. That should be an option. Why make it difficult? Going into Windows Live only deletes the contact until the contacts are re-synced on my phone and it appears in my contacts again. In order to fully remove it, I have to remove the contact from my Facebook friend's list entirely. This is a flaw. It needs to be fixed.

I just a need to see all my online contacts at a glance, without having to scroll through the list of contacts...

That's basically essential stuff for powerusers. Anyway, very excited!