Microsoft updates News and Finance Windows 8 apps

Microsoft updated both its in-house News and Finance apps for Windows 8 during the first week of January. In the last few hours of the month, Microsoft decided to go ahead and release new updates for both apps that have been created by its Bing team.

It's unclear exactly what has been put into the new versions of the apps, as the patch notes for the Finance app and the News app don't appear to have changed from the last update in early January. We have contacted Microsoft to get more information on what's been added, changed and fixed in these new versions.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft posted an extensive article on its Windows 8 app developer page that described how the in-house Bing apps were first made. Microsoft admitted, "Through the process, we learned a lot – even a few things we’d do differently next time." Obviously, the constant updates for these apps show that the company continues to learn and improve from their early efforts.

While the Sports app for Windows 8 has recently been updated, Microsoft has not released new versions of its Travel and Maps apps since mid-December. Hopefully, we won't have to wait much longer, especially with the upcoming launch of  the Surface Pro tablet next week.

Source: Windows Store | Image via Microsoft

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15 Comments

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The News app still doesn't have a live tile for international markets, well not in my country at least.. Also most of the default apps have very poor and inconsistent UI's. They're so basic it's just a joke. Very poor implementation of Metro in Windows 8.

If you go to the News app settings charm then to options and change the region to New Zealand and restart the app, bing daily doesn't work which is also why the live tile doesn't work also.

didymo said,
If you go to the News app settings charm then to options and change the region to New Zealand and restart the app, bing daily doesn't work which is also why the live tile doesn't work also.

Honestly, it's taken Microsoft a few years to get the Bing services to the level they are now in the UK. They just seem reluctant to roll out all the features to every country and I have no idea why.

Dutchie64 said,
Meh....

Note to MS: Get to work and update and improve the Music and Video app.
They're terrible to use!!!!!

I agree but unlike news and finance those apps are under different teams and it's clear that they're not working at the same speed. Music and video are with the Xbox team but they're probably busy on the next Xbox itself to put a lot of time on these apps, just my guess though.

I think your right, this is the only logical explanation for the mind blowing inaddaquacy of the Music experience as compared to what we already had with Zune. Microsofts policy of not commenting on up coming updates, is very frustrating but probably necessary to not let the competition know what they are up to.

At the same time, to pull 500 million people off of Messenger before Skypes own interface is able to match what we had on messenger (tabs), and to come out with a totally inferior Xbox Music app that is still unable to perform the simple function of creating and syncronizing playlists without frustrating workarounds, is the type of product development and implementation activity that can easily pull the focus away from everything great that MS has accomplished in the last half year.

Bing news is phenomenal. I like creating my own topics to read about using search. I see no reason there should not be a matching app on the phone.

I wish they would have more details about these updates on the apps store page, instead of the usual "added more content".

1Pixel said,
I wish they would have more details about these updates on the apps store page, instead of the usual "added more content".

+1 man, I like knowing absolutely everything they add!

Mail, Weather, News, Calender and SkyDrive are all useful. They still need work but they're not bad.

I've even started using Xbox Music (even though this needs LOADS of features added to be truly useful) but its mostly for the Smart DJ playlist feature. I've found a ton of new music i like through that. Plus you get free access to millions of songs, cant complain.