Microsoft updating in-house Windows 8 apps before launch

Microsoft officially completed its RTM build of Windows 8 on August 1st and since then a limited number of people around the world have been using the company's latest PC operating system. However, with about three weeks to go before Windows 8 is released to the general public,
Microsoft is announcing that it will begin to offer updates to its many in-house Windows 8 apps ahead of the October 26th launch.

In a new post on the official Windows 8 blog, Microsoft says that the updates to its in-house Windows 8 apps will begin on Friday with a new version of the Bing app. It will add new features such as Bing rewards integration,  using zoom on search results to see related queries and more.

Overall, 13 in-house Windows 8 apps will get updates in the next three weeks. Microsoft says, "We are excited to get these updated apps out to all of the people who have been using Windows 8 so far, and to have them ready for the Windows 8 launch for people buying new PCs or upgrading their existing PCs.

The blog has a list of those apps, as well as the what features and additions each will receive in their automatic app updates. For example, the Windows 8 SkyDrive app will let users rename and move folders and files. The new version of the Maps app will add over 3,000 indoor venue maps.  The new version of Microsoft's Weather app for Windows 8 will add, among other things, hourly weather forecasts, up to 10 days. The Photos app will give uses the ability to crop and rotate photos.

Source: Windows 8 blog | Image via Microsoft

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46 Comments

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To me, this fix in the Photos app is most welcome..."View photos and videos on network locations in your Pictures Library such as Windows Home Server, network shares, and HomeGroups"

The photos app felt naked not being able to browse my vast library of photos and pictures on my server.

GJ MS

To me, at least with the Mail app, it should be as rich and functional as the outlook.com site you can open in Immersive IE, which is how I check some of my accounts now. The Mail App is so limited and minimalistic.

devHead said,
To me, at least with the Mail app, it should be as rich and functional as the outlook.com site you can open in Immersive IE, which is how I check some of my accounts now. The Mail App is so limited and minimalistic.

In the current incarnation, there are a lot of problems and missing features in the Mail App. I am also anxious to see the next update for the Mail App. Right now, opening Outlook.com in IE10 is far more functional, and although I applaud the Web functionality, the local App needs to have more teeth for integration with the 'Share' features of Windows 8. (Heck even as functional as Mail in WP7 would be nice.)

jasonon said,
well this just shows the advantages of the new windows 8 store and how easily an app suite can be updated

Yeah but now every user on the network needs to download them manually again, No WSUS support

I hope they fix the bug in the "Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging" app. There are many people who can't connect their Facebook/Twitter accounts to this app. Although it says that it's connected and you have to wait a few minutes ... nothing happens! If you look at your online Microsoft Account everything is connected just fine so it's definately in the app itself. Reinstalling the app doesn't solve the problem.

0nyX said,
Fix the messenger app.Its lacking almost everything.

most important of which is chatting. sometimes takes hours before messages sent to me appear in the messaging app (sometimes instantly, totally random) and it often shows people offline who arent so you're unable to speak to them. -.- messenger didnt had these limitations, common MS!

tagged mp4 based vuews in xbox movies please

ie by year (the year the movie was released stored on the mp4 tag not the file creation date)

Let's hope they'll suck a little less… I mean, they're so useless, incomplete and crappy right now. The mail app is absurd. the calendar app misses basic functionality like subscribing to iCal calendars, etc.

I see no reason to use these apps right now. The desktop one are so much better in every ways

myxomatosis said,
Let's hope they'll suck a little less… I mean, they're so useless, incomplete and crappy right now. The mail app is absurd. the calendar app misses basic functionality like subscribing to iCal calendars, etc.

I see no reason to use these apps right now. The desktop one are so much better in every ways

Where is there a calendar app in the desktop? Weather? Some of these apps are beginning to close the gaps in Windows. It's only been a few months since I've been running Windows 8, but these two have quickly become killer apps.

myxomatosis said,
Let's hope they'll suck a little less… I mean, they're so useless, incomplete and crappy right now. The mail app is absurd. the calendar app misses basic functionality like subscribing to iCal calendars, etc.

I see no reason to use these apps right now. The desktop one are so much better in every ways

Ref.: "... the calendar app misses basic functionality like subscribing to iCal calendars"

Funny! I am subscribed to iCal calendars - works fine! Except, you don't do it within the Modern UI app but online in your Windows Live calendar.

myxomatosis said,
Let's hope they'll suck a little less… I mean, they're so useless, incomplete and crappy right now. The mail app is absurd. the calendar app misses basic functionality like subscribing to iCal calendars, etc.

I see no reason to use these apps right now. The desktop one are so much better in every ways

For the record, in Windows 7 & 8 there are no desktop Apps that have this functionality. You are conflating Windows Live Essentials with built in applications.

Also, something to note. The Web Apps now are hitting close to the functionality and features that previously required a local App/Client. From Outlook.com to the new People and Calendar features available from any Web Browser is better than standalone Apps just a few years ago.

Tumultus said,
Funny! I am subscribed to iCal calendars - works fine! Except, you don't do it within the Modern UI app but online in your Windows Live calendar.

That's kind of stupid though isnt it? It's kind of on the level of iCal subscriptions in Apples various calendars, if you add the subscription on a Mac it'll sync to iOS devices (so I have heard anyway) but a subscription added on iOS won't sync to any other device and the iCloud website can't see or add subscriptions... Or Google's calendar where you have to figure out to go to some odd mobile website if you want to have more than you default calendar syncing to a device...

When you have the same service in multiple locations (desktop apps, mobile apps, websites) they all should really have the same basic functionality.

billyea said,
I really want to use the Music app, but it still doesn't support:

- independent volume control
- autoplaylists

Isn't smartdj autoplaylists? In which case that's in the update. As for the volume control, dunno.

GP007 said,

Isn't smartdj autoplaylists? In which case that's in the update. As for the volume control, dunno.

Not exactly. Smart DJ takes similar songs and puts them in your now playing queue. Autoplaylists are consisted of predetermined artists/genres/track rating etc. and picks songs at random while following those preset terms.

billyea said,
I really want to use the Music app, but it still doesn't support:

- independent volume control
- autoplaylists


I don't think you're going to get independent volume control in Windows 8. It is as such by design.

FalseAgent said,

I don't think you're going to get independent volume control in Windows 8. It is as such by design.

The OS offers this, but not in the Metro/Modern UI.

For more advanced functionality, I would wait for the Media Player replacement, which is also the Zune software replacement.

thenetavenger said,

The OS offers this, but not in the Metro/Modern UI.

For more advanced functionality, I would wait for the Media Player replacement, which is also the Zune software replacement.


this is exactly what I mean, the metro environment doesn't do it abd it's by design.

Lprd2007 said,
Windows 8 is so ****ing amazing. Updates for core apps is just another great feature.

Let's face it, core features that are accessible and work well are exactly what users care about, so give them a break for being correct on focusing on the right things.

Lprd2007 said,
Windows 8 is so ****ing amazing. Updates for core apps is just another great feature.

I also hope you realize that Microsoft is doing something amazing here: they're developing and updating the OS's features even after it has RTM'ed. This was never possible before.

FalseAgent said,

I also hope you realize that Microsoft is doing something amazing here: they're developing and updating the OS's features even after it has RTM'ed. This was never possible before.

Not sure about never possible... I'm sure they could have pushed changes to for example Explorer through Windows Update if they wanted to, it just hasn't been the way things was done before. Doesn't make it any less great that they are doing it though, it's something every OS should do.

FalseAgent said,

I also hope you realize that Microsoft is doing something amazing here: they're developing and updating the OS's features even after it has RTM'ed. This was never possible before.

Yes it was, and it was called a Service Pack.

Dot Matrix said,

Service Packs don't update OS features.

XP SP2 and 3 are the only service packs that really changed stuff up. I doubt Microsoft will do something like it again.

Tyler R. said,

XP SP2 and 3 are the only service packs that really changed stuff up. I doubt Microsoft will do something like it again.


they might, especially on Windows RT, which is a whole new animal.

FalseAgent said,

they might, especially on Windows RT, which is a whole new animal.

That's true. I completely forgot about RT.

brent3000 said,
I hope they update the People hub, its lacking sooooo much
Yep, mainly "List by LAST NAME, FIRST NAME" - they actually made the sort order available but still only show the contacts / people beginning with FIRST NAME + LAST NAME.

Not only that but selecting the letters to quick jump, posting a status update and getting feed updates etc,

Just dosnt feel as 'complete' as the WP version of it

brent3000 said,
Not only that but selecting the letters to quick jump, posting a status update and getting feed updates etc,

Just dosnt feel as 'complete' as the WP version of it


What's incomplete about those features currently included in the people hub? Though I do wish it was possible to update to facebook and twitter at the same time.

brent3000 said,
I hope they update the People hub, its lacking sooooo much

Look at the link at the bottom of the article for all the new features added. ALL of Microsofts apps are getting updates.

Heres what it says for the People app though...

"Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging:

Conversation view of your inbox
Complete IMAP account support
Accepting and declining invitations in email
Capturing and updating your account picture
Improved search
Search for a contact within the Messaging app"

I think this was pretty much a given that they would do this, yet I'm sure some people actually thought Microsoft would gladly wander into Windows 8's GA - their riskiest OS yet - with a bunch of unfinished, crashtastic applications at the helm

Edited by ~Johnny, Oct 5 2012, 12:11am :

~Johnny said,
some people actually thought Microsoft would gladly wander into Windows 8's GA - their riskiest OS yet - with a bunch of unfinished, crashtastic applications at the helm

So...I take it the apps are finished and stable now?

~Johnny said,
I think this was pretty much a given that they would do this, yet I'm sure some people actually thought Microsoft would gladly wander into Windows 8's GA - their riskiest OS yet - with a bunch of unfinished, crashtastic applications at the helm

Given the appalling quality of the apps in Windows 8 RTM I don't have much faith that Microsoft will magically fix everything just before release. I hope they do, but I'm expecting the updates will be entirely underwhelming.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Given the appalling quality of the apps in Windows 8 RTM I don't have much faith that Microsoft will magically fix everything just before release. I hope they do, but I'm expecting the updates will be entirely underwhelming.

They have fixed every issue I have encountered. Check the blog post, this post doesnt highlight what is actually done.

~Johnny said,
I think this was pretty much a given that they would do this, yet I'm sure some people actually thought Microsoft would gladly wander into Windows 8's GA - their riskiest OS yet - with a bunch of unfinished, crashtastic applications at the helm

Without RTFA, I hope they add basic stuff such as slideshows from anywhere in the Photos app and make the Xbox media apps suck less.