Microsoft's Bing apps team leader hints at future Windows 8/RT apps

For the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT, Microsoft recruited its Bing apps team to create "Modern" UI apps that would be pre-loaded for both operating systems. The result were the News, Weather, Finance, Sports, Travel and Map apps that are among the first things a Windows 8 owners tends to access when they use Windows 8 or RT for the first time.

Several Bing apps recently received automatic upgrades with some new features and improvements, and it sound like we can expect even more in-house apps to be released for Windows 8. ZDNet.com reports that, during a chat with Brran MacDonald, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Bing Application Experiences team, he said, "We're going to do a few things beyond these apps, but we have nothing to announce right now."

While the Bing apps team did develop the Windows 8 Maps app for its launch, the Map team at Bing is now apparently in charge of its future development.

The Bing apps team also represents a move by Microsoft to move beyond just web-based searches. MacDonald stated, "Users don't wake up and say, 'I want to map some keywords to some URLs.' We wanted to cover a number of intents in search. That was the gist of our idea." However, he added that using apps is just one method and that the Bing team is " ... still competing with Google in search head-on."

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via Microsoft

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but Bing team did nice apps: News, Weather, Finance, Sports, Travel and Map apps, NOT the crap apps, Mail, Calendar, and Music.

The Bing apps are great actually. Particularly Bing News. Maybe they need to put Bing team on those other crap apps, particularly Music.

They added a couple of major enhancements this time, something I think that has been missing from the start, a HELP section WITH VIDEOS, and finally the ability to change text size for those that have mouse and keyboard and no pinch to zoom. Why did that take so long?!

Correct... the Bing team did a great job with their apps, it's the Xbox team and Mail team that needs to step their apps up ASAP!

People that use the Apps can provide a fairly long list of changes and improvements.

There are still a lot things that need a major jump, like Xbox Music/Video Apps, but People, Mail, Calendar, Maps, have come a long way, and our team was very critical of the pre and early RTM versions.


They're still crap. Your team's critique was apparently worthless in influencing that.

When you scroll through an app such as Mail or Music, the content doesn't refresh as fast as you're scrolling. Instead of being able to see where you are, all the feedback that you can expect is a bunch of grey boxes. Is that reasonable release functionality?

Mail added support for conversations. Congratulations. Long conversation threads now cause the app to freeze for minutes when trying to reply to a message in the thread. Is that reasonable release functionality?

The Calendar app is not flexible enough in scheduling recurring appointments and meetings. Have Tuesday and Thursday meetings year-long except for a month's hiatus? Can't schedule that as a series unless you want to manually delete single events during the vacation month. Oh, and the app doesn't quite understand that series of events MIGHT just end at some point, like the web version, so you can't even specify a duration of an event series - everything goes forever. That's quality!

Relativity_17 said,

They're still crap. Your team's critique was apparently worthless in influencing that.

When you scroll through an app such as Mail or Music, the content doesn't refresh as fast as you're scrolling. Instead of being able to see where you are, all the feedback that you can expect is a bunch of grey boxes. Is that reasonable release functionality?

Mail added support for conversations. Congratulations. Long conversation threads now cause the app to freeze for minutes when trying to reply to a message in the thread. Is that reasonable release functionality?


Strange, the mail app works fine for me. Entire fancy HTML/CSS emails scroll smoothly. Replying feels instant.
I have none of those issues tho

Relativity_17 said,

They're still crap. Your team's critique was apparently worthless in influencing that.

When you scroll through an app such as Mail or Music, the content doesn't refresh as fast as you're scrolling. Instead of being able to see where you are, all the feedback that you can expect is a bunch of grey boxes. Is that reasonable release functionality?

Mail added support for conversations. Congratulations. Long conversation threads now cause the app to freeze for minutes when trying to reply to a message in the thread. Is that reasonable release functionality?

The Calendar app is not flexible enough in scheduling recurring appointments and meetings. Have Tuesday and Thursday meetings year-long except for a month's hiatus? Can't schedule that as a series unless you want to manually delete single events during the vacation month. Oh, and the app doesn't quite understand that series of events MIGHT just end at some point, like the web version, so you can't even specify a duration of an event series - everything goes forever. That's quality!


As I said above, heavy users noted major improvements in the BING apps, which this article is referring to. The Mail and Xbox apps are not Bing apps, and I agree needs major refining, which I'm sure they're doing with all the negative comments in the Store for the Xbox Music app.

App functionality and performance has been underwhelming. The only thing I see most updates bring in is adding/shifting ads around.

I've seen major performance improvements, and minor UI changes for customization (for example when changing cities for weather, and now you can pin specific sources to the start screen which is awesome)

Relativity_17 said,
App functionality and performance has been underwhelming. The only thing I see most updates bring in is adding/shifting ads around.

If these are the only differences you see or don't see, then you probably are not qualified to be commenting on this topic.

People that use the Apps can provide a fairly long list of changes and improvements.

There are still a lot things that need a major jump, like Xbox Music/Video Apps, but People, Mail, Calendar, Maps, have come a long way, and our team was very critical of the pre and early RTM versions.

They have a lot of work to do... Not impressed with any of the apps... They are actually kind of insulting... Payed money to upgrade to 8, and it seems like they spent very little time on these apps. I should have stuck with Windows 7 longer.

What's insulting or not impressing with the apps? There's always room for improvement, but I still find them useful and beautiful.

1. I wish I could spell... PAID! duh

2. We took a HUGE step backwards with the Xbox music app... Zune was 150x better than the Xbox Music app. The WP8 app is HORRIBLE as well. They are so bad they are unusable!