Mail, Calendar, and People apps all get subtle improvements

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is preparing for the launch of Windows Blue later this year, but in the meantime it's freshening Windows 8 with a series of updates to its core apps.  Mail, People, and Calendar hubs all receive minor makeovers today.  And while the changes are unlikely to change the minds of Windows 8's detractors, they're a welcome improvement for those who have adopted the new-look Microsoft OS.

The new apps all fall under the umbrella of a single "Unified Communications" app.

The email (Mail) update includes new smart algorithms to predict contacts based on your most frequent contacts and smarter search algorithms.  Flagging/filtering options have also been refined, making it easier to only see unread messages or alternatively to start flagging junk mail.  Lastly, there's a new message editor that adds things like easy options for hyperlink or list insertion.

The People app includes subtle improvements that make it easier to filter or post content to Facebook, Inc.'s (FB) ubiquitous social network.  The Calendar app includes a new workweek option.  Both the Calendar and People apps are more tightly integrated into Mail to make choosing contacts or sending event invitations easier.

Today's update is being delivered via the Windows Store.  Reportedly more app refreshes may follow the Unified Communications update, according to ZDNet.

Windows 8 app refresh
Mail is among the refreshed apps.

Some in the Bing AppEx team, which maintains the Weather, News, and Sports -- are reportedly looking to refresh its lineup.  And Xbox Entertainment app will reportedly be refreshed later this month or early next month, improving the music and gaming options.

It looks like you may not have to wait until Windows Blue to start experience some of Microsoft's "lessons learned".  Keep your eye on the Windows Store today for the update and in the next couple weeks for the Xbox app follow-up.

Sources: Microsoft, ZDNet

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