Windows 8 and RT users who have been perturbed by the underwhelming functionality of the operating systems’ core apps including Calendar, Mail, Games and others, take heart. Rumor has it that Redmond is already well on its way to giving these first-tier apps a significant retooling. And, according to ZDNET’s Mary Jo Foley, who spoke to a source close to the comings and goings of the Windows 8 team, the updated apps will hit the Windows Store later this month.
Microsoft officials have acknowledged that Windows 8’s central apps need some work. During a previous interview with Microsoft’s CFO and CMO for the Windows and Surface teams, Tami Reller, Foley was informed that the company was actively working to improve the apps.
We’ve had our own issues with the OS’ mainstays, including the Mail app, which currently lacks support for POP mail, and the Bing app, which, annoyingly, opens search results in a Internet Explorer tab instead of keeping you inside the app. Changes to these apps would certainly be welcome. At this point in the game, fixing the apps that come with every copy of Windows 8 and RT (which, for many users, serve as the first experiences they have with the operating systems) is imperative.
The fact that Microsoft has seemingly pushed up the release dates for these refreshed apps to this month rather than waiting until the summer (when Windows Blue, the first major update to both operating systems, is set to launch) shows that the company knows what it has to do, at least in terms of its apps.
There are still many kinks to work out with Windows 8 and RT, the lack of a proper Start button being just one of our biggest issues with the systems. If the early release of these retooled apps is proof that Microsoft understands how they can improve their operating systems, Blue may be a worthwhile update. Still, we’ll have to wait until this summer to find out.