Microsoft announces tons of Windows 8 app updates in time for the official launch

Starting today, many of the apps in Windows 8 are going to start releasing updates. Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul took to the MS blog yesterday and told us that early adopters of Windows 8 would start to see a whole bunch of positive changes in the apps leading up to the big Oct. 26th launch, he would also go into detail about what changes were coming.

SkyDrive, Calendar, People, Photos, Mail, News, Maps and Games are several of the MS apps that will get refreshes. What is coming? Quite a bit. SkyDrive is allowing you to search within it while allowing renaming and moving of folder and files. In the past, I felt the program was far from perfect, this update seems address my own issues with it.

Did you previously feel that the Mail app was too limited? I know I did. Better search and the support of IMAP are just a few ways MS is making that app even better. Messaging and People are also getting improved search, and a new conversation view.

Do the improvements end there? Not at all. Maps will see 3000+ indoor locations, a bird’s eye view, driving direction hints and integration with Bing and Travel apps. It certainly sounds better than the Apple Maps disaster with iOS 6.

Photos are also seeing changes here. This app will now allow cropping and rotation without relying on the desktop, which is a good plan.

Even the Games app is seeing some major changes with new games, in-game purchasing and new invite and turn notifications. There are more additions than that, but you get the idea. If you want to see the full list of changes, check out the official blog post with the details.

Windows 8 Apps – Quality is key here

This is great news and helps solidify the fact that 2000+ apps isn’t a true problem in Windows 8. it isn’t about how many apps are there in the market from day one. Yes, apps are extremely important, that much is true. The problem is that many people confuse the statement “apps are extremely important” as meaning that quantity is the most important thing. Variety is the spice of life, but quality is the true key.

Microsoft might not have the best 3rd party apps yet, but they are certainly working hard to make sure that their 1st party offerings are nothing short of brilliant. When I first starting playing with Windows 8 Developer Preview – such a long time ago – my biggest complaint was that the apps felt to simple.

They looked pretty with the new UI, but their capabilities were limited compared with what was out there on other mobile platforms. I was reminded by several readers at that time that this was an early preview and that I was expecting too much. Fair enough.

Now it seems they were 100%-right. Microsoft is taking this launch very seriously. I look forward to trying all the updates first-hand. Are you pumped for the official commercial release of Windows 8? Are the 1st party apps and existing 3rd party offerings enough, or is there a few ‘killer’ apps that you feel are missing right now?

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