Microsoft to update core Windows 8 apps 'well before Windows Blue': Report

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We already know that Microsoft is working on an interim update for the Windows 8 and Windows RT operating system codenamed 'Windows Blue, that will also be extended to other Microsoft platforms such as Windows Phone, the Windows Services - like SkyDrive, Hotmail - and Windows Server.

Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet now reports citing her "own contacts" that the software giant is expected to update first-party apps such as Windows Mail, Calendar, Music and Games before the refreshed OS arrives. The apps are likely to reach users within this month.

Foe's latest report highlights users getting disappointed with Mail and Music apps on Windows 8/RT being developed by the Windows team specifically, who have also acknowledged the scope for improvements with these apps. Users currently feel that though the apps are free, they appear more as beta versions rather than offering a fully featured experience. It also points out that the apps being developed by the Bing AppEx team, are much better in terms of use.

Foe also says that according to her contacts these updated versions will be available via the Windows Store. She mentions that Microsoft is internally testing the Outlook for Windows RT and currently cannot say when this will be available to users as the app is currently facing battery-life issues.

An earlier report by Foe stated that Microsoft might deliver app updates through the Windows Store directly to the end users. It also mentioned that updated products and services will likely offer user experience related changes, new versions of Internet Explorer, Mail, Calendar, Bing and other first party apps, in addition to changes to the development platform.

It will also offer some kernel and driver-level updates to optimise battery life and overall performance, and Microsoft would push for maintaining backward compatibility with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, as per Foe's sources.

Microsoft recently announced that at the last count, there were over 1,30,000 apps and games in the Windows Phone Store. Furthermore, 15,000 of these apps were Windows Phone 8-specific apps. Though this is a significant achievement considering that Windows Phone 8 was launched in October 2012 and was offering 75,000 apps initially. But, it still isn't enough when compared to Apple's 775,000+ and Android's 675,000+ apps.

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