Is Microsoft gearing up for its Windows Blue public preview? The company's Brandon LeBlanc said on Tuesday that the Redmond company plans to overhaul Windows 8's main apps starting this week. These will include the Mail, Calendar and People apps, three of which have come under fire since before the original Windows 8 launch for their poor design and difficulty in use.
"This update will bring improvements to your Windows experience across your whole life - your personal communication and your work," he said. "You will see big improvements to performance and additional new features to make it easier to connect with friends and colleagues, manage your inboxes, create and send email, and manage your calendar."
LeBlanc says that the updated Mail app will allow users to better manage multiple email accounts, and filter the inbox itself so that they only see unread messages. Users can also finally create and delete folders directly within the Mail app, and select all items within a folder and move them (or delete them all).
"I also often flag important emails that will need more of my attention, and the Mail app now lets me do this," LeBlanc said. "Flagged emails will show in your inbox (or any other folder in the account) and in a 'Flagged' folder within the Mail app so you can see all flagged email messages."
As for the Calendar app, it now sports a new look, and provides color-coded events for keeping work and personal events separate. It also accommodates the use of scheduling assistants for business accounts that use Microsoft Exchange, but support for Google Calendar is no longer available as Google has removed support for Microsoft's app (we couldn't possibly begin to imagine why).
Finally, there's the People app, likely the less loved of the three, which tries to cram all your social feeds like Twitter and Skype into one screen. It now provides a new navigation bar at the top that allows the user to quickly move from the profile to whatever friends are doing online. Users can even post on their friends' Facebook wall directly from the updated app.
"The features that are part of this update for the Mail, Calendar, and People apps are designed to align with the different habits people have for staying on top of their email and schedule and staying organized," he said. "These updates are part of our ongoing focus and commitment to continually improving your Windows experience. This means that the experience on Windows PCs and tablets will keep getting richer."
For additional details about what the new updates will bring, check out the Microsoft blog here.