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Microsoft ready to update Windows 8 built-in apps

The company appears ready to roll out the set of expected updates to its full set of core, Microsoft-developed Windows 8 applications, as rumored earlier this month.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

It looks like Microsoft is indeed poised to update almost all its core, Microsoft-developed apps that shipped with Windows 8.

At the start of this month, I posted that Microsoft was expected to provide updates to everything from Windows Mail to Xbox Music sometime in March.

On March 22, Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott discovered there is a stack of updates that are "installation ready" for Windows 8. These include:

  • Microsoft.BingTravel
  • Microsoft.Camera
  • Microsoft.Bing
  • Microsoft.Reader
  • Microsoft.BingNews
  • Microsoft.windowsphotos (Photos)
  • Microsoft.BingFinance
  • Microsoft.microsoftskydrive
  • Microsoft.XboxLiveGames
  • Microsoft.ZuneVideo
  • Microsoft.BingWeather
  • Microsoft.ZuneMusic (Xbox Music)
  • Microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging)
  • Microsoft.BingMaps
  • Microsoft.BingSports

My original tipster said these apps also would be updated and made available for Windows RT this month. I've tried to find mention of pending updates on my Surface RT and so far cannot. (Wondering if anyone out there with a Windows RT device can see these. Chime in if so.)

I asked Microsoft again today for comment on when or if these major updates are going to be rolled out and got a fresh, new no comment.

Update: It appears this same batch of updates is also coming to Windows RT. Brad Pelletier (@bardo77n) just sent me this screen shot from his Surface RT:


Microsoft executives have acknowledged publicly that the Windows team is aware that the first-party apps on Windows 8 and Windows RT have room for improvement. Many users have been especially disappointed in the Mail and Music apps for the product, claiming they feel more like betas than full-featured, polished products. Even though they're free, these apps, developed by the Windows team, just aren't very good, many of us Windows 8/Windows RT users feel. (The Windows 8/Windows RT apps built by the Bing AppEx team, on the other hand, have been quite solid and usable.

Microsoft is expected to deliver another set of major updates to all its core apps when it rolls out the Blue update for Windows 8 and Windows RT late this summer.

Update 9:24 a.m. PT: Added information and screenshot about Windows RT getting the updates.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft expected to update its full suite of built-in Windows 8 apps."