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Monday, March 25, 2013
Microsoft Updates Mail, Calendar And People Apps

Starting tomorrow, you will be able to download an update for the Windows 8 Mail, Calendar, and People apps from the Windows Store.

These apps are designed to manage communication on Windows PCs and tablets across multiple accounts?, Exchange, and others.

The updated Mail app allows you to view all of your email accounts and toggle between them to manage all of your email. It now lets you filter to see only unread emails, create and delete folders directly within the Mail app and also select all items within a folder and move them. Important emails can be flagged, and flagged emails will show in your inbox (or any other folder in the account) and in a "Flagged" folder within the Mail app. Many of these new features are now part of the app commands in the Mail app that can be brought up by swiping from the bottom or top of your screen or by right-clicking with a mouse.

When you first start a new email draft, the "To" line is populated by "smart contact suggestions". Essentially, the Mail app will remember and suggest the contacts that you email regularly. And if you?re working on a draft message, that message will now show up automatically at the top of your inbox. If you?re replying to an email, the draft will show up within the email conversation.

Microsoft has also made improvements for composing email messages too. You can now add, edit, and delete hyperlinks and edit bulleted or numbered lists more easily in email messages. The Mail app also works a lot better in keeping the format of content pasted into an email message from web pages, Microsoft Word documents, and other apps.

By default, the Mail app only keeps email messages within a two-week timeframe. This is done in order to preserve disk space and battery life on your device, and you can always change that setting. However with the update to the Mail app, you can now search for email on the server making it easy to find any email message you might be looking for.

If your business supports rights-managed email, you can do that now too. The Mail app now supports reading and composing rights-managed email messages. The Mail app will also pull contacts from a Microsoft Exchange global address list and will provide contact information from Exchange?just click on the person?s name in email.

Visually, the Calendar app has been updated to make looking at your calendars easier to read. Gone are the solid blocks of colors ? instead, those colors are reflected in a small bar on the left of each appointment.

The Calendar app also now accommodates the use of scheduling assistant for business accounts that use Microsoft Exchange. Anyone used to scheduling meetings in Microsoft Outlook and being able to see a person?s availability will be able to see the same thing in the Calendar app.

You can now also forward meeting invitations, send email to all meeting attendees, choose more recurrence options for reoccurring meetings or events and set end dates for recurring events.

The People app includes important people at work and in your personal life. It?s easier to stay in touch, manage and connect with the people in your life across multiple services such as, Facebook, Twitter, Skype - and your work.

You can now navigate the People app more easily by swiping from the top (or right-clicking) to bring up the app commands. There is new navigation at the top that allows you to quickly move between your profile where you can post status updates and Tweets or see what your friends are posting on the "What?s new" feed. You can also now post to your friends? Facebook wall.

And finally, you can more quickly filter your "What?s new" feed by social network.

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