Microsoft is updating the built-in Mail, Calendar and People Apps in Windows 8. The most notable changes? Updates that allow those apps to integrate better with Exchange accounts, and also make them somewhat more functional.
Changes to the mail app include the ability to only select unread emails, flag emails, edit hyperlinks and bullets in messages. All of those features will sound familiar to Outlook users (or indeed to most other desktop email apps). There are also more direct Exchange integrations, including support for rights-managed mail, the ability to draw contact suggestions from Exchange accounts and searching through mail stored on Exchange servers. The Calendar app can also use the Exchange Scheduling assistant.
On one level, this reminds us that the stripped-down aesthetic of Windows 8 apps doesn't necessarily lend itself to massive amounts of functionality. However, it also hints at a gradual transition to having more Windows 8 users access corporate systems through the built-in apps.
The update is being released via the Windows Store tomorrow (it won't automatically download, so you need to choose Updates from the store).
The Mail, Calendar and People apps are getting better! [Windows Experience Blog]