The rumoured update for all Microsoft-developed core apps for Windows 8 seem to be on its way. The massive update of all apps that shipped with Windows 8 devices will probably make it in time for the rumoured March-end deadline.

Paul Thurrott of Windows SuperSite discovered a stack of pending updates. At least 18 of these core apps, if not more, are poised to receive an update soon.

Whole screen is a start button

Core apps to be updated soon

The pending updates do not seem to be up for installation in the Windows Store. Instead, you can find the list of updates by opening the Event Viewer and searching the System log for “Installation Ready”. The apps that were discovered to be up for a refresh 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

This batch of update also seems available for Windows RT and Windows Surface RT devices too, so users with these devices need not fret.

Microsoft understandably is still tight lipped about the matter and offered no comments about the impending updates. The word on the street earlier this month was that Microsoft was beta testing these updates.

Microsoft made certain changes to Windows 8's core first-party apps such as Xbox Music and Games between August 2012, when RTM versions of the new OS were released, and October 2012, when Windows 8 went on sale. Minor refreshes have been trickling down since the launch, but user response has been lukewarm towards apps like Xbox Music and Mail even though they are free. The common user complaint towards most of these apps has been that they feel more like beta versions and are generally shaky. Users prefer the web experience over most apps, especially when it comes to the Microsoft built mail app. Hopefully, this update will address some of these issues.

Another update, by way of what is being referred to as “Windows Blue”, is due to arrive this summer.  Blue updates are likely to bring new versions of Internet Explorer, Bing and other apps, as well as kernel and driver updates to help improve the Windows experience for the end user. It is akin to a firmware update.

It is well-known that “Blue” is the codename for Microsoft's next development cycle. It is rumoured that apart from refreshing the OS itself, Blue will bring changes to a number of other Microsoft products when it is released. It will also bring updates under one umbrella for seamless delivery to end users. Microsoft hopes that Windows Blue will give it a competitive edge over rivals Apple and Google, or at least bring the company’s software update process on par with the rest.

To reduce fragmentation of apps, Microsoft could aim to make Windows Blue the overarching OS, allowing the company greater control over pricing, updates and piracy. Once Blue is officially in the market, the Windows SDK might be updated and developers could have to stop developing specifically for either the mobile or PC platforms. In such a scenario, they would instead be encouraged to create apps for Windows Blue, and these apps would be reflected in the Windows Phone Marketplace or the Windows Store.

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