W8 upgrade to deliver Mail, Calendar and People updates on March 26

Windows 8 updates to Mail, Calendar, People apps
Mail, Calendar, and People become more useable

Good news for Windows 8 and Windows RT users: updates for the Mail, Calendar and People apps are being released on March 26, Microsoft announced today on its official Windows blog.

"The features that are part of this update are designed to align with the different habits people have for staying on top of their email and schedule and staying organized," wrote Microsoft Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc.

Specifically, the March 26 Windows upgrade for Mail will enable users to filter messages so that only unread emails show up, and to create and delete folders directly within the app.

For even more Mail organization, it'll also be possible to select all items within a folder and either move or delete them in one fell swoop.

Composing email will get easier with tomorrow's update thanks to Microsoft improving the "To" field, which includes a contacts drop-down the company calls "smart contact suggestions."

Windows Mail vs Gmail

All of these Windows Mail changes are on par with what Gmail already does - except for one convenient tweak.

Drafts will automatically sit at the top of the Mail app's inbox, ensuring that the drafts folder isn't filled with half-finished, long-forgotten messages.

That's great news for everyone except tricksters like former CIA Director David Petraeus and his mistress Paula Broadwell, who allegedly used the "Save as Draft" trick to skirt watchful eyes.

Maybe they can star in a future Google-made ad for the Microsoft version of getting Scroolged.

Windows Calendar, People updates

Changes to the Calendar and People are less plentiful, with the Calendar update offering some cosmetic alterations to make the app 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," wrote LeBlanc.

Functionality-wise, "work week" view returns to this version of Calendar, and Microsoft added the scheduling assistant feature for business accounts that use Microsoft Exchange.

Windows Calendar users stuck in a lot of meetings will be happy to know that it'll be possible to forward meeting invitations, send email to all attendees, choose more recurrence options, and set end dates for events.

The People app, meanwhile, will mostly improve upon navigation with things like app commands and new filters for social media networks.

Xbox Music, Bing AppEx updates too?

Mail, Calendar, and People is the focus of the March 26 Windows app update, but Microsoft may also be readying other Windows 8 and Windows RT apps.

Xbox Music and the Bing AppEx applications were also scheduled to be refreshed this month, according to an unnamed source who spoke to ZDNet.

However, with just six days left in the month, these updates may have to wait until April, even though the publication's tipster said the Xbox Entertainment app team is "almost done."

Either way, expect to be pinged to update Windows Mail, Calendar, and People via the Microsoft Store within the next 24 hours.

Matt Swider