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Weak first-party apps
If any developers had an advantage in the race to build the new-style apps for Windows 8, it would be Microsoft. In fact, having a collection of excellent apps ready for the platform should be table stakes.
But the first-party apps that shipped with Windows 8, the ones written by Microsoft, were weak, especially in key categories that are supposed to define the tablet experience: music, photos, and e-mail. Some of those apps felt as if they had been thrown together hastily. The limit of 10 simultaneous tabs with the Metro-style Internet Explorer 10, for example—what was that all about?
The original Photos app has rudimentary rotate and crop features but otherwise does almost nothing in the way of editing capabilities. Given that digital photos are a crucial part of the tablet experience, that’s a horrible omission.
I don’t know anyone who thought that the original Windows 8 Mail app was anything more than mediocre. An update in March smoothed some of the Mail app’s rough edges, but it’s still embarrassingly feature-poor, a situation that won’t be remedied until sometime after Windows 8.1 is released.
Part of the explanation is that the platform and the apps were being built at the same time. Maybe so, but anyone who tried to use the first generation of those apps probably has little patience left.