It looks like Microsoft is poised to update almost all of its core Microsoft-developed apps that shipped with Windows 8.
At the start of this month, I posted that Microsoft was expected to provide updates to everything, from Windows Mail to Xbox Music, some time in March.
On March 22, Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott discovered a stack of updates that are "installation ready" for Windows 8. These include:
My original tipster said these apps would also be updated and made available for Windows RT this month. I've tried to find mention of pending updates on my Surface RT and so far cannot. (Wondering if anyone out there with a Windows RT device can see these. Chime in if so.)
Update: It appears this same batch of updates is also coming to Windows RT. Brad Pelletier (@bardo77n) just sent me this screen shot from his Surface RT:
I asked Microsoft again today for comment on when/if these major updates are going to be rolled out. I got a fresh, new "no comment."
Microsoft officials have acknowledged publicly that the Windows team is aware that the first-party apps on Windows 8 and Windows RT have room for improvement. Many users have been especially disappointed in the Mail and Music apps for the product, claiming they feel more like betas than full, featured, polished products. Even though they're free, many of us Windows 8/Windows RT users feel that these apps, developed by the Windows team, just aren't very good. (The Windows 8/Windows RT apps built by the Bing AppEx team, on the other hand, have been quite solid and usable.)
Microsoft is expected to deliver another set of major updates to all its core apps when it rolls out the Blue update for Windows 8 and Windows RT late this summer.