There's been some worry that Microsoft's Windows team may be waiting until the "Blue" upgrade to Windows 8 and Windows RT to refresh the Microsoft-developed, first-party apps that are bundled with the operating system.
I'm hearing from my contacts that this is not the case. In fact, updates to the Windows Mail, Calendar, Music, and Games apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT may be available to users as soon as March (as in this month).
I've heard that Microsoft employees are currently dogfooding the updated first-party apps. The updated versions all will be pushed out via the Windows Store.
Meanwhile, because I know folks will ask, I don't have an update on the Outlook for Windows RT client that Microsoft employees also have been testing internally. I have no new word on when or if this will be made commercially available, possibly because of battery-life problems with the app, I've heard.
While on the topic of Windows 8 and Windows RT apps, there are a few new and/or updated third-party apps out this week worth noting:
Stardock has released a public beta of its ModernMix utility, which allows Windows 8 owners to run all of the Metro-Style/Windows Store apps on the desktop, enabling them to be resized in a window. ModernMix adds minimize/maximize buttons to apps running this way, making them work like current Windows apps do. The public beta costs $4.99, as Neowin noted.
The CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, Mayo Clinic and other health-focused agencies and companies have developed some Windows 8 enterprise health apps, which these companies showed off at this week's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) annual conference.