Microsoft is focused on delivering one experience across all the devices in your life. The centerpiece of that strategy and experience are the Microsoft services and apps that come right from (the) Start on your new Windows device.
This is the first blog post in a series that will highlight the apps and services driving toward this “one experience” vision. This experience comes to life through more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that come as part of Windows 8.1, including a new one that we are announcing today – Skype, right from (the) Start!
It’s where you want to go today….
Staying connected, expressing yourself, getting stuff done, having serious fun: these are some of the most important things we all do, every day, and we believe your Windows device should reflect that right from the first moment you power it on.
Today’s new Windows experience really is quite an evolution. From the operating systems of yesteryear, asking “Where do you want to go today?,” Windows 8 and the soon to be released Windows 8.1, are the start of a fresh perspective, delivering a complete experience that focuses on the things people value most.
We have been building an expanding base of consumer apps and services. Bing, Skype, Internet Explorer, SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Xbox Music, Video, and Games are just a few of the experiences that are now part of your new Windows device. Each service itself is compelling, and the magic really happens when they smoothly flow together to create one experience.
SkyDrive is a great example of our new approach. As many have had a chance to take an early look at the 8.1 preview they are really struck by the “secret sauce” behind SkyDrive’s integration into Windows – fundamentally changing the game when it comes to offline access to all your files in the cloud.
Here’s what is being said about our new approach:
SkyDrive is just the beginning. Windows 8.1 is delivering rich cross-app search results with Bing that might just change how you think about searching the web and your stuff. New experiences for your photos and memories, seven rich Bing content apps for things like recipes, sports and news, are all built to work in perfect unison with your new Windows device.
Skype, Right from the Start. We believe that connecting and sharing should be a seamless part of every Windows experience. Over 300 million people today use Skype for the most personal connections in their lives, sharing those everyday moments big and small across messaging, audio and video calling. With Windows 8.1, Skype is included right from (the) Start, making your new Windows device the best way to stay close and connected.
As Steve Ballmer said, we know “Microsoft has the clear opportunity to offer consumers a unified experience across all aspects of their life.” With our apps and services that come with Windows 8.1, we bring to life the things that matter most to you. Connecting with your family when you’re on the road, preserving and sharing the memories, getting what needs to be done – fast and efficient, and providing an experience for some serious fun along the way.
We aspire for Windows to stand for the best set of consumer’s experiences on any device – the best music through Xbox Music, the best web through IE, the best cloud-storage with SkyDrive, the best mail with Outlook.com, the world’s most robust productivity suite in Office, and so on. Below you’ll see an overview of apps and services that will be a core part of your new Windows device.
Over the coming months we will share more about the new connected experience that comes from Microsoft as part of Windows, but for now, check some of the new and improved apps and services with the Windows 8.1 Preview.
Ryan GavinGeneral ManagerMicrosoft Apps & Services
Just don't forget about corporate guys who have process built around the desktop. I have a feeling Win7 is going to be wedged into corporations much longer than XP ever was.
mcl630 I gave up dropbox in favor of Skydrive. Life is much happier now. I got in when Microsoft has offering 25 GB for free.
How time to open the Windows RT Desktop for developer?
I love Windows 8.1, it makes me use my pc a lot even when my pc is not touch enabled. I liked all the improvements that Microsoft made but I'd like that Microsoft could fix a thing that I did not liked which is:
when I am in Desktop and want to open a music file with the app music after I open it and then decide to close the app it brings me to the metro UI, I think it would be better to take me where I was before which is in the desktop.
Hi Ryan Gavin, This is great news, but I have an issue about my installation of Windows 8.1 preview, I installed from scratch from an USB flash drive, but my start screen was just showing the Desktop, File Explorer, SkyDrive and Internet Explorer, and nothing else, not the new apps, I want to know if this happens only with the preview?, or if the final release will show the full apps, cause I want that option.
I want to have the pre-installed apps, organized as original as possible :).
@rturja sorry to say but if i add a appointment in calender on my win 8 pc it doesnt show up on my win 8 laptop, there are no options in the settings to sync it, also sharing my calender with family, friends and work isnt supported.. If there is a option to do this please explain how ? without using external sources like outlook.com
Also if i add someone to my contact on the pc they dont show up in contact on the laptop..
so in my eyes this function is not supported out of the box combined with skydrive. so icloud works the best for me now..
It will be nice to get introduce myself with the new Windows!
all I can siad just it " windows 8 and 8.1 is really the Best os that I have seen yet"
best vs mac
best vs windows7
just best espacially metro style app
@mcl630 These apps cannot really be removed (If you do it is actually viewed as an error and you computer will go into recovery mode to put them back), but they can be hidden from the start menu and 3rd party apps are available for many of these tasks, but I am not sure if there is a comparable app for every pre-installed app. I do not think that other cloud services integrate as well as Sky-Drive does with 8 (Windows owns it, that is what they want people to use), however apps are available for other cloud service providers, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. I do not think that they really integrate into other apps though.
Great news and i am looking forward to seeing this strategy expand to Windows Phone. I want all windows apps between WP and Windows to be synced, same goes for the browser! Some apps already do that, like skydrive and the awesome calendar, but more should followLike the news app etc! Since i mentioned SkyDrive, oh my! SkyDrive is by far the best cloud service! iCloud is a joke, and while Dropbox while it is good enough it doesn't even ofer half the ease of use and breadth of features! (Box is much better!) Skype being integrated is a great move! Mail while it has some shortcomings is a wonderful app, i am looking forward to seeing Outlook.com the best web based mailing service today getting better featured in Windows! Games, i would like to see a bit more strongly, there are so many games for windows out there! Make them part of it! Compete with steam, open it up to developers! Kick some ass there! Some of the best games out there are Games for Windows! Outlook.com Calendar is awesome! but i would like to see better integration with Office Outlook. Photo is a HUGE update i love the app and made my trips to photoshop a lot less! Bing news are awesome as well! Take that Flipboard! I would like to see a few small UX improvements there though!
Overall 8.1 is an amazing update! Makes Windows 8 even better! Keep them coming!
Nice words, but using Win8 and 8.1 Preview + Office 365 is quite a challenge:
Office 365/Outlook 2013 for Businesses does NOT sync the default Calendar with OWA and/or any other connected devices. And according to MSFT support engineers: it is NOT possible to change the default calendar - which happens to be the one stored locally on each machine.
Mail app is so rudimentary that even the ancient Outlook Express looks like millions years ahead.
So are the majority of apps in Metro (or whatever you name it now): Pictures, media player and so on.
SkyDrive pro looks and works like crap, compared with Dropbox (the free edition) or iCloud.
Day after day a lot of Office 365 business users are reporting connectivity problems - not able to get email, sign-in OWA and so on... MSFT is WORKING hard to solve the problem since... more than one month.Take a look at the community site at MS Office 365...
And the list can go on, and on, and on... Yesterday was the outage day for countless number of hotmail/outlook.com users: Unable to login, please try again later!!!
In my humble opinion the MS strategy to deliver one experience across all the devices is the greatest failure of MSFT to date. If you (they-MSFT) will not change this, and make at least two different OS's, one for laptops and desktops, and another one for Surface (RT is another piece of crap - but that is another topic) and WP, they are doomed to die.
Looking forward to the day when Office 365 will resurrect in Metro version... It will be the funniest day looking at users which will try to do the most simple tasks by touching the screens...
slider2nl: HUH?!? Contact syncing has been part and parcel of live experience since windows phone 7 days - contacts, calendars etc. sync automatically between desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. In addition address book can be linked with facebook, linkedin etc. for even more contact details if needed. If anything, Microsoft has had lot more comprehensive syncing for ages than Apple will ever do.
This is all good stuff, and a nice "out-of-the-box" ("right from the start"?) experience and integration with the services that people already use is, as you say, an important thing.
In that context, so you have any comment on the removal of Flickr and Facebook integration from the Windows 8.1 Photos app? Will the integration be back for RTM or GA?
FYI: I've been running the 8.1 preview on my Surface RT since shortly after it came out. This is essentially the only thing I don't like about 8.1 (vs. 8).
What i am missing is syncing contacts and agenda with other windows 8 devices. also sharing agenda's with friend family ect.. is missing. icloud does a great job.. But it keeps me away from buying a windows 8 tablet and windows phone 8 as long this isnt added. On my iphone and ipad it works so easy and simple. On my windows 8 pc and windows 8 laptop i need too manual add it twice. it will make it much much more easier.. -> add an appointment on the pc and i can find it on any device i have (win 8 devices) -> add contact on my windows phone 8 and find it back on my win 8 pc and tablet. i really hope this function will be added. if so i can ditch my ipad and iphone and will get myself a win 8 tablet and phone 8 :-)
Who the heck complains about apps on a computer?? Go to the actual website, and pin the site to the home page. You will then get twice as much info, and twice as many features as you ever will from an app. Hence why a computer blows away a pad. But with windows 8 you get all the free stuff and quick stuff a pad has on top of the computer that has more. My first time since the tablet that I've been impressed since the first windows. 8 is awesome compared to Droid or apple.
This is awesome!!!!! I hope that the settings of each of these, particularly with the Bing apps, syncs across all devices, even Windows Phone. That said, I also hope they come to Windows Phone and look the same.
Missing from the experience: YouTube, Compass, Digital/NFC pass, app for Quick Note (not OneNote)...Not to say some apps, even with 8.1, still look blank.
These pre-installed apps can be removed and/or replaced with 3rd party apps, right? Related question, can other cloud storage services integrate into Windows like SkyDrive does?
Amazing!!! Windows 8.1 should be launched earlier than October 17th for current users. That won't spoil any features' set, but will make currently unpleased complaining users happy (I'm not one of them :)).