Microsoft pushes out updates to Windows 8 apps ahead of launch

Microsoft is set to push out last minute updates for Windows 8 apps as the software giant attempts to bolster functionality ahead of its general release on 26 October.

All major preloaded apps including Bing, Mail, Contact, Calendar, Messaging, Maps, SkyDrive, News and Music will receive enhanced functionality, according to the Windows 8 blog.

Key enterprise features will include the ability to sync IMAP accounts and accept/decline invitations via email. The search functionality in Mail will also be improved and emails will be displayed in a conversation view.

Bing will aim to deliver better localised search results and provide users with the ability to zoom in and see related queries. Support for Maps will be boosted too, providing users will access to 3,000+ indoor venues as well as improved navigation and layout.

Users will also be able to search for content within the SkyDrive app and rename/move folders.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed that it will take the wraps off Window Phone 8 devices on the 29 October.

Redmond has sent out invitations to the press event in San Francisco, which showcases a mysterious unbranded device.

There are suggestions that this handset will be an own-brand Microsoft smartphone, and will compete with Windows Phone 8 devices created by OEM partners including HTC and Nokia.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.