Microsoft finalized Windows 8 a few weeks ago, but the work still isn’t over. Unlike past versions of Windows, Windows 8 is very app-centric. The OS includes a few built-in apps, but even these have simply been downloaded from the Windows Store for the user. As a result, while Windows 8 is done, it isn’t truly done. Many apps are still in an unfinished state, while others seem pretty polished but lack must-have features. The Windows Store has been open in one form or another since the Consumer Preview hit the web at the end of February, but for the most part, app updates were only published in conjunction with new consumer builds of the OS. Interim app updates were few and far between. But with Windows 8 in the can, we probably won’t have to wait as long between updates. New developers will also begin submitting their apps to the Windows Store at an increasing rate.
Then there’s apps like Xbox Music and Xbox SmartGlass, which seem mostly done but are lacking many previously announced – and sometimes rumored – features. Just look at the Xbox Music trailer (above) and you’ll notice features like favorites, social, and Smart DJ which are nowhere to be found in the current iteration of the app. Obviously, the trailer might not be representative of the final product, but these are fairly major features. Then there’s the often-rumored features like SkyDrive integration and a possible new version of the Xbox Music Pass.
With so many Microsoft products and services launching at different times this fall, it’s impossible to know whether apps like Xbox Music will be updated alongside the Windows 8 launch, the Xbox 360 dashboard update, or something else. For now, we’re stuck with what I can only assume is a stand-in for the final version. The floodgates are starting to open. Let the Windows 8 app updates begin.