You know what grinds my gears? Having to keep up with an address book. I can only be expected to keep track of maybe 10 people tops and I always forget to add new people. Microsoft wants to make the whole process easier with Windows 8.
Microsoft took some time out today to detail the address book of the future - the People App if you will. It's an app that's included in Windows 8 and Windows 8 phone when that launches later this year. Microsoft says that they built the People App around four principles:
The main driving force behind the People App is the concept of being "complete and connected." The app will contain all of a person's contacts with every photo and social activity that they're engaged in. From the app, you can interact with your contacts in various ways like Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Data on each contact will be continuously updated through all the social networks they are involved in to deliver you the most up-to-date information.
The People App has been seamlessly integrated into Windows 8 so that it can work together with all the other apps. Say for instance that you're browsing the Web on the Metro version of Internet Explorer. From there, you can use the Share contract to send a specific Web page to people in your contacts.
What may be the most important part of the app is cloud integration. Obviously, your contacts will be available across multiple devices, but that's only the beginning. The People App allows you to communicate with friends over multiple social networks in one app. Instead of having to update each individual app, the cloud-powered People App is already updated with the latest APIs from Facebook and others so you never miss a beat.
Finally, the People App promises robust privacy controls so that the various parts of your lives - like work, home and school - are never crossed. This means that you can keep each one separate so that you don't accidentally start talking about your crazy weekend in a place where you boss can see it. You can also decide how much information you feel comfortable sharing with each third-party app. Microsoft uses the example of only sharing your contact information with Facebook, but nothing else.
To be honest, it's stuff like this that makes Windows 8 really cool. A lot of people, including yours truly, are not yet sold on it, but it has a lot of good stuff going for it. If Microsoft can convince the PC gamer in me to switch to Windows 8, we may have a winner.