Anyone thinking about Windows 8 has to be concerned about which of its applications will work with the data and applications and services they already use. Here are five applications (four that are well done, one a bit half-baked) that are Windows 8 extensions of existing Web and desktop applications.
Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.
1: OneNote MX
I’ve preferred OneNote to Evernote for quire awhile now. OneNote MX in Windows 8 combines the power of the larger screen with the cloud connectivity that OneNote has had for a long time (and that is shown off in the Windows Phone 7 version). OneNote MX introduces a new UI metaphor, a command wheel (Figure A), which will be pretty nice to use on a touch screen to access multi-level command sets with ease.
While Evernote hasn’t kept my business like OneNote has, lots of folks live by it. Sadly, Evernote on Windows 8 (Figure B) is a total disappointment. You can’t edit notes from other devices that have anything other than plain text in them, and you can’t create anything but plain text — not even a bulleted list! Unless you are a hardcore Evernote user or a heavily improved version is released, you will probably want to pass on Evernote for Windows 8.
Photobucket has been popular for a long time, and it extends its reach with a Windows 8 app. The Photobucket app (Figure C) is fun to browse through and easy to use to upload photos to Photobucket as well. While Photobucket lacks the faddish appeal of Instagram, it is still a great tool, and professionals especially seem to like it.
No matter how tired I am, I manage to read on my Kindle every night. While there is nothing here that you haven’t seen in other Kindle apps, if you use Kindle, you will want to know that all the features you need and love are on Windows 8 already.
5: Xbox LIVE Games
One of the built-in apps, Xbox LIVE Games (Figure E), acts as a central place for gaming activity. Games can plug into it and work over the Xbox LIVE system, including earning points. It also means that games could allow multiplayer action between people using different devices entirely. Xbox LIVE Games has been neat on Windows Phone 7 and is a great piece in Windows 8, even if you do not own an Xbox.