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Windows 8 Links Contacts, E-Mail, Social Networks

Microsoft has added features to Windows 8 that will make it easier for users to quickly scan messages and alerts from all of their key business and personal accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Windows 8's primary hub for unifying information from contacts, be they social or professional, is its People app. The app's corresponding Live Tile alerts users whenever there is new information from one of their connections.

"The People app in Windows 8 is a modern take on the flat contact lists of the past--it's built for the way you communicate today, and it's connected to the cloud services you already use," said Jeff Kunis, a group program manager on Microsoft's Windows Live team, in a blog post on Microsoft's Building Windows 8 site.

"The People app connects to your e-mail and social accounts, bringing together all your contacts (and what they're up to) in one convenient place," said Kunis.

The People app is an example of how, with Windows 8, Microsoft is rejecting the standard icon-based desktop in favor of the Metro interface and its Live Tiles--big, on-screen blocks that display real-time alerts from related apps. The Live Tile for People, therefore, tells users at a glance how many new e-mails, Facebook alerts, Tweets, and so on they have pending.

More @ InformationWeek