A week or so back Microsoft released an update for the Windows 8 People, Mail, Calendar, Messenger application.
I say application, rather than applications, as these four Start Menu Tiles are just different aspects of a single Windows Store app.
I have Outlook, hooked up to Outlook.com for personal email, but often just use the Windows 8 apps and their live tile reminders for quick updates! I don’t use Messenger at all but find Calendar, Mail and, most of all, People applications useful.
If you link social services like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google & Skype to your Microsoft Account People will aggregate contact details and create a combined contact.
You can also manually link contacts to see a persons Outlook (or Outlook.com), Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype and Google profile info as one contact.
It is a nice way to aggregate work, social and personal contacts. View Profile also gives one click access to their full profile on the service providing the information.
People is Social
- Social shows notifications from Facebook & Twitter which mention you.
- What’s New shows recent posts from your contacts on Facebook and Twitter.
Although basic, having this sort of access on any Windows 8 machine (when you log in with Microsoft account) is nice.
Being able to respond without logging into separate services is also handy, especially if you can avoid that awful Facebook website!
Lonely People - My update to less?
Unfortunately the March update crippled this integration as only a few linked accounts showed in People.
It offered to reconnect the missing services, even confirmed that had worked via an email, but still nothing. If I manually added the service it appeared to connect but no information appeared.
Compare the Social and What’s New panels below with those above right and the lack of Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype or Twitter accounts.
What to fix, account or application?
When I looked at my Microsoft Account on-line the services were linked and all appeared fine. I even removed and re-added a service to reset the application permissions.
I also tried removing and reinstalling the People application. When this didn’t help I gave up and looked to the Microsoft Community Support forums for an answer.
A problem shared, a problem solved!
I found I wasn’t alone but none of the suggested fixes worked for me. This included removing/re-installing the app, a Windows 8 App Trouble-shooter and System Files Check. I didn’t go as far as a complete Windows reset as that seemed a rather extreme step for one misbehaving application component (Calendar and Mail were fine).
However this process triggered a thought and I discovered a fix which did work. The clue was this happened on both my Windows 8 machines so not install/profile specific. As the mail and calendar were working I suspected my Microsoft Account was also ok.
My desktop is a Windows 7 to 8 upgrade, the Samsung a new Windows 8 Machine. Both had one application which wasn’t present when the original People application was installed/configured and that turned out to be the culprit:
Thanks for your help. The above didn't solve it but did set me thinking. The install was done with my Anti-virus, ZoneAlarm, running. I tried these steps and it worked;
- Shut down ZoneAlarm (right click on desktop tray icon shutdown)
- Right click uninstall People App
- Reboot machine
- Shutdown ZoneAlarm (restarts on reboot)
- Install the People App from Windows Store
- Start the People App, all the accounts establish and begin syncing
- Close it and restart machine
Result is fully functioning People app with ZoneAlarm running.
It appears People will work fine with the antivirus active but something gets blocked if running during the install and initial set-up. Whilst common for desktop applications to require AV to be disabled during install I haven’t seen this with any other Windows Store applications.