I have been playing with the Windows 8 Mail, Calendar, Messaging and Map Apps and, with the exception of the Map, find them a bit bland compared to the Windows Live equivalent. The Calendar and Mail apps are flat and, without the toolbars, colourless. I will not show a screenshot as all you would see in Mail is an empty screen with a line down the middle. The summary line for each mail is on the left and the reading pain on the right. The calendar is the usual page of squares with a single colour entry for appointments.
The only good thing to say about them is the ability to view multiple accounts; i.e. I can set them up to view by work and home accounts including any Hotmail and Google accounts.
That’s the same with Messenger so you can co-ordinate your Facebook and messenger accounts in the one place – just like you can on Windows Phone 7 which, quite frankly is more useful.
Hopefully the look of these will improve before the final release.
The map is a nice bit of work – basically it is a window into the Bing map system so you can get the functionality without the App but having it saves time
Assuming you allow the apps to be location aware (in other words let them work out your location from your computers address) it will centre the map showing your location as a diamond marker. When you zoom in to the lowest level you will find the marker moves a little but it is fairly, and in a way, scarily, accurate. the first time I did it the pointer was close to being right over the place where I was sitting in the house. Don’t get too phased by that though it’s not quite that accurate as it then jumped to the back door and I hadn’t moved
As per the online service you have the ability to search and find directions as well as checking out traffic; I couldn’t find any in the UK so the is the picture in Seattle, Washington, USA as at 10:40 GMT on Saturday 10th March 2012; which is 02:40 Pacific time: