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The new app commands bar in the Windows 8 Mail app shows several new features. (Microsoft image.)

Microsoft will release an update to its native Mail, Calendar and People apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT starting tonight with new features and, perhaps more importantly, “big improvements to performance.”

That’s the word from the company this morning in a post outlining a series of enhancements to the built-in apps — including new options for creating email folders, flagging messages, saving drafts, viewing calendars, and switching among Twitter, Facebook and other social networks in the People app.

But particularly on Windows RT devices such as the first Surface tablet, the built-in apps can be sluggish at times, which will make the promise of performance improvements especially welcome for some users.

The updates are scheduled to be available starting tonight or tomorrow in the Windows Store.

Also see6 things Apple needs to copy from Microsoft Surface in iOS 7

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