Microsoft's Messaging app lets you quickly chat with anyone in your contacts or Facebook list, and even supports video chat. That's great for the friends you have on those networks, but chances are you'll want to chat with people who use myriad other services. Ipso facto, you'll need something more comprehensive.
IM+ facilitates messaging through nearly every imaginable service, from Facebook to ICQ. It supports photo sharing, text messaging, and multiple accounts per service, making for the most comprehensive messaging app we could find on the Windows Store, all for free.
The built-in Calendar app does exactly what you'd think it would, but not much more. You can check the day's events, add an event with reminder options, and...that's about it. You can use Microsoft's app to sync up your own personal Google calendar, but you're out of luck if you need to sync Google calendars that have been shared with you.
That's why, like the Mail app, we recommend using the tried-and-true Google calendar as the alternative. You'll access it via your browser, of course, but you'll be able to see all your schedules at once without worrying about hacking the app. And yes, you can put Google Calendar on your Start screen: Just pin it to Start like any other URL, and pretend it is its very own app.
Microsoft's cloud storage service boasts hooks into nearly every device within the new Windows ecosystem and beyond. You can access SkyDrive file storage on your Windows desktop, any Mac, your Windows 8 tablet, your Windows Phone, and even iOS and Android devices. SkyDrive is also integrated into various Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps, granting you quick cloud access and sharing when you need it the most. Indeed, the new Web app version of Microsoft Office is reason alone to love SkyDrive.
Yes, SkyDrive is fantasticbut it doesn't sync with Dropbox, the once de facto leader in cloud storage.