Microsoft's set of preview apps in the Windows 8 Consumer and Release Preview editions seem to be a little more important than just previewing the new operating system's Metro style capabilities. The software giant has been gradually working on new features for its People App in particular over the past several months, and Microsoft's Jeff Kunins has taken to the Building Windows 8 blog to detail the company's cloud-powered address book.

Designed as a central location to store, view, and share contacts in Windows 8, the People App syncs address book information with Exchange, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. The integration goes a lot deeper than just syncing down account information though, Windows 8 users can utilize the People App to view Facebook and Twitter information — retweeting posts or liking statuses. Microsoft has also built a conflict management system into the People App, similar to Windows Phone, where contacts data will be collated into one place without editing the individual contacts.

Microsoft is clearly planning to use its People App preview app as an address book for the final version of Windows 8, saying its "excited to see the initial response" to the company's view that modern devices should include a cloud-powered address book. Kunins doesn't share any future plans for the app itself, but we'd expect to see these type of Windows Live replacement apps to be fully polished in time for Release to Manufacturing (RTM).