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Windows Live Essentials Beta Now Available



Microsoft made the beta for Windows Live Essentials available for download yesterday, and whether or not you consider this late to the party or not, the new WLE includes a raft of social features. But then doesn’t everything include that these days?

Regardless, Windows Live Essentials Beta includes updates of Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Moviemaker, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Sync, and Windows Live Writer. In addition to the social features they sport the Ribbon interface at the top of the display window.

LifeHacker has a rundown on what’s new and how some of the social features work. Brandon LeBlanc also shares his thoughts on the Windows Blog.



  1. GoodThings2Life

    06/25/2010 at 4:56 pm

    A short review:

    Live Mail — A must have if you want a functional but light-weight client-based mail program. Useful features: rules, spam filtering, conversation view, offline reading, calendar, RSS reader, contact manager. This is what I use for my 2 Hotmail accounts and my GMail account.

    Live Writer — A must have for all bloggers. Period.

    Live Photo Gallery — Cool new functionality includes Photo Fuse and Face Finder and Geotagging, but right now the beta is reportedly slow for a lot of users with massive file structures. I have about 2600 photos, and have no issues, though I also have a fast computer. Certainly though it’s a nice way to manage your photos.

    Live Messenger — It’s the IM client I love most, but this new version has definitely got issues… it doesn’t seem very stable (mine has crashed several times), doesn’t exit properly (for me), and there’s some general usability stuff that I just don’t like about the new UI… but the new social features are pretty cool if you use them, and the new web sharing features are awesome, as is the new video call display.

    Live Sync — I’ll be playing with it this weekend more. I like the functionality, but hate the limitations of 2GB storage in the cloud… why not totally link it to SkyDrive which already offers 25GB? Also, the number of files per folder being limited totally screws up my file organization scheme.

    Live Movie Maker — Don’t really use it so can’t say what different about it other than some new effects you can do.

    Bing Bar — Horrible, but aren’t all toolbars?!. Thank God it can be uninstalled as a separate item via Control Panel > Programs and Features > Bing Bar.

  2. Mike

    06/25/2010 at 5:22 pm

    Live Mail seems OK. Nice controls for adding pics to rich mail. Calendar seems well at hand too. But I much prefer gmail straight up.

    Live Writer – don’t use. (not a blogger)

    Live Photo – seems nice and smooth. The face detection is horrible. It has been nearly useless. Picasa also has issues but the version they have had out for months is far superior. Fuse seems like it would be cool if you have just the right pics to make it useful.

    Live Messenger – I would not knowingly put this annoying piece of crap virus-ware any place near my computer.

    Live Sync – haven’t set it up yet. Am not optimistic they fixed the issues with live mesh – which needed you to run as admin (no software should require this !!) and I had to resort to regedit to uninstall it.

    Live Movie – haven’t used it yet, but will give it a go.

    Bing Bar – yes.. all toolbars do suck.

    • Mike

      06/25/2010 at 5:55 pm

      Just wanted to add that it is cool you can select what programs you want to download.
      And unlike in the past, messenger didn’t magically show up with the mail client even though I vehemently did not want it installed.

  3. Brett Gilbertson

    06/25/2010 at 5:50 pm

    Big fan of Live Writer – works beautifully with wordpress. Much easier than using the web console.

    Live messenger also has the inking IM functionality too which is great, although I’m not a huge fan of IM (Interupting Messages).

  4. Feralboy

    06/25/2010 at 7:55 pm


    I can’t find the inking in Live Messenger…and assumed they’d removed it. Am I missing something?


  5. Adam Cervellone

    06/26/2010 at 1:20 pm

    I love the new beta but I have one major problem. Ever since yesterday Windows Live Mail beta has crashed almost every time I open it. My crash count has neared 30 in less than 48 hours. It started after a routine update from Microsoft. I did a system restore and it didn’t do much. When I can actually get past the log in it either crashes as I scroll through emails or randomly when it is idling.
    Overall the beta a whole is great but Windows Live Mail is killing the experience. I may have to switch back to the stable version. Is there an official feedback site for Windows Live that I can post on?

    • Mike

      06/26/2010 at 7:28 pm

      The mail beta crashed the first time I ran it.
      It was OK after that though with a pretty solid day of experimenting with it.
      Haven’t really used it since – prefer my gmail.

      Not sure off hand about a feedback site.

      Usually on modern betas like this there is a setting to turn on/off automatic reporting of crashes back to MS.

  6. Anderson

    07/03/2010 at 11:29 am

    I’ve really enjoyed the entire package and the new effects in movie maker are really improved but the movie maker has started to randomly crash. Any solutions?

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