Windows Live Essentials 2011 Is…Well…Live
Written by Alan Thursday, 30 September 2010 08:16
Today Microsoft released the finished version of Windows Live Essentials 2011. We have known this was coming – the beta was released a couple of months ago, but I had not heard a date for final release. It just seems to have sneaked out without any real fanfare.
It’s actually a great product that deserves some attention. If you haven’t used it before, then you’ve probably at least used previous iterations of some of it’s components. Essentially it’s a collection of Microsoft programs that used to come embedded in Windows, but have been unbundled and offered as a separate, free download. The old Outlook Express has been replaced with Windows Live Mail, Windows Movie Maker has been updated and become a very good tool, Windows Live Messenger is latest version of Messenger, etc. There are also a few new tools that you may not be familiar with – Windows Live Mesh, Windows Family Safety, and Windows Live Writer. Here’s a complete list of the programs included in Essentials.
When you install Essentials you will be prompted to add social networks for Messenger.
If you are currently using the Beta version then it may be possible to upgrade, but I did not test that scenario. With any beta I recommend uninstalling the beta first and then installing the new version.
During the installation you will have the option to set up a mobile version. You can set this up as public or private or an option somewhere in between.
The one strange thing I found was that Essentials splits itself in your Start menu, putting some of the programs in the main menu and some in the Windows Live Essentials folder.
That covers the installation and some of the most basic items. A serious look at Essentials would require a separate in-depth post for each individual program. In the future I may do that with a few of the most interesting items.