Microsoft's Windows Live Essentials Goes Live Today

Dennis Faas's picture

A public beta of Microsoft's highly-anticipated Windows Live Essentials will be made available today, and promises to lure many curious onlookers with Office Web Apps and new social networking and media sharing options.

Many of the programs which were part of Windows XP have been taken out of Windows 7 and re-branded into Windows Live Essentials. Programs included are: Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail, Movie Maker, Writer, Family Safety, and Toolbar, plus Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, Office Live Add-in, and Microsoft Silverlight. (Source:

Windows Live Internet Integration a Priority

The Redmond-based company's goal with Windows Live Essentials is to make using Windows easier by making the programs Internet-friendly. The flagship feature of Windows Live Essentials is now Microsoft's Office Web Apps, which allow users of of Office programs like OneNote, Excel and Word to collaborate on projects across the Internet.

The Office Web Apps aren't the only feature being touted by Microsoft for its new public beta. Live Essentials also includes new beta editions of Windows Live Messenger, Movie Maker, and Photo Gallery, all with options to connect online via cloud computing. These same programs will also feature social networking functionality, with connectivity made to Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. (Source:

There will also be new media sharing options featuring integration with Flickr, YouTube and SkyDrive.

Features Go Beyond Cloud Computing

Several of the programs included in the Thursday beta offering go beyond cloud computing. Windows Live Sync gets a remote desktop feature which allows you to control a remote PC from afar, while Windows Live Photo Gallery has been upgraded with new retouching options. A slew of new preset themes have also been added to Windows Live Movie Maker's "AutoMovie" feature.

They're all features Microsoft hopes users will employ in conjunction with its new operating system (OS), Windows 7. Reports this morning announce that the popular OS has now sold 150 million copies, meaning approximately seven people have purchased the software every single second since it launched on October 22. (Source:

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