Microsoft Windows Live Essential is a free software suit for Windows users and it includes a number of applications in it. Applications like Windows Movie Maker which was there in Windows XP, was discontinues by Microsoft in Windows Vista. It would have been because Microsoft wanted to gather all such applications in its Software Suit called Windows Live Essential. The beta version of the 4th major update to the already existing Windows Live Essentials has been released and the different applications which are there in it are: Windows Live Family Safety, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Sync, and Windows Live Writer. The main aim behind discontinuing these applications as a native part of the Operating System and providing them in a suit is because update and upgrade process is simpler when part of a suit. These applications come for free and come under the freeware distribution policy.
The new Beta version connects all its applications to online services from Microsoft and other providers, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. It also connects with popular blogging tools like Spaces, Flickr, YouTube, and SmugMug; email sites such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail; and to Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Some other new Windows Live Essential Tools are:
- Face recognition in Photo Gallery. Tag a photo of someone, and the software identifies the face in other pictures.
- The ribbon interface which was started with Office 2007 has been given to the new Windows Live Mail. It also has the calendar feature which is quite similar to that of Outlook
- Ribbon interface has got its place in the Movie Maker also, and the new version of Movie Maker contains better tools for editing titles, transitions, captions, and a soundtrack to your movies.
- Easier photo and video sharing with multiple online social networks
In addition to all the above mentioned upgrades the new version’s Live Sync feature synchronizes your files across multiple PCs and on remote servers. Sync also has a new remote desktop feature with which you can access your PC from anywhere via the internet.
Besides these tools even the privacy settings can be controlled in a much organised manner. It incorporates a feature for setting up the level of exposure you want to give to your Windows Live account. You can set the same kind of privacy settings for the media you share on online sites.
It looks that Windows has tried to patch all the loop holes which were there in previous version of these applications and has made the better, more user friendly, and more secure. Currently Live Essentials is available in English, Chinese, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish and can be downloaded from http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-beta.