Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out in two phases starting this week an update to its Windows Live Essentials 2011 bundle of Windows add-on software and services.

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Microsoft is rolling out in two phases starting this week an update to its Windows Live Essentials 2011 bundle of Windows add-on software and services.

Windows Live Essentials 2011 includes Photo Gallery, Mail, Movie Maker, Messenger, Writer (a blogging tool), Family Safety (parental controls), Live Mesh (the PC-sync tool formerly known as Live Sync), the Bing Toolbar, Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, Office Live Add-in and Silverlight. The products in the Essentials suite are a hybrid of software and services. There are other Windows Live properties that are not part of the suite, including Hotmail and SkyDrive, which are Web services that do not install software on users’ machines.

The coming refresh to the 2011 suite includes updates to a number of the pieces. It includes full support for SSL and a fix for a sorting issue in Windows Live Mail; a new version of the Bing Bar; stability issues and voice/video quality improvements in Messenger; bug fixes for Photo Gallery; and overall general performance and quality of service updates across the suite.

As of this week, the update is available on the Microsoft Download Center and at http://explore.live.com. Some time later this month, existing Windows Live Essentials 2011 customers will be prompted to update to the new version, which is build number 15.4.3538.0513.

In other update news, if you're one of those wondering what happened to the "Remember me" and/or "Remember my password" checkboxes on the sign-in pages for Microsoft services that use Windows Live ID, there's a new blog post explaining Microsoft's philosophy for eliminating those options. (Now there's a sign-in page focused on a single account with one check box option -- "Keep me signed in.")

One more update-related note: If you're wondering about a recent Zune HD firmware that went live recently (v4.5 build 114) - it fixes a known security issue around fraudulent digital certificates that also affected Windows, Windows Server, Windows Mobile phones and Windows Phone 7 phones.

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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18 comments
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  • Writer is simple and easy

    I'm a big fan of Windows Live Writer. I use it to create/update posts and pages on my Wordpress blog. WYSIWYG editing with your imported theme makes it my go-to tool for blog entries.
    patrick@...
  • Out of sight, out of mind

    I know the DOJ anti-trust had something to do with this but isn't it about time for this sillyness that is Windows Live Essentials to stop? There is some good functionality in WLE but most of which should be in the base OS (like photo galllery, skydrive, mesh. moviemaker). These products really aren't discoverable by the uninformed Windows users. Instead, they get a bundle of crapware that only serves to confuse and pollute their user expereience. Isn't it time for WLE to find its way back to the base OS?
    windowseat
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @windowseat You hit the nail on the head with the anti-trust thing. It's the same reason Security Essentials isn't included even when it really should.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

        @Aerowind

        I wish they would include MSE as well. It would do more for users than the trial AV junk most are faced with.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @windowseat

      If they bundled it with the OS you'd just get more bitching about "bloat" :P
      OffsideInVancouver
      • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

        @OffsideInVancouver <br><br>Prehaps! But most end-users experience with a fresh copy of Windows is exactly that "bloat". Given the freedom of what OEMs are allowed to do to copies of Windows on machines they ship. My hope is that with Windows8 all that crapware will have to go through the same process of being download at the user's request.
        windowseat
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @windowseat - I am kinda in two minds about including LiveEssentials (LE) inside every copy of Windows.

      One of the good reasons for NOT shipping LE inside Windows is that if it did, it'd be a heck of a lot harder for Microsoft to iterate on it and release regular updates. If a component ships inside the OS, it's supported for (at least) the lifetime of the OS. For this reason, MS tends not to release new versions of OS components and features out of sync with OS releases - the servicing story would get impossibly complex, very quickly.

      Also, many enterprises might not necessarily want their desktops littered with apps that they don't want their users distracted by instead of doing their jobs!

      In the end, I am happy to click a link and download LE myself when building/reinstalling my machines. It takes just a few minutes and gives me the flexibility to install just the features of LE I want (e.g., I don't need Family Safety).
      bitcrazed
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @windowseat Totally agree. Personally they should be allowed to at least have the installer available with a shortcut on the desktop or something. Bundle MSE and Live Essentials already! Noobs don't know about half of this software!
      Imrhien
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @windowseat No no. We don't want it in windows. Than it would be part of the product again. Can't introduce new live products. Have to make sure live is good to go befreo windows is released. They're free. why do they have to be in the OS?
      JonnyRocks
  • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

    I have found that this is a microsoft habit tho.... "if it works... fix it" so it don't... lolol... monkeydoodle
    hilda4jc
  • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

    Personally, I think it's time for these services to find their way back into Windows. Microsoft has failed on their part when they promised "frequent updates". Since they're updated every few years, they could easily add these back in.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

    Why not name them something better... make them part of BING- Bing mail, Bing writer, etc.. windows live was never successful, right up there w. msn.. which should become BING portal..
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

      @Hasam1991

      Or maybe they could just slap a lower-case letter at the front of each product and act like the whole thing was their idea.
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

        @Hallowed are the Ori Haha, that actually made me LOL. great idea too xD
        harley22x
  • Have they &quot;fixed&quot; Windows Live Mail?

    Did they fix the "feature" of Windows Live Mail that forces you to view image attachments as slideshows, even if you don't want a damned slideshow?
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • WLMesh Storage

    Anyone have a sense of when MS will offer increased storage options for SkyDrive synced storage in WLMesh?
    leopaul77
  • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

    Why does one have to go to such lengths and wade through so much crap to find a standalone / off-line installer?
    Keeping all the PC's @ home safe for the kids and updated is a major task.
    A standalone / off-line make my task a breeze. I can control what is installed and when it is installed.
    So if I do not feel that the kids should be sitting "chatting" on-line I just do not install the software etc.
    Keeps Mum happy, as she feels that the kids are less likely to get caught up in something that they should not have access
    catman518
  • RE: Microsoft starts two-phase update of Windows Live Essentials 2011

    For us in Sef Effrica, it is very expensive to download an App like LE. Our bandwidth is really costly and unreliable. Large downloads break a number of times, so that the LE upgrade can cost many times Win 7's original price. Would like to see a lighter version of download - only download those bits that you need.
    charl.vorster@...