New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

Summary: Microsoft is making available the beta bits of its next Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 suite as as of Thursday, June 24.

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Microsoft is making available the beta bits of its next Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 suite as as of Thursday, June 24.

Once the beta is released on June 24, it will be available for download here from the Microsoft Live.com site.

This beta of Windows Live Essentials (if you need a refresher on Microsoft's confusing nomenclature) is a subset of the Windows Live Wave 4 services. Unlike some of the Windows Live services, those in the Essentials family include both a software and a service component. The Essentials suite is bound together by a common installer.

Members of the Essentials family include the new Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Live Sync (which includes Live Mesh), Writer and Mail. The Windows Live Wave 4 client software won’t work on Windows XP.

Microsoft is positioning the new Essentials suite as its way of "connecting Windows 7 to the cloud"and also as its competitor to Apple's iLife suite.

(Speaking of Windows 7, Microsoft also announced this evening that it has sold 150 million Windows 7 licenses since October 2009.)

The Live Essentials team has been talking up the Essentials family since earlier this summer, declining to provide specific beta or final ship targets. It has been rumored for a while now that the Essentials suite would go to beta this week, but Microsoft officials wouldn't confirm that until June 23 via this blog post. Windows Live team members also are not saying when to expect the final, other than before the end of 2010. According to one tipster who's been pretty reliable on the Windows Live rollout schedule, Microsoft's current plan is to deliver the final Essentials release in September 2010, which already is a month later than originally planned.

Microsoft delivered  the beta of Windows Live Wave 4 Hotmail on June 15, noting it could take a number of weeks for customers to get the beta bits, as it takes a while to get that code deployed on Microsoft's servers.

The rumored final name of the new Live Essentials suite is Windows Live Essentials 2011. Microsoft has yet to confirm that name officially.

Once any interested testers have a chance to try out the new bits, I'd be interested in hearing what you like and don't....

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, 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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10 comments
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  • Sweet. Can't wait.

    Now how long until we hear the XP <s>dinosaurs</s> users moaning again?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

      @NStalnecker

      I know. Support my 10 year old OS kernel with today's technologies. I mean other companies cut support for their previous OS/Software nearly instantly when a new version is released but somehow people expect Windows to support software and hardware from every vendor that makes it forever.

      A friend of my younger brother just built a 6-core 8GB monster computer with dual video cards and put XP 32bit on it and complained that it wouldn't see all of the ram and it didn't run much better than his dual core. He asked me for XP64 and I said I did not have it and suggested he get Windows 7 OEM copy for $99 and afterall he just spent nearly $2000 on computer parts so whats another $100. He refuses to use it and I told him that he is wasting about 4 of those processor cores and he may have trouble getting drivers for those 2 GeForce GTX 480 cards to perform well under XP with older version of directX. Some people.
      bobiroc
    • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

      @NStalnecker ... yeah seriously, get with the program folks! Don't get me wrong, I've been an XP holdout for the past several years, but once I got my hands on 7, well, I don't know if I could ever give it up!

      But *sniff, tear, sob* my OS is still used by X% of the market!!! Which means so is Windows Live Wave 3, both of which are old, so get over it. Stay in the past or join the present!
      GoodThings2Life
  • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

    learn how to create a link: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials?os=win7
    webTrainerABC
    • Learn to get the right site:

      @webTrainerABC
      The beta site is http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-beta
      safesax2002
  • Site is up - waiting for download to be available

    Site is up - waiting for download to be available
    reverseswing
  • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

    I'm interested, very interested!
    eargasm
  • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

    Installing it now!
    The Black Tide
  • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

    I have installed the Beta versions over earlier versions (I have confidence in MS Betas) of Live Writer, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker. The new programs are performing flawlessly. They are more polished and the ribbon interface has done wonders to usability. I was a little skeptical about Live Mail so backed-up my mail folders before using new version. The new conversation view is wonderful. I have two accounts in mail. POP3 from my ISP and IMAP from Gmail. It picked my Live Id to create a photo album on Sky Drive automatically. The Sky Drive Photo Album slide show has description in large font making the whole experience exquisite. I think MS has winner in the new Live Essentials.
    a_kelkar@...
  • RE: New Windows Live Essentials available to beta testers on June 24

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