Microsoft releases Web-based suite of apps

Microsoft got a jump on 2011, releasing a new version of its Web-based productivity application, Windows Live Essentials 2011

Microsoft's Windows Live Essentials 2011, is ready for prime time. Microsoft announced Thursday it's consumer focused suite of free applications, has moved from testing mode (beta) to the final release. The productivity suite is Microsoft's flagship bundle of Web-based productivity apps for managing and sharing images online, editing video, and sharing documents and files between PCs.

In addition, the company announced that Live Essentials will be bundled with Dell Computers sold during the holiday season. "Windows Live Essentials 2011 was designed and built to connect your PC to the services you use every day," Windows Live Engineering Vice President Chris Jones wrote today at the Inside Windows Live blog.

System requirements for the free suite of applications include a PC running either Windows 7 or Vista operating system with a 1.6GHz processor or higher. The applications in Windows Live Essentials 2011 include:

Windows Live Photo Gallery - share photos with your friends on SkyDrive, Flickr, SmugMug, and Facebook.

Windows Live Writer - update your blog on Wordpress.com, Blogger, and TypePad.

Windows Live Movie Maker - edit videos and publish them to YouTube.

Windows Live Messenger - allows you to connect with Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace.Windows Live Mesh - allows you to sync your files and folders across your PCs and connect back to your PC from virtually anywhere.

Windows Live Family Safety - manage permissions on your PC to keep kids safe.

Windows Live Mail - manage e-mail from Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo.

Windows Live Plays Nice with Others

One of the interesting characteristics of Windows Live Essentials 2011 is that this suite is surprisingly open in the way it works with and connects to third-party services such as Flickr and YouTube. Typically Microsoft has chosen to give the cold shoulder to so-called frienemies and keep Microsoft customers using Microsoft services. This update to the Essentials suite expand its reach beyond the Microsoft universe - and that's a good thing.

In addition to their outward looking orientation, the suite's apps have some interesting new features. For instance, both the video editing and photo programs are hardware accelerated for better performance than the typical web-based app. Photo Gallery also has a face recognition feature that allows it to combine the best faces in an assortment of group photos and create an ersatz group photo with the results.

If you're a Windows XP user, though, you won't be able to take advantage of the new suite of Live apps. They're for Vista and Win 7 users only.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftoperating systemsvideosoftwareapplicationse-mailWindowsWindows 7remote controlimage editorsPhoto / videomusic & video sharingProductivity Apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?