The Complete Windows Experience – Windows 7 + Windows Live

The Complete Windows Experience – Windows 7 + Windows Live

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I love Windows Live by itself with all the new Windows Live web services and the application suite. But the Windows 7 + Windows Live connection is looking even more exciting. Here at PDC we’re talking about how Windows 7 + Windows Live will “complete the Windows Experience” together. Because this *is* the Windows Experience Blog – I feel it is important to highlight and emphasize this a bit. Matter a fact, Steven Sinofsky highlighted this during his keynote today as part of Microsoft’s commitment to software + services.

Microsoft has learned that many end-user experiences need to be updated more frequently. Instead of waiting for the next Windows release, we began delivering updated versions of the Windows Live applications to improve those end-user experiences.

While this was a great way to improve the Windows experience for users, many of these updates in Windows Live Wave 2 seemed duplicative of applications already in Windows.

To address this, Microsoft will now only ship these applications (which include Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Writer and now Windows Live Movie Maker) as part of the Windows Live Essentials Suite.


Windows Live Messenger


Windows Live Mail


Windows Live Photo Gallery


Windows Live Movie Maker

 
Windows Live Family Safety Filter

The Windows Live Essentials suite has been in public beta since September and available for you to try at download.live.com. You can read my post here on the new Windows Live experiences seen in these betas.

I look forward to talking more about the Windows 7 + Windows Live experience and how it completes the Windows Experience here in the future.

20 Comments
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  • Thanx brandon great work

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  • Link
    5 Posts

    I've used many of the Live beta's on Vista and thus far I'm extremely pleased. Some of them still have a few small issues, usually a small amount of lag, but other than that they are all a joy to use. PhotoGallery again is a success as it was when it originally came bundled with Vista. It is in my opinion that PhotoGallery and Windows Media Player should be joined into the same program, it's getting closer as it is with AVI and WMV support added and the added controls for video playback. Both Windows Media Player 11 and the New PhotoGallery have a Library feature for images, so why not combine the two is my argument.

  • Matt_W
    1 Posts

    I too think MS is on the right track with this stuff but I totally agree with Bob, 7flavor and Craig S.

    It’s great we are going to clear up the problem where you have installed the Live Apps, but you still have all the original Vista ones there too - that duplication just doesn’t make sense.

    Also great that we’ll get more regular updates to these programs.

    I agree that people need the ability to remove or even not install these apps if they don’t want them, but I worry if they are not available in the Windows installation by default we’ll not get third party device support for them. For example, it’s only fairly recently I’ve been able to sync by phone with Windows Vista Contacts and Calender (Outlook only prior to that). Of course I still can’t sync my phone with Windows Live Mail Calender because the phone manufacture doesn’t support it. And Windows Live Mail doesn’t sync with the Vista Calender either. Even with the Outlook Connector I don’t seem to be able to sync properly with the live services.

    MS own research shows that a lot of people don’t bother altering default settings, in which case will they bother into download and install the live apps? And therefore will these programs carry enough weight for device manufactures to bother to support them?

    I just want seamless integration of my mail, to do list, contacts and calendar across my desktop OS, online live services and my mobile devices. I can’t believe we’re not there already!

    I’m a big fan of Windows Photo Gallery but again I’d like better integration with the Windows OS. E.g. If I want to browse some photos on my hard drive I normally start browsing through the folders with explorer (as that’s what Vista brings up when I click my “Pictures” in the start menu). After a while I realise I need the features of photo gallery. So I double click on an image to preview it and then click “Go to Gallery” and continue browsing. When you add in that Windows Media player also can browse photo libraries, you could argue it all gets a bit confusing!

    I have one task to view my photos and just need one application to do it. How about having the photo gallery features integrated into explorer. I appreciate not everyone one would want photo gallery installed so may be they just get default explorer behaviour?

    Another thing that puzzles me is why the Live Apps look different to each other and to Vista. E.g. why has Live Messenger never used the standard Vista interface? I’d like everything to look consistent across Windows and the Live apps – at least then they’d look like they are supposed to work together! :-)

    Personally I think the latest Photo Gallery beta was a backwards step for the GUI (not in features, just presentation). I understand the rationale, but I used to like the fact the preview was consistent with Media Player. I think the old look made the application more approachable and look simpler. I am definitely not a fan of the text only tool bar. Icons were invented for good reason! I really noticed I was slowed down when they disappeared. I know not everyone will agree with me and it’s supposed to look like the live services... but it doesn’t match vista now does it? ;-) So, please when there is a big change like this MS, why can’t we just have an option to it on or off? Don’t impose an inflexible GUI on us.

    As you can probably tell I want to see better GUI consistency and integration. There may be anti trust type reasons that MS don’t want to integrate so closely with the OS. But if each of the Live Apps is going to be individually installable and removable I can’t see why it would be a problem.

    I’m looking forward to seeing this all come together – I won’t come soon enough for me!

  • Steve
    3 Posts

    I love all this stuff too, but currently I don't use Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta because it won't unload from the System Processes even after I close it. After using it, I notice my system processing at 100% (because I have a laptop and the fan only turns on when processes are at 100%) and the fan would just NOT shut off. So I looked at what Processes were running in Task Manager and it showed Windows Live Photo Gallery was STILL running.

    :(

    So I don't use it right now. I did e-mail them somwhere, I remember, using their Send Feedback option so hopefully someone got it.

    I like the No Icons next to the tasks. It's so clean and efficient and more professional looking. Now if they can just improve the High DPI appearance. Because I test everything out and when I set the DPI to the default next one up which is 124, some of the text and icons are all distorted in the Windows Live programs.

    I believe this is one thing they're (MS) definitely working on before the release of 7 and Windows Live final.

    Hopefully.

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    it IS nice

    but when u type out ur customize emoticons u cant seem to be seeing it

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    media plyer

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    To the above comment, I totally agree with separation of the communication apps (where can I send feedback about this?)

    I want to use the Windows Live Calendar, but don't want to open Mail to do it (it starts downloading messages, and I like to keep my email web-based rather than the archaic-feeling POP3 or even IMAP). I want Windows Live Contacts at my fingertips, but even though it launches as a separate window I can only get their through mail. This all makes no sense.

    I'll wait until the Windows Live Services get updated, and hopefully they'll include quick-add functionality like Google Calendar and Remember The Milk, making it ease for me to do stuff like "turn in project tomorrow at 5".

    Hopefully Windows Mobile 7 comes out sooner than later and is Windows-Lived-up through and through (and Zuned up too).

    This company is on the right track, I just need the good sooner. Make mine Microsoft!

  • 7flavor
    352 Posts

    For goodness sake, make the communication apps (Calendar, Mail and Live Contacts) launchable standalone yet integrated and make them sync thru WMDC with phones. Don't just keep that for Outlook.

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    Losing  the meaningless eye-candy is good. I have to wonder why your marketing department thinks that all people ever do with a computer is fart around with photos and chat and email. The sort of people who are impressed by that stuff are challenged by a doorknob.

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    Sorry guys, but Windows Live Movie Maker is a MAJOR step backward in terms of functionality compared to its predecessor bundled with Vista. It's virtually useless - it has no timelines, you can't edit video, it has few effects....the list goes on. Why did the Windows Live team emasculate the product?

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    You say "Microsoft has learned that many end-user experiences need to be updated more frequently. Instead of waiting for the next Windows release, we began delivering updated versions of the Windows Live applications to improve those end-user experiences" - the first part I fully agree with.  My problem is the second part.  If the mail program that comes with the OS *is* windows live mail then this makes sense that updates are produced during the life of the OS.  However, if as now is the case, the OS comes with a mail program, which can have a second one installed alongside it then there will be confusion.  For years there has been confusion on Windows Messenger vs. MSN Messenger vs. Windows Live Messenger.

    What I'm looking for it a little more integration across the products; Contacts integrate with mail, but not with calendar rendering it almost useless.  Should I add windows live photo gallery, as I already have windows photo gallery - confusion.

    Bob

    Bob

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    It is great to have these apps unbundled from the OS.  The other apps in Vista were somewhat 'crippled' anyway.  For example, no hotmail capability in Windows Mail, even though the feature had been present in Outlook Express from the Windows XP days.

    Now... do the same for Windows Media Player.  Having just re-installed Vista from scratch because Windows Media Player Network Sharing suddenly decided to quit working, it would have been nice to be able to 'uninstall' it, then turn around and 're-install' it without having to start from scratch.  Yes, before re-installing, I did search the KB.  What did it say?  "If possible, uninstall WMP11 then re-install."  It would have been funny if I didn't have to spend a couple of days getting the machine restored by installing the OS and all the apps I use.

  • Brandon,

    I'm totally excited by this -- I can now choose not to install Windows Movie Maker unless I want it, for instance. Whoever thought of doing 7 like this should get a raise, haha.

    My one question, though: Will a mobile device (such as my WinMo 6.1 smartphone) be able to synchronize to these Live services, or will I *STILL* have to buy a copy of Outlook for my home PC? (i.e., I'd love to use Windows Calendar, but the phone says no...)

    Great work guys... keep it up!

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    I wish you guys would put the timeline back into Movie Maker...

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    Brandon,

    You stated "To address this, Microsoft will now only ship these applications...as part of the Windows Live Essentials Suite.

    One of the pushes that I picked up on with Windows 7 is to make it less, ummm, bundled (?) with the different Microsoft supporting applications that previous versions have shipped with.

    Am I correct in assuming that although users of Windows Live applications get these via a "Suite" installer (as they can now), that the user can choose to install only the items in the Live Essentials Suite that they want/need, and leave the others uninstalled during the process?

    For instance, I absolutely love and believe that Windows Live Writer is the best blogging application ever, but really have no need or desire for all the other ones (at least for now).  Will I continue to be able to install just WLW and take a pass on the others?

    I think that flexibility would be a good thing.

    Or maybe I misunderstood your statement?

    --Cheers!

  • Tony, users will be able to still view basic images in Windows 7 without Windows Live Photo Gallery installed. In Windows Live Mail you are still good to go with Newsgroups - and its actually an improvement over Outlook Express and has been. And creating or using stationary sets is still available also in Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Mail also sports a new Photo Email feature I think you might like. I will have to get back to you on the parental controls - I will have to boot into Windows 7 in a bit to check it out.

    StophVista, I am pretty sure the icon-less UI is pretty final but I'm not sure what might change as of yet. I'll post here though when I am able to do screenshots of what is considered the final UI for the Windows Live Essentials Suite.

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    - Now that Windows Live Family Safety Filter is part of Windows Live suite, does it meant the Parental Control that existed in Vista is not going to be included in Win7? If not, please explain why.

    - With Windows Photo Gallery not included in Win7, does it meant when the end-user opens a image (jpg, gif, whatever) on a fresh install of Win7, does it meant the user will be awfully greeted with an dialogue box asking to download Windows Live applications or there is a basic image viewer included in OOBE?

    - Will the Newsgroup function still available in Windows Live Mail? And will there be usable and pretty Stationary set (and not recycled from the Outlook Express era) be available in Windows Live Mail?

    Thanks,

    Tony

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    Wow, Live Messenger looks great!

  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts
  • In your other post I commented on the lack of icons next to tasks and the lack of a bolder task bar across the top as with the current RTM versions. Will this UI stay as is or change to be a bit more graphically rich?