Introducing the New Windows Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

Introducing the New Windows Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

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Today we’re happy to announce new versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for Windows 7 and Windows 8. We’ve added a few new capabilities while also taking advantage of some advances in Windows 8. Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are two essential Windows applications hundreds of millions of people have come to rely on for making the most of your photos and videos. And with this release, we’ve given you a few more reasons to enjoy them even more.

Download: Windows Essentials 2012 (Web install) 

Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a great way to turn your ordinary photos and videos into a captivating story. Whether you’re making a short clip to quickly share or taking your time to make the most of that big event, Movie Maker showcases your skills as a budding film-maker. With major advancements in hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8, Movie Maker has evolved to include these state of the art enhancements.

Video Stabilization: Sometimes the video we take is just little too shaky; especially as we take more and more videos using our phones and smaller video cameras. Movie Maker has taken advantage of new technology in Windows 8 to smooth out your wobbly videos. Just select the shaky video and choose from a variety Video stabilization options and Movie Maker will smooth it out.

Stablize UI

Check out this wobbly video taken by a mountain biker with a helmet mounted camera. Movie Maker turns what is nearly impossible to watch into something that appears to be nearly professional quality. Video stabilization, courtesy of Windows 8, puts your shaky videos back on solid ground.

Music: The one thing that can really make a difference in a movie is the soundtrack. But it can be hard to find not only the right piece of music but a version with the appropriate rights. And even if you choose a song from your own collection, it runs the risk of being stripped out once it’s published to YouTube for not having the appropriate rights. So we decided to work with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store to make it easy to find music that is not only fitting for video, but also has the proper rights. Now when you go to add music to your movie in Movie Maker, you have the option of getting music from your PC or from three varied music services.

Add Music UI

So, you have the music but what about a way to control how well it plays with your videos. We’ve added waveform visualizations to both the music track and your videos so you can quickly see where you need to cut or trim your video to match your music.

Waveform UI 1

And if you want to narrate your movie, we’ve also added a third audio track for narration. Often times the easiest way narrate a video is to talk while you’re taking a video, so we’ve made it possible to add narration either as an audio file or as a video file. When you want to add narration to your video, just select the video with narration and we’ll strip out the audio and include it in the narration track. Of course, if you just want to record your voice using your PC, you can do that too.

Waveform UI 2

With sound coming from three different sources, the audio of your movie may be hard to hear. So, we’ve added some ways to choose which form of audio you want to emphasize. This makes it easy to clean up and enhance the audio for your entire movie project with just a single click.

Audio Emphasis UI

With enhancements to audio and music support, we’ve made it easy to find, add and control both music and narration. Now you can make your movies even better with great music from partners who specialize in music for film and film makers like yourself!

Text Effects: Including text in movies continues to be a popular way to add depth or highlights but sometimes the font can get lost making it hard to read. One way to enhance the text is to place an outline around your text. Now when you add text in Movie Maker, you can also add an outline that makes the text stand out from the background.

Text Effects

H.264 by default: One of the most popular video formats out there today is h.264 which is rapidly becoming the default format for cameras and video sharing. Now Movie Maker saves to this format by default making it easier to publish your video to popular sharing websites, managing your videos and your files between services and devices.

Photo Gallery

In Windows 8, Windows Photo Gallery is the number one way to organize, fix, find and share your photos and videos. And with advanced features like Photo Fuse and Panorama, Photo Gallery continues to bring creative enhancement to your memories.

Auto Collage: Trying to create a collage of photos on your own is hard and usually requires expensive and complex software. With Auto Collage in Photo Gallery you just select seven or more photos and we’ll arrange them in a collage for you. Making a new photo our of existing photos has never been easier. Whether you want to make a special print of a collection of photos or you want a nice start or ending to a movie highlight with some of your favorite scenes.

Auto Collage

Vimeo: We’re excited to announce Vimeo as our new publish partner! Now you can share your videos straight to Vimeo from both Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. Once you have your project saved and are ready to share it with the world, just click on the Vimeo button in the share gallery, choose from a variety of options that Vimeo provides and you’re done. Now your movies can become a part of an ever growing community of film makers who call Vimeo their home.

We’re hope you’re as excited as we are about the new Windows Movie Maker. We’ve listened to your feedback and have added better audio support and finer control within the storyboard. Our new music partners make it that much easier to bring your videos to life with great music that is optimized for making movies. With video stabilization from Windows 8 and other features that help you refine and share your creation, Movie Maker brings you one step closer to being the awesome filmmaker you always knew you were!

For more information on what’s included with Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, click here.

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  • "The one thing that can really make a difference in a movie is the soundtrack. But it can be hard to find not only the right piece of music but a version with the appropriate rights."

    I like Productiontrax ( for the music for my videos. Just another great option to the built in ones. Better quality imho too.

  • jond777
    0 Posts

    Microsoft is such a terrible company... There stock is worthless.. There behind in everything they do.. They take away all the useful features in live mesh !! Windows 8 is stupid !! There going downhill fast....

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    When are you guys going to add the timeline and extra audio video tracks? This storyboard interface is more difficult to use than the timeline and many people have asked for the timeline for a long time since this windows live movie maker. Please add them back.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    When are you guys going to add back the timeline and other good features of the old movie maker? I think a lot of people have been asking for more audio, video tracks and the timeline but we instead are still using a simple boiled down version of movie maker. Making this simple interface an option for movie making would be nice but as the only choice it makes for a user-experience and interface that is more difficult than the timeline. Please add back the multiple tracks and timeline. This storyboard option is horrible.

  • BTW: I *LOVE* the Video stabilization feat!

  • Hi,

    Why is it that having two processors in my notebook (Intel and nVidia) Windows Movie Maker can't use the high performance video processor?

  • Hello.  I dowloaded Movie Maker 2012 and was able to create a movie in a snap! However, as soon as I saved the movie to the computer, I went to play the movie and just audio would play, all the titling and video was black.  Can someone please troubleshoot this for me.  thanks!!

  • I too am very happy with the improvements in Movie Maker 2012.  It has finally added back many of the features that were in Windows Movie Maker 6.0 but missing in Movie Maker 2011.  I like the ability to add a colored outline to text, though I would like to see a background option too (e.g. in a rectangle or with an image behind).

    Other additions that I think would make Movie Maker an awesome product:

    1) Ability to right-click on video clips and quickly add fade-in, fade-out or perhaps other effects. (ala WMM 6.0)

    2) Ability to quickly drag-drop a couple clips so they overlap more or less thus affecting the transition time (ala WMM 6.0)

    3) API/SDK for customizing transitions and effects and captions (like in WMM 6.0)

    4) Ability to easily add picture-in-picture or green screen clips (ala iMovie)

    5) Ability to add a map or route animation (ala iMovie)

    6) Ability to set the background color (or make it a dynamic color based on content) rather than being a boring black color always.  This is especially true for photos that don't fit in a 16:9 aspect ratio or are vertical.

    7) Ability to crop videos and photos (to remove the black, to get a zoomed in view, to set the area of interest or to remove unwanted people or things)

    8) Ability to apply an effect to a selected portion of the frame.  Alternatively, provide a way to select a region to blur or pixelate when censoring is needed to maintain privacy or to eliminate logos, license plates, faces, etc.

    9) New transitions and effects especially modern ones like you see in Animoto, or 3D ones that you see on the web.

    I'm sure I could make a longer and longer list, but let's start with that. :)

  • Castaa
    1 Posts

    I think this is the best version since WMM 2.6.  I still find myself feeling the timeline is still not as user friendly as the 2.6 version.  IMO, the features and layout of the v2.6 timeline were ideal. I really want the ability to right click on a video or audio segment and adjust it's transition properties and volume! The ability to overlap video segments to a custom amount was also very nice to determine the transition time and type of transion was also a nice feature.  I do applaud the improvements to the caption and title tools though I would still like more customization options for these features.  I cannot select the color of the background for these text caption nor its transparency.  The full support of H.264/AAC is also welcome.

  • ozaz
    3 Posts

    Why doesn't Windows Photo Gallery have an albums feature? All the other major consumer grade photo organisation software has albums (iPhoto, Picasa, Photoshop Elements). Do the Windows Photo Gallery team have some fundamental opposition to the concept of albums?

    I also agree with a point made in a previous comment - it would be great if geotags could be displayed on a map of the world.

  • w1n8
    3 Posts

    The updated Movie Maker fails to start on my machine giving a generic error message. `dxdiag` in fact shows a DDI version of `9Ex` as mentioned above. Although the video adapter should meet the requirements.

    [Window Title]

    Movie Maker


    Sorry, Movie Maker can't start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again, and then try to update the driver for your video card if Movie Maker still doesn't start.

    What are the system requirements for Movie Maker?

    Learn more.


  • It would be nice if the stabilization feature could be make available to Windows 7 users.

    I'm having a problem with Photo Gallery: The publish to Facebook feature doesn't work at all. Nothing happens when I click on the "F" icon... not even a dialogue window appears.  All the other publishing features work fine.

  • Hemingray
    85 Posts

    I only ever used Messenger out of the whole essentials package, Clung so tightly to 2009, 2011 was a complete trainwreck, but 2012 seems to be fixing that rather nicely. Good work on this, Something finally got me to let go of the old junk.

  • Was very happy with WLE 2011 so was happy to install this right away, big mistake. For some reason I am forced to uninstall Live Mesh which offers amazing tools for synchronization which SkyDrive has yet to implement. Also my photo gallery is no longer able to edit photos, something the 2011 version could do with 0 issues. Uninstalling and reverting to 2011 until these issues are fixed, most likely will never reinstall if it means losing Live Mesh.

  • mtcerio
    9 Posts

    I use Windows Live Mesh on Windows 7 for syncing my favorites, as well as for remote desktop. None of these services is offered by the new Skydrive app. These new version of Windows Essential is forcing to remove Mesh.

    Now I face a dilemma: leave microsoft for favorite sync and remote desktop and use other services, or not update Essentials?


  • mirco
    1 Posts

    Why not publish it in the Windows 8 Store / Marketplace?

  • Frode
    1 Posts


    Norwegian download link is broken,

    Please fix it:-)

  • BRonCOde - I heartily agree with your skepticism that video stabilization cannot be done on Windows 7. In fact, I'm sure they could have done it for Vista users too, because that's where so much of the GPU utilization was established for Windows.  

    When you consider that video stabilization was introduced in iMovie in 2009, on an OSX that was behind Windows at the time on GPU utilization, the Windows 8-only requirement seems like a load of malarkey.

    Ah well, the apparently overworked WLMM development team (and the handful of apologists and sycophants for WLMM) will of course ignore this issue and dismiss any specific criticism as ranting and raving.

  • Nick S
    5 Posts

    I'm still highly irritated over the removal of Live Mesh. I'm stuck between testing out new functionality of Photo Gallery or not being able to RDP into my PCs/Server. If this continues, I might just hop off SkyDrive/Windows Live all together. I'm not too happy that an app was forcefully uninstalled from my machine for no other reason that "it's dead, Jim". You guys should NEVER forcefully uninstall ANYTHING from our machiens, no matter how depreciated it is.

    Knock some heads around, do a dance, do whatever, but please let us re-install Live Mesh, or find a way to bring its RDP functionality to the SkyDrive app!

  • There's much to like about the new Windows Movie Maker 2012 version. In early tests the stabilization feature on Windows 8 systems knocks the pants off similar stabilizing features of Virtual Dub and Adobe Premiere.

    Brad's blog is well done and the comments are a great place for a single rant or rave about the new release....  those interested in longer term discussions about this and other versions of Windows Movie Maker are invited to join 230+ members of my facebook group for Windows Movie Maker. Here's the link.

  • Love Everything but the no YouTube. I use this software every day and I'm glad it got an update. But I wish there was YouTube support.

  • linxeye
    2 Posts

    @Kevin C : I'm indeed running a N version of Windows. Works great now. Might be wise to update the error message so the user can know how to fix it ? :)

  • An absolutely horrible decision to remove Live Mesh's feature that a ton of your user base users for 1. Remote Desktop and 2. PC to PC synchronization.  If this functionality is going to be added into Skydrive app, then the skydrive app should have been updated with this functionality prior to Live Mesh going away.

  • Vokar
    2 Posts

    My main request on this new version of Movie Maker is for a few more special effects, particularly "old film" style effects which would add simulated scratches, slight jiggling, and specks. And while it's a bit of a stretch, perhaps contrast adjustment (+ and -) and the ability to do some cropping would be nice as well. Thanks, team. :)

  • Apparently there is an issue with running Movie Maker when the DDI Version is not correct. I have 4 Win7 machines. When running dxdiag, all 4 show DirectX 11, but are showing DDI Version as 9Ex. For this reason, Movie Maker will not load. I have 1 Win8 preview machine that shows DirectX 11 but does not show a DDI Version. Movie Maker runs just fine. It's my understanding there is a hotfix for the issue when DirectX 10 is showing a DDI of 10Ex. Hopefully, we can get a hotfix for DirectX11 with a DDI of 9Ex. Until then, I have no choice but to go back to Essentials 2011.

  • I'm simply delighted that you choose to update the Essentials suite; after over a year of silence and basically no leaks whatsoever on an eventual 2012 version, I was really expecting nothing more on this.

    However, I'm gonna have to side with a few persons here: if that uninstalls Mesh, I just won't install it.

    I get it. You're betting everything on SkyDrive and Mesh is going the way of the dodo, but I DO NOT WANT to have to sync my entire SkyDrive folder on every PC. Period. For instance, at work, I want my favorites to sync, but there is no way my personal documents and pictures are ending up on my employer's machines.

    I can do without RDP or P2P sync, but the selective syncing is a must have for me. I really hope you don't kill Mesh BEFORE adding that feature to SkyDrive (if ever).

    Anyways, congrats for not leaving us with the old 2011 versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery on Windows 8. But you have to understand that even though SkyDrive is getting better all the time now, its not ready yet for everyone.

  • bRonCOde
    24 Posts

    I don't believe for a second that there is any technical reason to exclude video stabilization from win7 version. Sound like typical MS BS.

    1 Posts

    Downloaded it to test it out but the benefits do not compensate for the lose of windows live mesh.

  • SiPhone
    2 Posts

    Really needs BING Maps support for Geo Tags to be competitive to iPhoto, we should not have to use Microsoft Pro Photo Tools still!!

    Also Face Detection stills needs to be improved to make it easier it should offer groupings of who it thinks it is and learn as we tell it, I always seem to have to tag all my photos rather than it detecting correctly.

    Also on very large photos 10,000 x 4,000 pixels (like a panoramic school photo) it doesn't detect faces automatically at all!!…

  • Sniipe
    1 Posts

    I love Photo Gallery and have been using and promoting it to friends and family for a good while now.  However is there any way you can get this fixed when I rotate photos: "E:\Pictures\Phone Pics\Gil's IPhone_4S\IMG_1309.JPG - Error code: (0x80070057)"

  • Frankly the best UI theming Windows Live has had was the 2008 version. Color, icons, clean un-cluttered interface (frequently used operations in a toolbar instead of the throw-everything-together-ribbon bloat). I've even got Windows Live Mail 2008 running next to the new Windows Live Mesh (I pulled the individual installers out of the "All" package, cause I'm a rebel like that). Mesh 2008 also had that nice blue orb animation when syncing and gave more detailed feedback. Soo much better than the current iteration and the even more pathetic SkyDrive program. Here's a thought, give us more options, customization, expert options, etc instead of killing useful products/features and locking us into a single UI style! Oh, and ending support for Vista is completely arbitrary. There's no reason it can't be supported with the Platform Update installed (if even that).

  • I've had a look at windows live mail 2012, and was very disappointed to find that in the folder pane you still can't navigate to a folder using its first character or characters. This is extremely useful for those who use only the keyboard, for example blind users. I don't understand why this hasn't been fixed, is it really that difficult to fix it? The functionality is available in Outlook, so why not windows live mail?

  • I have to join in to the chorus regarding Live Mesh. Losing the features for file synchronization and remote desktop are non-starters.

  • LanceS
    1 Posts

    I use Live Mesh to easily access my various desktops remotely - and based on the installer (which I cancelled) and the information found here:

    it seems that I cannot move to Essential 2012 and continue to use Live Mesh.  What a mess.  Does this mean Live Mesh is going the way of not being supported any longer?  Big disappointment.

  • SiKo
    3 Posts

    Big mistake to kill of Mesh.

    It provides synchronization of files between systems (and not just the 'cloud')

    and more importantly, it provides rock solid RDP so I can manage or work on my systems remotely.

    Taking this away from us before offering a super duper alternative just plain STINKS!

  • Skylab
    4 Posts

    Fantastic, I like a lot of this product package, Thank You! =)

    Not related to topic, but: When you add here the opportunity to log on using the Microsoft account, as in other services? It is annoying that there should be a separate user account! In addition, I have just discovered that the signature section of the settings does not work...

    Yet another proposal: Pictures of the article would be nice to look at a good system, so that they appear in the same window over the article! Now when you click on the pictures you have to move to a new page and out of the article.

  • I also agree that Mesh should not have been dropped until more of its features were added to SkyDrive. I use Mesh for PC to PC syncing on large folders that I don't need in the cloud and also for multiple folders as you can only have 1 SkyDrive folder. Also, the remote desktop feature has help me out on several occasions. Removing Mesh at this time seems to be a step backwards.

  • w1n8
    3 Posts

    In a comment above I complained about absence of a "no nonsense" full screen mode. Now I installed the updated Photo Gallery and found a fullscreen mode with "classic theme" (non moving/tinted/younameit) and media player style controls. In fact it appears to be similar to the one known from the Vista aera. Apparently it appears to also fiddle with the video mode which is quite nasty.

  • hohansen  is also right the slideshow in Windows Live Essentials 2009 (reused in Windows 7/Windows 8's Windows Photo Viewer) is much better than the slideshow in Windows Live Essentials 2011/Windows Essentials 2012.

  • hohansen is right, I too do not want 25GB of SkyDrive data synced across all my devices. We need to be able to select which files/folders get synced and frankly not have to rely on some dumbass copy of DropBox that limits syncs to a single folder.

  • I'd really like to try out the new features of this update, but as many others have said already, there's no way if this new version removes all the highly useful syncing features of Live Mesh without a proper replacement (p2p sync, selective sync, arbitrary folder sync, remote desktop).

    This was really an un-wise decision, especially in the light of MS's not-so-continuous history of synchronization solutions. Really, when you came up with Live Mesh as something finally useful after several less glorious attempts, did you really have to ditch it again?!

  • I'm so pleased Windows Live Essentials hasn't been killed off!

    It's annoying Windows Live Messenger hasn't been upgraded to allow for Facebook offline message sending (it's infuriating to be typing a long message, they go offline and you cannot even copy/paste what you've typed so far).

    It's also a shame Photo Gallery hasn't been updated to have better People Tagging recognition, this needs some work but it's good to see Auto Collage now being integrated.

    It's pretty obvious Writer is going to gradually be replaced with Word 2013 and Messenger/Mail are getting replaced with Metro Messenger/Mail but Metro Photos is no competitor for Photo Gallery and Movie Maker has no Metro app.

    The fact Microsoft hasn't even updated them to remove the Windows Live name says they won't be in the next release. It's interesting to see Photo Gallery and Movie Maker have resorted back to their original Vista names.

    Personally I only use Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Photo Gallery, and even Messenger I'm using less and less for Facebook Messenger for Windows (plus a bit of Metro Messenger).

  • Great update- I'm quite surprised at the video stabilizing feature, it shows there's more than just basic cutting+pasting and a few visual effects for Movie Maker!

    I also like the audio waveforms and built-in h.264!

    Small typo, "... the Microsoft Outlook..." sounds like engrish.  (I'm Chinese as well.)

    dropbox com (remove space) /s/8z1b5rco0e3wbpr/windows%20essentials.png

  • jader3rd
    24 Posts

    Any updates to facial recognition in Photo Gallery?

  • hohansen
    10 Posts

    I am disappointed that SkyDrive have dropped the beta tag but there is no site of selective sync. It's not good with a all or none approach . For me now it's 20GB or 0GB, I do not like it. Some day I would like to add all my photos to SkyDrive (over 200GB), but I do not want that on all my PCs. Now that you are bundling SkyDrive with Windows Essentials and Office, it's time to make SkyDrive a real competitor, add selective sync and syncing of shared folders as well as increasing the maximum storage space.

  • Kevin C
    4 Posts

    @duvl, linxeye and pazzp:

    Please come to our official Movie Maker forum where we can provide you with better support. If you don't see an existing thread about your issue, you can make a new thread. Please fill us in on as many details as you can (hardware, Windows version, steps you took and error message that you saw, etc.) to help us troubleshoot your problems.



  • pazzp
    1 Posts

    I get the following error when i try to install:

    "Couldn't install these programs: Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

    An unknown error occurred.

    Error: 0x80040605

    Source: SQLLite"

    My machine is win7 x64 enterprise edition.

  • hohansen
    10 Posts

    Can you please stop bundling Photo Gallery and Movie Maker together, if you only do it for the horrible slideshow please stop now. You improve many things but one thing that gets worse by the years is the slideshow . I remember back in the day when you offered a great slideshow, it used the whole screen and you could select the speed. The current slideshow does not even use the whole screen, you have for some reason thought that having a black line over and under the image would be a good idea, it's not. I do not like the slideshow with Photo Gallery, but it was usable. Then I started using the Windows 8 preview with no photo gallery, but with the Windows Photo Viewer, and guess what, there it was, the slideshow I had been missing.

    Please, please stop bundling Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, and please let me use Photo Gallery with the slideshow that is used with Windows Photo Viewer. Viewing a photo (without slideshow) is best with Photo Gallery, so I do not want Windows Photo Viewer, but when using slideshow, that one is superior.

  • ormico
    6 Posts

    Massive Fail. You pulled LiveMesh and didn't replace the RDP function which is a big deal for me. Not upgrading unless I can replace this. I suppose I could switch to LogMeIn or something.

  • duvl
    2 Posts

    @Kevin C  - ref your post copied below to which you asked for feedback.  I installed the Media Feature Pack but still get the same error. ( Trying to launch Movie Maker or Photo Gallery gives can't find MF.dll ? )


    That error might appear if you are running the N or KN version of Windows 7, which does not include the media components needed to run Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. If you are not sure which version you have, you can check by following the instructions here:

    If you are running the N or KN version of Windows 7 and would like to use Movie Maker or Photo Gallery, you can download the Media Feature Pack which will add the needed components for you. You can find information and the official download link here:

    Please do let us know if this is the case, and if this fixes the issue for you. Thanks, and good luck!

  • Now that I've had a chance to work with Movie Maker for W8, I realize that it's just Windows Live Movie Maker with a few (overdue) tweaks. How disappointing.

    Though the long overdue reintroduction of wave forms is nice to see, it accentuates the most obvious weakness of WLMM: no timeline. When you have the three wave forms visible, the vertical storyboard is even MORE difficult to work with. Even at the best of times, the storyboard constantly forces your eyes to move right; move down; move left; move right again. [In a horizontal timeline, all your eyes do is go left and right.] Now, with the extra wave forms, your eyes have farther to travel, and with more information to pass over.

    No wonder almost all commercial video programs use a horizontal timeline: it's so much more efficient, especially with a large, widescreen monitor.

    In the end, no number of tweaks will make WLMM as efficient to use as Movie Maker 6.0, and it will never be anything more than a slideshow maker. The lack of participation on Movie Maker forums shows just how unusable this storyboard Movie Maker is.

  • markiz
    40 Posts

    Disappointing that there were no UI and speed improvements.

  • I was looking at that before and after demo. I actually prefer the before demo. Because those bumps make it look authentic, with that mountain biker.

  • Out2pgh
    1 Posts

    Loosing Mesh!  That is my favorite feature of windows live messenger package.  Personal messengers are really dead because everyone uses Facebook messenger.  Why would Microsoft take out a feature now when a replacement is not up to the same standers as the old?  I will stay with the old until forced off or unless I have the ability to just install Mesh as a stand-alone. Mesh is a great  P2P.

  • jjbowles
    43 Posts

    Good job on Movie Maker, but what in the heck have you guys been doing with WLPG for the last two years?

  • With this update, I can no longer run Movie Maker on any of my computers. It keeps taking me to a list of minimum requirements which all of my computers meet. The prior version of Movie Maker worked just fine. Now, I can't even edit movies I created in the previous version. Also, the collage feature in Photo Gallery is nice, but doesn't have the settings available that the add in to the previous version of Photo Gallery had. Very disappointing.

  • SDreamer
    11 Posts

    Nice new features, but some things are still broken for tablet users such as myself. Scrolling in Photo Gallery still requires extensive use of the scroll bar instead of native panning (panning, works when you select all the photos, in the Nav pane, but when you select a certain folder it doesn't work, forcing users to use the scroll bar, not to mention when it does work it is extremely choppy, making it better to just use Explorer to navigate). Mail still doesn't support touch panning when using a 1 live message view as well.

  • It's a pity that this version of Windows Photo Gallery has not implemented the standard for handling Hierarchical Keywords proposed by the Metadata Working Group back in November 2010. After all, Microsoft is one of the founding members of this industry group.

    And this version of Windows Photo Gallery is still corrupting Makernotes, so that bug is still not fixed. See

  • BramV
    1 Posts

    Thanks for this nice update.

    Can we still use all install options like before?

    We would only like Moviemaker and installed the software with the following commandline:

    wlsetup-all.exe /q /NOToolbarCEIP /NOhomepage /Nolaunch /nosearch /AppSelect:moviemaker

    Will this still work?

  • Excited to see through a new Window -- hope going thru this is like the fantastic Mr. Wizard and Mr. Fix It because I am a moron with this computer but I love it........

  • Stilgar
    10 Posts

    You add remote desktop to Skydrive or you will have to pull Live Mesh out of my cold dead fingers! (Or you could just disable the service I guess)

  • Joachim
    1 Posts

    I used only one feature of windows live essentials: Live Mesh, because i can keep the complete user data of 3 PCs in sync without having to put my data into "The Cloud". Either the Skydrive app will get the functionality to sync between PCs without Skydrive, or I will change to something like owncloud.

    To behonest: I am absolutely puzzled why microsoft removes the only functionality that's somewhat unique and working well.

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    Would love to try these but losing Live Mesh is a no-go. Until SkyDrive does P2P synch, I will not be updating...

  • Spencer
    20 Posts

    The Live Writer twitter said download the "new" Live Writer 2012.  What is new about it, if anything?

  • I see it's possible to deselect the installation of SkyDrive if you go through the custom install - if I do that will I be able to keep Live Mesh? SkyDrive just doesn't replace the functionality I rely on Live Mesh for - synching machines without storing data in the cloud, and remote access to my machines.

    If there's really no way of keeping Live Mesh alongside any components of Essentials, please explain why that's so. Is there a technical reason that they can't coexist? I hope it's not an ill-judged decision to try to kill a useful program just because it's end-of-life.

  • w1n8
    3 Posts

    When you rely on Movie Maker... you are lost!

    "Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are two essential Windows applications hundreds of millions of people have come to rely on for making the most of your photos and videos."

    Should this considered be humor? Movie Maker is horribly buggy, prototype application quality. And even IF you achieve to put together some minutes of video, it isn't very capable.  For example, rendering WMV encoded video  to the Windows DVD Authoring Application is out of question. (And then DVD Maker fails to get 16:9 aspect videos right...) This is such a fail.

    Photo Gallery: Could you "invent" full screen display please? Vista's Photo Viewer failed to keep native display resolution in full screen mode. "Photo Gallery" has a similar odd animated picture show. Find out how to do a simple full screen static display (that is, find out the theme that allows something similar and rely on keyboard navigation for PAUSE and NEXT/BACK) is something that regular users just won't do. Instead, family gathers around an almost "thumbnail" view of holiday pictures...

    Finally, in full screen mode these image viewers "decide" just to ignore display profiles.

    I liked the idea of a nice set of useful applications outside the Windows release cycle. But the result is just unworthy.

  • frame
    1 Posts

    I can't believe you guys ditched Mesh/P2P synching!! It's a superior feature I really can't live without anymore.

    Is there a way to install it together with The 2012 Essentials Pack? (I don't need Skydrive)

  • "Please note: as the article linked at the bottom of this one explains, Windows Live Mesh will be replaced by SkyDrive."

    But for now, SkyDrive doesn't match with Mesh. They look more like 2 different software, one push your data into the cloud, the other sync files through different PC (and the datas aren't going on the cloud; and you don't upload them to the internet but it's using local network instead which is much much faster, plus you don't get the 7GB limit).

    You can't force your customers to replace a software by another when the newest one doesn't match with the oldest one, you are just frustrating us.

  • Kevin C
    4 Posts


    That error might appear if you are running the N or KN version of Windows 7, which does not include the media components needed to run Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. If you are not sure which version you have, you can check by following the instructions here:

    If you are running the N or KN version of Windows 7 and would like to use Movie Maker or Photo Gallery, you can download the Media Feature Pack which will add the needed components for you. You can find information and the official download link here:

    Please do let us know if this is the case, and if this fixes the issue for you. Thanks, and good luck!


    The installer offered in this blog post is for English only, but we will have all other supported language versions available very soon. For PT-BR, you will be able to find the Essentials suite through this page:

    For any other language, please visit this page and click on "Products" at the top (or the equivalent in your language) to reach the same page.

    Please check back soon, and thanks for your interest in Movie Maker and Photo Gallery!


    If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8 Release Preview, you can use the installer linked at the top of this article to install Windows Essentials 2012. If you already have Windows Live Essentials 2011 installed, Windows Essentials 2012 will replace it automatically.

    Please note: as the article linked at the bottom of this one explains, Windows Live Mesh will be replaced by SkyDrive.

    Windows Essentials 2012 requires Windows 7 or Window 8 to run, so you will unfortunately not be able to install it if you are running Windows Vista.

    Thank you for your interest in Windows Essentials 2012!

    Kevin C

  • how if i want to update my existing windows essential 2011 to 2012 version?

  • how if i want to update my existing windows essential 2012?

  • The Portuguese language of Brazil (PT-BR) is available?

  • Please, you can't force to uninstall mesh until SkyDrive is on par with his features! I currently use Mesh to collaborate with several people (a single folder synced across multiple accounts and multiple PCs), this is not yet supported with the SkyDrive Desktop app.

  • linxeye
    2 Posts

    Here is the embarassing moment : whenever I try to launch Movie Maker it says it can't find MF.dll ? :o

  • YAY you made Movie Maker good again! Last update lost so much from the Vista Movie Maker, to have the features back and even better is fab news.. Now if only you could of not messed up Windows 8.. That's one OS Ill stay clear from.. Windows 7 will be installed for some years yet it seems...

  • hohansen
    10 Posts

    I do hope that you will metronize Windows Essentials as well, they will look so much better. I also want integrated maps. A world map to view all my photos, Facebook has one powered by Bing. I also would like the little maps to show geotags that you use on  I would very much like to get rid of MS Pro Photo Tools, but I do need two things that program have, one is to geotag photos with a map, or address (basically everything that is under location information on MS Pro Photo Tools). The second is the ability to change the time on several images but telling it to set the time back 1h or 5m. It's very useful for me if I am in a new timezone but have taken 20 images before I correct the time on by camera.

    I also hope that you will have a much better people integration, a whole page where I can see all the people with both name and picture, including the unused tags. When I use the clean unused tags feature, I often is surprised by the number and wonder which tags did just get cleaned up.

  • Movie maker really needs a decent timeline (ala Adobe Premiere), most people have stopped using it for that reason; and the new features described on that blog post aren't enough to compensate it.

    And forcing us to get rid of live mesh? No way :)

  • Kevin C
    4 Posts


    To my knowledge, no features have been removed between the 2011 and 2012 versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. There have been some changes under the hood, but these would most aptly be described as improvements to performance and reliability.


    We do not offer the Essentials apps in individual installers. However, with the suite installer you do have the ability to select the apps you would like to install.

    Thanks to everyone for your feedback so far. We really like hearing your thoughts about our products, and will use them to inform our decisions going forward.

    Kevin C

    Movie Maker Program Manager

  • Any Chance of Getting an MSI package or these programs broken up?

    I am upgrading our High School Campus (1200 PCs) from Windows XP to Windows 7.  The Student computers are not allowed to have Messenger on them, or a need Mail or writer.

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    Please reply, has anything been removed secretly or "by design" vs 2011 version? I have to ask this question every time now-a-days because I don't trust Microsoft - they eliminate features for whatever reason without even disclosing them and lie straight to our faces - "no compromise".

  • Thanks for the updates guys, when I was in High School, my two biggest gripes about Windows Live Movie Maker was the lack of narration support, and the inability to have a black outline over text.  The h.264 support is also much welcomed since my school was largely mac based.  Thanks a lot guys, I hope you realize how much this will help with school projects.  

    On that note, It's a little disappointing that it took two years to add those features, I hope that we'll see more frequent updates in the future.

  • Maxim
    9 Posts

    It's a shame that this micro update you call Essentials 2012. It doesent deserves to be Service Pack update.

    Why I have to install Movie Maker? Why it is used to display ugly slideshows in gallery, while built-in into Windows slideshow provides ten times better image quality?

    I used Live Mesh to sync my IE favorites between computers and my Music folder with P2P sync. Now I have to put everything into skydrive folder?

    So now IE becomes ONLY browser that doesen't have online Favorites backup. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, even Safari can sync favorites, but not IE.

    It's a shame guys, really, it's a shame.

  • I wonder if this final releases of the new wave. If it is, this is a MAJOR disappointment.

    With the whole Microsoft is on the Metro push, I see myself using the less powerful Message app for candy eyes effects. It is almost not understandable that the whole Microsoft arsenal is on the bump... Office, Visual Studio, even Windows itself! but not Essentials?? Even 3rd party MetroTwit is "first-class Windows application" with .NET 4 but not Microsoft's own Essentials?

    Secondly, why force me off Mesh? Even if a Mesh is a dead product, why can't I just use a dead product? Especially the dead product that can do more than its alive successor? I'm sticking on 2011 because of Mesh. Metro love could go for the Web Application team.

  • I'm sorry to notice that 16x10 hasn't been added to the automatic cropping proportion. For this I still need to rely on Picasa. Also, how can I get the French version of WLE 2012?

  • Greg - Actually, the WLMM development team wanted to make a MM that would appeal to Grandmas AND power users (Mike Torres promised it repeatedly, for example), but they failed miserably. 1000's and 1000's of people wanted narration, for instance, and the dev. team never brought it back. Indeed, after about 16 months, the program ground to a halt, and the dev. team went completely silent. Either they couldn't pull it off, or they didn't have the resources to finish an essentially unfinished program. They could've have put narration in a hidden tab (like Project) and it wouldn't have confused any Grandmas who were making their slideshows.

  • Nick S
    5 Posts

    Greg, I understand it's a dead product, but I still use it alongside the new Skydrive app. There is no technical reason why it should be forcefully uninstalled. Let the user choose to uninstall it. Quit deciding for me what I can and cannot run.

  • First, really supprised this I can't login to this blog with my Microsoft Account ID? Second was really looking forward to testing this out because of the h264 support finally being added, but we have to dump Mesh? I am not dropping mesh until, skydrive picks up the remote connection and folder syncing. These two items simplified my setups so much not having to manage RDP and manual robocopy script transfers. I don't need ALL my data in skydrive, I need it synced between my systems. Skydrive is awesome for getting stuff like photos, some tunes and shared files into the cloud, but I've been syncing over 100 GB's for free with a simple and easy interface, and I am not goning to add yet another bill to do what I previously could for free for, when I already have unlimited cloud storage and access for +50 bucks a month on Carbonite. It just makes no sense. And to use individual essential apps to force out other older apps is a cheap way to kill something off. Man up and say hey, were gonna kill this off, here's what we are going to offer now, that way I can dump mesh and get on with my life :)

  • is Windows DVD maker coming to Windows 8 (at least the Media Center version)? miss it!

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    Very promising (thanks so much for H.264 support!!)!! =D Looking forward to more updates as Windows 8 launches.

  • Martin and Andrew - I'm reading tea leaves here, but I don't think it's an accident that while Photo Gallery and Movie Maker dropped the "Live" moniker, it's still in place for Writer, Mail, and Messenger. To me, that's a sign these applications are on life support and won't be updated further. Mail and Messenger already have Metro apps for Windows 8. And surely Skype will eventually replace Messenger as Microsoft's preferred messaging application, and I'll bet that happens sooner rather than later. Skype could simply become another network to add into the Windows 8 Messaging app.

    Polychromenz - Amen, brother.

    Grapeanca - Some valid points, but to call the team incompetent is a bit harsh. You think Microsoft couldn't have piled on a bunch of features if they'd wanted to do so? The team made it clear with the Windows 7 version of MM that they were going for a simpler UI that anyone's grandma could use. Give Adobe Premiere Elements a try and then tell me which one you'd recommend to a non-techie. That said, I'm glad to see some power user features returning, and I hope MM lives on for many versions.

    Nick S - Live Mesh is a dead product. It will not be updated moving forward. Time to let it go and move on, my friend. I'd bet the SkyDrive app will eventually add some form of P2P sync and some form of remote access is supposed to be coming via the web UI in the next release.

  • Kevin C
    4 Posts


    Sorry, but as Brad explained in his post, the Video Stabilization feature depends on technology in the Windows 8 media platform. You will be able to try it out on the retail release of Windows 8, as well as on the Release Preview which is currently available for download.

    Thanks for your interest in this feature!


  • Installed this. Found it odd that Mail, Messenger & Writer have the words 'Windows Live' still in front of them, while Movie Maker & Photo Gallery don't. Shouldn't this inconsistancy be fixed? I was also hoping that Mail would be getting an update to fix the contacts section and show contacts combined like,, Windows Phone & Windows 8's People app all do.

  • I have three questions:

    1. Will the audio tracks be fully independent of the video? In other words, can you move songs to precisely where you want them, without needing them to be contiguous with other songs or the video?

    2. Can you drag and extend/reduce photos to any particular length without having to use that ridiculous multi-step duration button? [That feature-destruction alone should have gotten the entire WLMM team fired.]

    3. Will you reintroduce some of the nifty controls from older Movie Makers, like right-click fade in/fade out, and drag and drop cross fade on video, pictures and sound?

    All of these features were lost with that grotesque WLMM. If MM 8 is going to be a move forward, it ought to AT LEAST incorporate all the old features.

  • So Video stabilization is not available in Windows 7? I cannot find it.

  • The features are really good but Windows Essentials suite need the metro styling and icons upgrade. When I run photo gallery and movie maker, the interface looks pale in comparison to the rest of Windows 8 software.

  • Nick S
    5 Posts

    Guys, no go for me. I can't believe I'm forced off of Live Mesh. I use that across my systems because of its ease of use remote desktop feature. I can't loose that. Why are you forcing the uninstall here? Bad. Bad. Bad.

  • I'm glad that the development team has FINALLY responded to the avalanche of criticism of its appalling Windows 7 Live Movie Maker. A bigger step backwards in term of capability from the previous iteration, WMM 6.0, I cannot remeber. Of course, narration and music wave forms should have been there all along, since they were part of previous Movie Makers. To wait almost 4 years for their re-appearance is a testament to the incompetence and/or lack of resources of the Live suite developers, and an indication of how far ahead Apple is with its iLife suite. [BTW, how many years ago did iMovie introduce video stabilization?]

    Unfortunately, the intuitive editing precision of a proper timeline is all but gone - except for those of us who still use Movie Maker 6.0 - and the Windows 8 MM is still a high-class slideshow maker.

    The once vibrant Movie Maker community is approaching dormancy, and this won't fix the problem.

  • Love the programs. Will definitely download the updates. I'm glad Microsoft hasn't given up on such a great program. I was wondering if other changes, fixes, or improvements were done. I'd love to see more accurate face detection because, while it might recognize faces in a pic, it still doesn't know it's a relative I've tagged in 1,200 other photos. Also, I'd love to see more places to order prints from, like Walmart or Target.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Brad Weed
    18 Posts

    @n1kos  Thanks for the feedback!  Yes, we continue to look at news ways to integrate services and add additional capabilities.  It always helps to read comments like yours to help gauge where we should invest moving forward.

  • Thanks, Brandon! :)