Back in October during PDC2008, I highlighted the Windows + Windows Live relationship. Specifically, I called out how Windows + Windows Live will complete the Windows PC experience with Windows Live Essentials. Now that people can experience the relationship first-hand with Windows Live Essentials today – I thought I’d re-approach and discuss the topic in a little more detail.
Today, users are increasingly expecting that their PC (and their OS) allow them to do things on their desktop that have an online component such as e-mail. This is where Windows Live Essentials comes in. For example, when you’re at home on your laptop you can use Windows Live Mail, but when you’re on the go you can access that same mail from any computer with an Internet connection by going to Windows Live Hotmail. Windows Live Essentials combines what you do on the PC with what you do on the Web. That’s the benefit of software + services.
Many of the Windows Live programs within Windows Live Essentials serve as a “bridge” to the Windows Live services:
- With Windows Live Messenger, you can not only chat with your friends via IM, but also follow What’s New with them on Windows Live, which means you can stay on top of updates they make like new photos or blog entries.
- With Windows Live Writer, you can publish new blog posts to Windows Live Spaces.
- With Windows Live Photo Gallery, you can upload your photos to Windows Live Photos and share them with the people you choose.
- With Windows Live Mail, you can sync your Windows Live Hotmail e-mail and calendar to your PC.
Windows Live Essentials extends beyond Windows Live as well. Windows Live Writer is capable of publishing blog posts to most major blogging services, not just Windows Live Spaces. As a matter a fact – I use Windows Live Writer to publish all my blog posts here on this blog, which is powered by Telligents’ Community Server. Windows Live Mail supports POP3 and IMAP allowing for multiple e-mail accounts from a variety of e-mail providers including Gmail. And Windows Live Photo Gallery supports custom plug-ins for uploading photos to a variety of photo sharing websites (check out this awesome plug-in for uploading photos to Facebook).
For Windows Live Essentials, we have introduced 3 programs as the successors to programs that were introduced in Windows Vista:
- Windows Live Mail is the successor to Windows Mail
- Windows Live Photo Gallery is the successor to Windows Photo Gallery
- Windows Live Movie Maker is the successor to Windows Movie Maker
We made this change because we learned that many of the end-user experiences need to be updated more frequently. With Windows Live Essentials, we feel we are in a better position to innovate on these programs and enhance your experience as a PC user and at a much quicker rate – as they are outside of the Windows OS.
Windows Live Essentials doesn’t just consist of the above 3 programs, it also includes Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Toolbar, and Windows Live Family Safety adding significant value to PC users through its integrated and powerful features.
Windows Live Essentials today are free, key applications that make it easy to manage multiple e-mail accounts, edit and share photos, chat with IM for PC users and available today for you to download at download.live.com (available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and the Windows 7 Beta).
In the coming weeks, I plan to dive deeper into many of these integrated and powerful features (many of which I use myself) that I that I hope you will enjoy.