After getting the first beta of the new Windows Live suite (download it here) yesterday I thought its time to express my opinions on the first beta release of the software package.
The download includes new versions of:
- Windows Live Toolbar
- Windows Live Photo Gallery (replaces Windows Gallery)
- Windows Live Messenger
- Windows Live Writer
- Windows Live Mail
- Windows Live Family Safety
- Microsoft Office Outlook Connector
And the new Windows Live Movie Maker (replaces Windows Movie Maker). It is also speculated that the installer has references to Windows Live Sync and an Office Live.
In short this It what I’ve found:
- Windows Live Mail – now includes Calendar integration
- Windows Live Movie Maker – designed more for creating videos for YouTube and other services (MSN Soapbox)
- Windows Live Messenger – multi location sign-on
- Windows Live Photo Gallery – now does facial recognition, more third party plug-ins
- Windows Live Writer – many advancements with better video embedding and a smarter UI
You can have the default scheme or choose almost any picture on your computer. Although this doesn’t apply to the chat windows (note: this is a beta and Microsoft may correct this later).
The groups feature may be something that accompanies Windows Live Groups, but I have not tested this feature as of yet.
The new messenger also has some integration with with Windows Live Skydrive in the form of a link.
The new Windows Live Writer seems to work a lot better with other non Microsoft services now. Before I wrote all my posts in a web editor, where now with the new Windows Live Writer I can see myself writing more of my posts with the program.
The new user interface for the program is a great improvement, the old one was bold and in your face while you was trying to write. This one is similar for those who used the previous one but it’s clean, keeping it out of the way while you work.
The new photo gallery from the Windows Live team have done a good job with this one, the original photo gallery was almost the one shipped with Vista and a new UI slapped on.
The new Windows Live Movie Maker is not so great as it replaces the Windows Movie Marker that shipped Windows, it’s a giant leap backwards. No HD support, one transition and very few styles (note: again this is an early beta release and Microsoft will probably add more later).
As I use Outlook and web based email I didn’t install Windows Live Mail and can’t review it.