Windows Live Essentials 2011 is here

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<h2>Windows Live Essentials 2011 is here

Get ready for big changes to the way your email program looks. And your photo program. And your Windows Live Messenger. There’s an upgrade available! Also, take a stroll down memory lane with the YouTube Time Machine, and get in on the end of the Dropbox referral code frenzy.

Email Extreme Makeover

Windows Live Essentials is a bundle of free software and web applications from Microsoft. These include Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer...and so on.

Since Microsoft has a habit of naming completely different things with similar names, let me just clarify that Windows Live Essentials is NOT Windows Live Hotmail or Microsoft Security Essentials. And Windows Live Mail is not the same as Windows Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery is not the same as Windows Photo Gallery, and...well you can see where this is going.

They could have called these products just about anything, but they called them all almost the same thing. Sometimes I think these guys have rocks in their heads.

Some new computers have Windows Live Essentials already installed. If your Windows 7 or Vista computer, old or new, doesn’t have the programs already, you can download them here:

Windows Live Essentials

Until last week, Windows Live Essentials looked pretty much the same whether you were using it on XP, Vista, or Windows 7. Then, Microsoft made the new version, called Microsoft Security Essentials 2011 available for Vista and Windows 7. (If you’re still using XP, you can still use the older version, available here: Microsoft has incorporated the Ribbon interface from Office 2007 and 2010 into the individual applications. Windows Live Email looks completely different.

. If you hate working with the ribbon, you might want to hold off on upgrading your Windows Live Essentials. You’re going to have to go there eventually unless you’re running XP. Microsoft says they won’t be offering the new version for XP users. But the rest of us will eventually have to embrace the ribbon. It really improves Windows Live Mail and especially Windows Live Photo Gallery, but ... you have to get used to The Ribbon!


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