Microsoft's Free Windows Live Essentials Beta Debuts
By Jeff Bertolucci, PC World, Jun 24, 2010
The new Windows Live Essentials beta will be available for public testing starting Thursday, according to Microsoft. A collection of free Web-oriented applications and services for Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs, Live Essentials is currently available in English, French, Dutch, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, or Spanish.
You can download the beta here. (The beta wasn't live as of 10 a.m. U.S. Pacific, although it should be available sometime today.)
Live Essentials programs include Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, and Messenger. The new beta connects these apps to online services from Microsoft and other providers, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linkedin; popular blogging tools like Spaces, WordPress, and Blogger; online storage and photo/video sharing sites including SkyDrive, Flickr, YouTube, and SmugMug; email sites such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail; and Microsoft Office Web Apps, Redmond's new online productivity suite.
In addition, the new Windows Live Sync feature synchronizes your files across multiple PCs and on cloud-based (online) servers. Sync's new remote desktop feature also lets you access your PC via the Web.