Windows Live Essentials

Windows Live is the brand name for a set of services and applications offered by Microsoft. Broadly speaking, Windows Live is made of two parts: Windows Live Services and Windows Live Essentials. Windows Live Services refers to hosted applications/services that you can use over the Web. A good example of a Windows Live Services application is Hotmail; another example would be MySpace. Windows Live Essentials, on the other hand, refers to a suite of applications that users can download and install on their Windows computers. Examples are Messenger, Mail, and Photo Gallery. This section will focus on Windows Live Essentials.

The Windows Live Essentials suite includes the following key applications (as well as some add-ins to other applications such as the Windows Live Toolbar for Internet Explorer):
• Messenger
• Mail
• Photo Gallery
• Writer
• Family Safety
• Movie Maker

To download Live Essentials, go to You can download the main installer application, which will allow you to choose and download your desired applications on demand.

Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger is an instant messaging application.
Windows Live Messenger offers the following functionalities:
• File transfers
• PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone calls
• Photo sharing
• Sending SMS messages
Using Live Messenger, you can also send messages to other users even when they are offline .

Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail is the successor to Outlook Express (shipped with Windows XP) and Windows Mail on Windows Vista. Using Live Mail, you can read and send email from one or more email accounts, including accounts from providers such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, and more.

Live Mail supports the POP3, IMAP, and HTTP protocols. The last one is particularly important for Hotmail users, because that service requires the HTTP protocol in order to be able to read your email using a mail client (unless you subscribe to the Hotmail Premium service). Also included with Mail are four other subapplications—Calendar, Contacts, Feeds, and Newsgroups (you need to press the Alt key to reveal the menu).

When you click the Sign In button in the upper right, Windows Live Mail will:
• Allow you to use your Windows Live online contact list (via the Windows Live Contacts application) and see when senders are online in Messenger
• Sync with your Windows Live calendars

Windows Live Mail Versus Live Hotmail
The popular, free web-based email service Hotmail was once called Windows Live Mail. It has since been renamed Windows Live Hotmail. The name Windows Live Mail now refers to the desktop version of the email application.

Subscribing to Microsoft Communities
To subscribe to a newsgroup using Windows Live Mail, click the Newsgroup icon in the bottom left of the Windows Live Mail window (or make the menu visible with the Alt key, then select Go->Newsgroups). The first time you go to the Newsgroups section, you will see a message indicating that you are not subscribed to any newsgroup. Click the View Newsgroups button to see a list of available newsgroups from the Microsoft Communities. Select the newsgroups that you are interested in and click Subscribe.

Working with the Calendar
To view your calendar in Windows Live Mail, click the Calendar icon in the bottom left of the Windows Live Mail window (or make the menu visible with the Alt key, then select Go->Calendar). The calendar will be displayed.

You can create a new Calendar by clicking the “Add calendar” link. Creating a new calendar allows you to organize the entries according to specific occasions. For example, you might have a calendar for company meetings and another for family matters.

You can also share calendars that you have created with your friends or the public. Before you can share your calendar, you need to sign into Click the Sign In button in the upper right of the Windows Live Mail Window (if you see your Windows Live ID listed there instead of a Sign In button, it means that you are already signed in).

By default, three calendars will be created for you: My Calendar (your personal calendar), Birthday calendar (your contacts’ birthdays calendar), and Holidays (the holidays of the country you have selected).

However, to do so, you need to use the web-based version of Calendar. First, log in to You will be asked to sign in using your Live ID (the one that you signed into from within Windows Live Mail). Once you have signed in, you will be able to specify which calendar you want to share by clicking the Share link. You can then specify whom you want to invite to subscribe to your calendar, and the selected recipients will receive an email invitation.

Another interesting thing you can do with Windows Live Mail is subscribe to an online calendar. Subscribing to online calendars allows you to view the calendar of another party and be updated automatically when the party’s calendar is updated.

To subscribe to a calendar published by other users/organizations, click the Subscribe
link. You will be asked to either subscribe from a public calendar via a URL or import an .ics file. When you subscribe to a calendar via a URL, you will always get the updates performed by the calendar owner. An example of a calendar URL looks like this: If you choose to import the calendar via an .ics file, then you will only get a static calendar (i.e., you won’t see updates performed by the calendar owner). Calendars created in will be synchronized automatically with Windows Live Mail when you relaunch Windows Live Mail again (or simply press F5).

Windows Live Photo Gallery
Windows Live Photo Gallery is a photo management and photo sharing application that is tightly integrated with Windows Live Messenger. Using the Live Photo Gallery, you can organize your photos into folders, as well as tag photos and then upload them to Windows Live Photos and Flickr.

Windows Live Photo Gallery is the successor to Vista’s Windows Photo Gallery application. The names of your friends are taken from Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Contacts.

Windows Live Writer
Windows Live Writer is a blog-publishing application that allows you to publish your postings to blog publishing sites such as Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, and Windows Live Spaces.

When you first start Live Writer, you will be asked to create a new blog on Windows Live or use an existing blogging account. Once you have done this, you can use Writer to create a new posting and then publish it to your blogging account.

A nice feature of Windows Live Writer is WYSIWYG editing, and also that it supports rich content like images, maps, videos, and all major text-editing features like tables, alignment, and spellchecking.

Windows Live Family Safety
Windows Live Family Safety is a parental control application that allows parents to monitor their children’s activities on the Web. You can install Live Family Safety on all computers that your children use in your home. To activate Windows Live Family Safety, you will first be asked to log in using your Windows Live ID (such as your Hotmail email account). Once you have logged in, you will see the screen.

Select the account(s) to monitor and click Next. You will be prompted to match the Windows account with the name in Family Safety. Once this is done, click Save. You will now see that the default filter is Basic, which means that only adult websites are blocked. To change the filter, go to and you will be able to change the filter type to Strict, Basic, or Custom.

In order for the child to visit the page, he will need a parent (the one who signed in to Live Family Safety) to authorize the page using the password supplied during the signing-in process. Alternatively, the child can also email the parent the request.

Windows Live Movie Maker
Windows Live Movie Maker is a video creating and editing application. It is the successor to the Windows Movie Maker included with Windows Vista. The new Windows Live Movie Maker is now much more user-friendly.

Using Live Movie Maker, you can save your movies in Windows Media as DVD quality or Windows Media portable device format. Windows Live Movie Maker requires a video card that is at least as powerful as the ATI Radeon 9500 or nVidia GeForce FX 5900.

Source of Information : Oreilly Windows 7 Up and Running

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