I missed this one this morning.  The folks at Microsoft pulled a fast one though, and snuck this one in early, because, if you remember, the original date for release was early next year.

I hope they did not rush it.

I now have adequate reason to push forward and get my main machine, with Windows 7, back up and ready to install this. Then I’ll put it through its paces and see if the wait, and the incompatibilities were worth it.


As Mary Jo Foley reported this morning, Microsoft has now released the latest version of their social applications suite, named Windows Live Essentials 2011.


The installer is now live and can be downloaded from the Windows Live website. Very little has changed in terms of aesthetics or user interface, but the initial problems the beta faced with performance issues, sluggishness and an overwhelming feeling of bulk has been considerably reduced.

Though many features have remained and performance has been enhanced, many users will sill wish to remain with the previous Wave 3 applications for the sake of simplicity and a reluctance to switch over considering the previous bad press.

One thing though: performance wise, it has become so much better to the point I can actually use it on my computer, without wanting to rip out my own gall bladder and forcibly throw it at my screen in protest.

Focusing on the two most used applications for students and young people today, Messenger and Mail, these two screenshot galleries will guide you through the best and the worst.

There is a screenshot gallery at ZDNet (follow the link above), but, if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, you might as well install the newer versions, as they will get better over time.

Those who want to go back to the old version (for a short while, I would not recommend it for the long term) I would suggest getting and saving the third wave complete installer (~150MB) because Microsoft has a bad habit of removing the installers of older products once the newer one is out.  (Either that, or spoof the Live Essentials site into thinking you’re running Windows XP – that is a sure way to make certain you get Live Essentials Wave 3).

I’ll be putting it on one or more of my machines today, but I may not find any idiosyncrasies for a week or so, so if you spot something untoward, let me know in the comments – it makes life easier when your problem is confirmed by someone else.


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