Windows Live Essentials Can Improve Your Windows 7 ExperienceThis past weekend, Staples was offering what I consider to be a whopper of a deal on a Toshiba 17.3″ laptop that I personally believe is an ideal replacement for a desktop system. This Toshiba system featured an AMD quad core processor, 6 GB of memory, 500 GB hard disk, DVD-CD recorder, webcam and microphone, HDMI, plus more all for an incredible $449. At this price I was happy to recommend to a friend of mine that this would be a perfect system for him.

Well he followed my advice and after picking up the unit he informed me that he was quite pleased with how well the system was functioning and how he was enjoying the built-in software that comes with Windows 7 for movie making. However, knowing him, I could not resist mentioning to him that Windows Live Essentials and Microsoft’s Movie Maker software might be an even better fit for him. This intrigued him, but since he had just spent a good chunk of change, he was concerned about the expense until I told him that the software was free. This conversation made me wonder how many people who are using Windows 7 are not familiar with Windows Live Essentials and what free software is available for download.

Before Microsoft developed Windows 7, it created a lot of different software programs that many consumers were unaware of and, as a result, never used. Therefore, when it developed Windows 7, it decided to slim it down and in the process re-named such standard programs as its familiar email program, Outlook Express, changing it to Windows Live Mail. This re-branded program is quite similar to Outlook Express but requires the user to download and install the mail program software. However, this was not the only change that Microsoft incorporated into Windows Live Essentials — each of which were designed to enhance the user’s experience.

Another great feature offered to Microsoft users is its Photo Gallery software, which allows you to do photo editing and its Movie Maker software, which allows you to edit your own videos. These two features can then be used with Microsoft’s SkyDrive software, which allows you to share your unique movies, photos, and documents online from anywhere. For additional control, Windows Live Mesh was developed to help you synchronize your SkyDrive information with your computer and Windows Live Messenger was included to allow you to stay in contact with family and friends.

Other free software options include Writer, a program developed to help bloggers, Family Safety, which was developed to keep kids safe while online, Bing Bar, to make it easier for consumers to search results without having to leave a current Web page, and Microsoft Silverlight, which enhances your Internet Explorer browser. To take advantage of any of these great programs, take the time to look at the link below and see for yourself what free programs are available.

Comments welcome.

Windows Live Essentials for Windows 7 is available from here.