Microsoft released Windows Live Essentials 2011 yesterday afternoon. While the Windows Live software package is focused on PC functionality and Windows 7 integration, there is a growing connection to Windows Phones. Especially Windows Phone 7.
For those not familiar with Live Essentials, it is a series of tools and applications that range from Family Safety filters for the internet to Windows Live Mail.
Essentials also contains several connected services that we expect will integrate with your Windows Phone 7 device. These services include:
- Windows Live Photo Gallery: A photo management application that has the ability to share photos on your Skydrive, Flickr, and Facebook accounts.
- Windows Live Movie Maker: A video editor that has the ability to instantly publish movies to YouTube.
- Windows Live Messenger: While known for it's instant message ability, Messenger now allows you to stay in touch with friends on Facebook, LinkedIN and MySpace.
- Windows Live Mail: An email application that keeps you in touch with your Hotmail and other email clients.
- Windows Live Mesh: Mesh will give you the ability to sync files across multiple devices and to your Skydrive making them accessible wherever you are.
How tightly integrated these connected services will be with Windows Phone 7 has yet to be seen. We could easily see taking a photo and it's automatically uploaded to your Photo Gallery storage on Skydrive or create a Word Document on your PC and have it accessible through Mesh on your Windows Phone. While you can do all this now, everything will be native to the Windows Phone and third party apps or plug-ins won't be needed.
We have heard that Windows Messenger will be a part of Windows Phone 7 and cloud storage has been increased with Skydrive increasing from 2 gigabytes to 5 gigabytes.
The one feature that most will agree was the KIN's strongest feature was the KIN Studio. The KIN Studio offered online access to your phone's photos, videos, messages, contacts and social feeds. Many felt it was the one feature that should carry over to Windows Phone 7 and with the updates to Windows Live and the release of Essentials 2011 we may very well see this be WP7's Studio?
You can download your copy of Windows Live Essentials here and follow the break for some screen shots and observations on the update process and finished product.