The next major release of Microsoft’s online services is rolling out slowly. With Windows Live Hotmail wave 4 already in the beta phase, Microsoft is set to release the desktop counterpart – Windows Live Essentials wave 4 also unofficially known as Windows Live Essentials 2011.
Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite consists of all the applications from the previous release (Windows Live Essentials 2009) and adds new members to the family like Windows Live Sync. Microsoft is pitching Windows Live Essentials as Windows 7′s connection to the cloud, because the applications basically consist of tools that should have been included in Windows but Microsoft isn’t allowed to bundle them because of anti-trust issues.
I’ve used an internal beta version of Windows Live Essentials wave 4 for some time now and I was really impressed with most of the changes made. For instance, the Ribbon UI in Windows Live Writer and the new tabbed conversation windows in Windows Live Messenger along with an Iris like interface are a big plus. Of course I also had issues with some features like the new Social timeline in messenger which I think is too distracting and poorly implemented.
I wasn’t able to test Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker and Windows Live Sync back then but I’m really looking forward to get my hands dirty with them this time around. Until then the video embedded below would just have to do I guess.
Download links for Windows Live Essentials 2001 / Wave 4 are provided in the download box below though they aren’t live yet. I’ll update as soon as they become available, so keep a close watch.