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A Guide to Windows Live Essentials 2011

What is it?

Windows Live Essentials 2011 is a suite of free productivity programs that are available for download from Microsoft. They were designed to meet the basic needs of a modern PC user, because they provide a quick and easy to use way to accomplish a variety of essential tasks. Here’s what’s included:

1. Messenger: Microsoft’s instant messaging client has been around for many years now, but this version represents the very latest innovations as it includes multimedia integration and social networking updates as standard.

2. Photo Gallery: This great photo editor and organizer is packed full of useful features for photographers of all skill levels. Find tagged photos on your computer with facial recognition, combine different shots into one photo, create stunning panoramas, and upload your photos to the web.

3. Movie Maker: Editing and sharing your own movies is quick and easy with Windows Live Movie Maker. The simple drag and drop interface allows you to add transitions, apply special effects, or create photo slideshows.

4. Mesh: With Windows Live Mesh you have the ability to sync and backup your files between multiple computers. It comes with 5 GB of free online storage and even works on Macs. With Mesh you need never email yourself another file or worry about forgetting your USB flash drive. Read more about Mesh here [1].

5. Mail: When Microsoft retired Outlook Express they replaced it with Windows Live Mail. This desktop email client is fast, powerful, and capable of collecting email from online accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. For help on how to set up Mail, read this awesome Worldstart tip [2].

6. Writer: Write blogs from the comfort of your desktop with Windows Live Writer. This useful blogging tool lets you write, preview and publish posts for multiple blogs and it supports all the major platforms.

7. Family Safety: These parental control tools let you know exactly what your kids are doing with your PC, and let you set limits for exactly what they are allowed to access. Read more about Windows Live Family Safety here [3].

Who is it for?

Windows Live Essentials 2011 is for everyone. Individuals, families, small businesses, schools, and just about everyone else will benefit from these useful tools. So, if you have Vista or Windows 7 and an internet connection, you are already prepared to get started with any of these great programs.

How do I get it?

All you have to do is visit the Windows Live Essentials [4] site and click the blue download button to get started. Once you run the installation file, you will be able to choose whether you want to install all the programs that you have read about here, or just the ones that are most relevant to you.

After the programs have been installed, you can find them by going to the Start button and clicking All Programs.

Now you are free to enjoy all the advantages of Windows Live Essentials 2011, and can use it for all your home or business needs. Have fun!

~Jonathan Wylie