Windows Live to replace Mail, Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker in Windows 7

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted September 22, 2008 8 comments

Windows Live is set to take a much more prominent role with Windows 7, as Microsoft made it official today that Mail, Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker are being removed from the operating system, to be replaced by the free Windows Live services.

Of  course if you’ve been reading LiveSide, we’ve been telling you that since at least last March.  Then in June, Bill Gates hinted that Movie Maker “is Windows Live, now”, and Mary Jo Foley put 2 and 2 together a few weeks ago.

However Ina Fried from CNET received official confirmation from Brian Hall, Windows Live General Manager, today:

In a follow-up interview on Monday, Windows Vista general manager Brian Hall said Microsoft made the decision to remove the tools from Windows for several reasons, including a desire to issue new operating system releases more quickly than it has in the past. The move also removes the confusion of offering and supporting two different programs that perform essentially similar functions.

"It makes it much cleaner," Hall said.

The move makes sense to us on at least three fronts:  Windows gets physically smaller and also less of an anti-trust target; redundancy between Windows and Windows Live teams is lessened;  and the Live services can move at a faster pace without being tied to operating system time frames.  It will also potentially increase the reach of Windows Live, although it remains to be seen how the installation will be handled.  Buying an operating system without email abilities seems almost unthinkable, but will it be as easy to hook GMail into Windows 7 as Windows Live?  Lots more to come, and we expect to hear quite a bit more at PDC, coming up in a month and a few days.

Posted September 22nd, 2008 at 3:51 am
Category: News
Tags: Windows 7, Windows Live
  • yertthedestroyer

    I think it is really sad that we heard this through Ina (no offense) rather then the e7 blog, or the WindowsVistaBlog.

    Maybe blogging will go back into fashion at Microsoft, but until then we have LiveSide (and my blog too). And shameless self promotion of ourselves, don’t forget that one. :P

  • surilamin

    I think in today’s world this is an absolutely necessary step. We can’t wait for a new OS release to get updates to certain software. This will really help Microsoft move forward.

  • magicalclick

    Finally, I have been waiting for this a long time now. The reason is the same as MS stated. Good to know they finally make it official.

  • tophtucker

    There’s no reason bundled applications can’t be updated out of sync with OS releases, is there? I mean, look at Movie Maker… 2.0, the one and only major upgrade to date (discounting WLMM only because it seems so immature), came out of sync.

    That said, I’m all for reducing redundancy and overlap between products. And everyone loves a lean, mean OS–except the guys doing the bullet points on marketing brochures.

    But to ship 7 without a mail client or *photo viewer* seems dumb. I mean, WMP will still be bundled, no? Presumably we’ll see a bare-bones photo viewer a la the XP photo viewer.

    But I’d rather MS struck deals with OEMs to bundle these programs with new computers, making this change transparent to the end-user but still useful from an internal organizational standpoint. A download link (a la the Messenger dl link in Vista) just won’t cut it. And it wouldn’t be anticompetitive as long as the OEMs had a choice, right?

    And then there’s the Apple factor. They mock MS when they beef up the OS with extras, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they mocked MS for shipping an OS without extras. But then, they shouldn’t always call the shots….

  • DN2004

    I would imagine it will come standard with the operating system when it ships and the user would have the option to remove it if they wished. Like Liveside said this will cause MS to become a less anti-trust target. I wonder fi they will remove Windows Messenger as its kind of pointless considering Windows Live Messenger has richer features.

  • alsiladka

    But if they release an OS which does not even support POP mails OOBE, a simple Photo Gallery, it would be criticized even more.

    Instead, i would like them to add the installers to the Windows 7 setup, and not install by defalt. Instead of adding the download links in the welcome center, they should add installation links in the welcome center.

    This way, instead of OEMs adding all the crap, even they could add installation links to the welcome center, and installing the apps could be left to the coice of the user.

  • zeke009

    Seems like a good idea to me. Drop the last known good MSI for each Windows Live offering on the install media and give the user the option to load it or not or make it part of the welcome center in such a manner than any individual will notice it and load this software.

  • Nimbvs

    Although OS integration is always a good idea — and what with the fairly good and positive changes/pushes of the Live products — what will keep the FTC and other such bodies from loading on Microsoft similar allegations/sanctions that they did on previous versions of Windows? I hate to sound like a whiner, but hasn’t Apple been doing this for a long time (OS integration — with iTunes, iPhoto, “iEtc.”), with so much but a raising of eyebrows?

    The volume of users notwithstanding, it’s only a matter of time until smaller companies once again jump Microsoft for what can only improve the next version Windows. What’s Microsoft doing to safeguard the success of its next operating system in case any of its “bundled” improvements from claims of their being “monopolizing”?

    Live products are good, and improving toward great, but will Microsoft’s legal issues eventually hinder its ability to create a user-friendly, new-and-improved product vital to its very purpose as a software company?