Wave 4 Essentials to require Vista or Windows 7 (no XP)

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted March 28, 2010 41 comments

LiveSino.net is at it again, this time capturing an info panel purportedly from the Windows Live Wave 4 Essentials Beta download page, revealing that the latest version of Windows Live Essentials will indeed require at least Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 (read: it won’t work on XP):


LiveSino.net further reports on the full OS requirements for Wave 4 Essentials (translated from the Chinese LiveSino.net post):

Operating systems: Windows Vista SP2 (with Platform Update for Windows Vista), Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 SP2 (with Platform Update for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, and includes all of the 32-bit and 64-bit operating system.

We’ve seen tweets indicating that the leaked Wave 4 M2 build will not install on XP, and this is further indication that if you plan on using Wave 4, you’ll need to upgrade if you’re still using the (nearly 10 year old) XP operating system.

A quick check of our own stats shows that about 25% of the visits to LiveSide in the last 30 days were from XP machines:

(LiveSide.net Windows visits, last 30 days  source: Google Analytics)


The good news is that with Wave 4 still nowhere (legitimately) to be found, you still have some time to upgrade, or use Wave 4 versions of the online tools such as Hotmail and Calendar, and Web Messenger (or Header Messenger or whatever it will be called), or continue to use Wave 3, of course.

Will the promise of Wave 4 Essentials (or IE9, which is also not expected to work in XP) be enough to get you to upgrade?

Posted March 28th, 2010 at 6:34 am
Category: News
Tags: Wave 4, Windows Live, XP
  • Mario Albertico

    Ten years…wow. It is hard to argue for continued support when almost nothing else in the tech industry lasts that long. Yet 1/4 is a big chunk, considering that the audience for LiveSide must already be up-to-date on the OS front.

  • http://about.me/mackenzieprice mackenziepricee

    I think it is a good move. You can not keep supporting an OS forever.

  • Asrialys

    Darn. Well, my old laptop can upgrade to Windows 7, but it does drain a lot of power from laptop when unplugged. I suppose I do have that Vista OS from the desktop I upgraded…

  • http://andreas-journal.de Andreas

    Microsoft still sells XP licenses for Netbbooks. In Germany you can buy a wide range of netbooks with XP.

    So it is not a dead OS and Microsoft should release essential software for it.

    What is it that XP does not provide and is needed for Live Mail, Messenger, …?

    • Chris

      XP is 10 years old next year. Its really time to move on.

      • http://andreas-journal.de Andreas

        You are right.

        But I repeat myself: They are still selling it. This is the page from a german hardware reseller:


        And I think they should support.

        And I do not see any reason besides marketing to not support XP.

        • TN0

          What? You don’t see any reason beside marketing to not support XP?

          Please let me help:
          – XP was good before Vista was released. Now it is the worst Windows OS out there. There is no real 64-bit version of XP (XP 64-bit is actually a version of Server 2003).
          – Security! There is no default spam filter in XP, no protected mode for IE and all other modern security features are missing.
          – The SKUs are terrible. You can’t have a Tablet PC with Media Center for example.
          – it is old. The GUI of Vista and 7 is much more advanced. Aero looks better and is easier to use at the same time.
          – MS could save a lot of money if there wouldn’t be a need to support XP anymore. The client, server and even the embedded versions of Windows share the same kernel now. But XP is completely different.
          – with 7 they can easily compete with Apple (most people switching to a Mac have compared XP to OS X, but in fact they should compete XP to Mac OS 9)
          – they still sell XP because costumers like you ask for it.

          • http://andreas-journal.de Andreas

            I agree with every technical reason you provide. No, every. Spamfiltering is no task for the OS.

            My question was: What do the Windows Live programs need to run that XP does not provide?

            And I repeat it again: *If you sell it, you have to support it*.

            My desktop computer runs Windows 7 nearly from day one since the final version was published.

            I bought a netbook before Windows 7 came out. Vista was simply unusable on it and there are no drivers for 7.

            This is not Microsofts fault, I know. But I want to use it as it is for at least another 12 months. And I can.

            I am searching for a new Mail/Calendar/Contact list provider at the moment. And there are three options left: Windows Live, hosted Exchange, Gmail. I think Windows Live is out, because I can not use the latest features with my netbook. But I can still use the latest version of Thunderbird, Firefox or Chrome on it.

            I do not care about Microsofts revenue or the competition with apple or SKUs. I am just a user. I am asking: Where do I get what I want?

            I would never buy a new XP license now, of course not. But as long as it is sold I expect MS to support it. They want me to use their services, their “cloud”? Then they should better deliver what I need or they are out. There is enough competition in the cloud market.

          • Andrew

            I just can’t use Thunderbird, the design is so terrible. If it doesn’t look good I will not use it.

          • Chris

            Its the same reason they stopped support for Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98 SE, 2000, ME and all in between.

          • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com Greg Edwards

            There are always the web-based versions of the tools, which should run beautifully in IE8 on your XP machine.

          • Chris

            Of course. Plus netbooks are designed for the internet.

          • Colin Brown

            One of the reasons would be that support for Windows XP will end (July 12th 2010)before the rumoured release date of Wave 4.
            So at the time of launch, Windows XP actually won’t be supported by Microsoft at all.

          • Chris

            Never thought of that. Nice find!

          • K159

            Vista was released on January 30, 2007 for consumer (retail), i.e. a bit more than three years ago. Consumer buying a computer before this date had to buy XP. Netbooks were sold with XP even after Vista launch (as were several other computers due to customer demand).

            I think Microsoft should support Live Essentials on any consumer Windows version sold within the last five years – no more, no less.

          • Chris

            Why? Their focus is on the now, not the past. Allowing modern programs to work on older OS is not good. Its time to move on. Windows 7 is the new XP. If you like windows XP, you will LOVE windows 7.

          • surikat

            i don`t agree with you.
            Microsoft HAD to support Windows xp until more that the 50 percent of the windows users move to 7 or vista OR until the extended support ends. Thing that still didn`t happen.

          • Chris

            as I said before:

            Its the same reason they stopped support for Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98 SE, 2000, ME and all in between.

          • surikat

            Is not the same.
            In the past when they delete the support for windows 95 (for example) in 2001-2002, all of the users were using 98, 2000 or XP.
            In this case Windows XP still have support and more than 50 percent of windows users are with it.

          • http://cid-280a1538334a1cb9.profile.live.com/ Seika

            Since Live Essential is just applications, rather than support for ME downward, wouldn’t it be more similar with XP SP2 instead ? That time, there’s application that require “Windows XP with Service Pack 2″ installed. Why the application won’t work without that? Never know.

            Albeit, Service Pack only cost you time and internet, not cash.

  • quppa

    I’m interested to see what technology Wave 4 will use that requires the Vista Platform Update (as IE9 does). DirectWrite for Messenger? Seems a bit unnecessary.

    As long as this is not an artificial lockout (like the XP64 installer stupidity), I don’t see a problem with it. Wave 3 is perfectly functional for those with older PCs.

    • Chris

      Given wave 4 is looking to be a major realse, perhaps it could only work on the .net 6.0 platform?

      • surikat

        Wave 4 is a big update (like windows 7), is not a major release. Wave 3 was a major release.
        I don`t think that the change to ribbon is a major release.

        • Chris

          Open your mind a little. Look at all the new features added to messenger. Yeah it seems like a major release.

  • charleskw

    I think they need to cut off all support of future products, which is what it appears as they’re going to do. It’s time to drop that old OS….

  • http://www.richspalding.com RichSpalding

    Of the 25% of liveside readers on XP, please consider that I am one of them when accessing liveside from work. As soon as I get home it’s Win7 all the way. I suspect I’m not the only one with a corporate locked down environment. I don’t install WinLive Essentials at work so no need for XP support.

  • bob e

    I am surprised by the high number of Windows 7 users.
    Very good news.

  • Sean

    According to the screenshots posted here, the apps are using the Ribbon. The “Platform Updates for Windows Vista” added support for the Ribbon on Vista. Here’s the KB article with the details on what else is in the package: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971644

    • Andrew

      Windows Live Messenger doesn’t have a ribbbon. As long as there is a real reason that this version of Messenger cannot support XP I don’t mind. They shouldn’t purposly stop it from working on XP to try and get people to upgrade though. And I had better to be able to pplay games with people using the current version.

      • Chris

        Its the same reason they stopped support for Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98 SE, 2000, ME and all in between.

        • Andrew

          There is a huge difference between supporting 98 and XP SP3. If you want to use the .NET Framework of course you cannot use 98, but it runs on XP. I can’t see any clear reason that it is impossible to support XP.

  • surikat

    This really sucks.
    Many many are still using Windows Xp. I think that many are migrating to windows 7 but i still think that a least one version of windows live had to be relased to windows xp.
    Poor Microsoft.
    Now they will have less revenue on the next version because they want. :/

  • http://kiwiianbiz.spaces.live.com/ Ed Lee

    Unless there was a clear technical reason, I don’t think this policy makes much sense other than to force people to upgrade to Windows 7.

    Juxtapose this with the requirements for Office 2010:

    Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 3 (32-bit), Windows Vista with SP1, Windows Server 2003 R2 with MSXML 6.0, Windows Server 2008 with SP2 (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows 7 or later operating systems.

    Notice that you can use Office 2010 with WINDOWS XP SP3. Now, you don’t get Office 2010 for free like you do with Windows Live Essentials, so obviously, they want people to buy it even if they run an old operating system like XP. Windows Live, however, is free and if you want to use it, you better have upgraded (and paid) to at least Vista.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      I think the reason for Office 2010 is more about supporting corporate environments rather than it being free or not, as many corporate computers are still running Windows XP, and it will take a while for many businesses to migrate to Windows 7 due to compatibility issues with custom-built applications.
      For Windows Live Essentials however, it is more of a consumer app, so there’s no real reasons why consumers cannot upgrade to Windows 7. In fact, netbooks these days can run Windows 7 with no problems (I have one personally).

      • http://kiwiianbiz.spaces.live.com/ Ed Lee

        Good point and we arrived at the same conclusion. Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 7 so they can make money off you. From the technical side though, is the restriction to run WinLive Essentials only on Vista and Windows 7 an artificial one or not? A recent example of that would be XP Mode in Win 7. To use XP Mode, you used to need a processor which supported VT-X. Sinec mid-March, Microsoft released an updated version which didn’t have this requirement because it wanted more users to take advantage of XP Mode. If the number of XP users remains steady post-Wave 4 release, I think Microsoft will follow the XP Mode example with WinLive Essentials, and allow XP users to use Wave 4.

        • surikat

          If microsoft release after the wave 4 for xp, i will still want to update to 7 because we ALREDY now that the next versions of all things will be for 7.
          I only hope that the support for 7 will continue many years as xp not vista.

  • surikat

    i think that microsoft is doing this only for the beta. Microsoft will know when the release happen that they will are going to lost a big number of downloads if they not include xp.
    Also i think that i we have to wait until the press release, beta texts are full of mistakes.

  • surikat

    and the last thing: The bad thing here is that UNTIL microsoft do a serious operating system for netbooks. Windows xp will be still here. Also Windows xp will continue with its legacy as windows 98 continues.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnS774 John

    I’m starting to hate Microsoft for doing this! :(

  • http://www.bowlesonline.com/ Joey

    I understand you are disappotined that you can’t run FREE 2010 code on your 2001 operating system, but I’m not sure why you would be angry. I’m sure this move was to make the code better in the long run by not supporting legacy (yes, XP is legacy) operating systems. In your opinion, how far back should Microsoft make these new apps compatible? Microsoft’s not the only company doing this.

  • http://www.paragraf.su/ Типография

    I think they need to cut off all support of future products, which is what it appears as they’re going to do. It’s time to drop that old OS….