The new version of Windows Live, “Wave 4”, which should become available in beta form sometime in June, will not work in XP, and a number of you have commented here and on the Inside Windows Live blog about the lack of XP support. In reading back through one of the comments on “Getting Ready for Windows Live Wave 4”, we noticed a good explanation for XP support by Windows Live Corporate VP Chris Jones, good enough to share again even though it’s a few weeks old:
Thanks for all the comments on Windows XP support. We know many customers use Windows XP and are happy with their experience, and of course we will continue to support our current release of Windows Live Essentials on XP and the new versions all of our web-based services (including Hotmail and SkyDrive) will run on XP. As some have noted on this blog, Windows XP is nearly 10 years old and simply doesn’t provide the same level of platform support for graphics, and we recognized early in our work on Wave 4 that we could do much more in our software on a modern graphics platform. As a result our new version of Essentials will require the new graphics platform and controls that are only available on Windows 7 or Windows Vista and therefore will only run on these platforms. So if you are happy with XP, you can keep running the current version of Windows Live and our new services. When you move to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, we will have a new version that will let you do more on a modern platform.
So, XP users will get all the new stuff from the web services (Hotmail, SkyDrive, etc.), and will be able to continue to use existing Windows Live Essentials (Wave 3) applications. To get the latest and greatest advances with Windows Live, however, an upgrade to a more modern OS is required. Fair enough, we think.