Windows Live Essentials announced

Looks like we’re one step closer to getting our hands on Windows Live Wave 4.  Tonight (9pm pdt) Microsoft is taking the wraps off their preview of Windows Live Essentials, which you can check out at www.windowslivepreview.com.  Sometime soon (think end of the month), you’ll be able to download the public beta of Essentials.  As we laid out for Mary Jo Foley today, the schedule is supposed to go something like this:

First, Windows Live Essentials beta gets announced. Then, on June 15, Hotmail begins rollout. Somewhere end of June (blogger Francisco Martin is reporting June 21-25), Essentials downloads will be available and the public beta starts. Final is “in the fall” – we’ve heard that it will coincide with Windows 7 SP1, as the “first big feature update to Win7″

If you’ve been following along at home, you should have a pretty good idea of what’s coming up with (what we think will be called) Windows Live Essentials 2011: Ribbons all around, the re-emergence of Live Mesh as Live Sync, some really cool new features in Photo Gallery like Photo Fuse:

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and people tagging:

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and lots more, most of which we’ve been telling you about already.  You can check out Inside Windows Live or WindowsLivePreview.com for more.