Oh by the way, where’s Windows Live Wave 5?

wle_thumb Opinion This week at Build, we’ve heard about changes upcoming to the way mail and messaging will work in Windows 8, perhaps putting a Windows Live Messenger client and Windows Live Mail out of business, once you’ve moved over to the new platform.  That could be a long way off, however, and in the meantime, we’ve heard next to nothing about client updates for Windows Live Essentials applications. 

Now, Build was expected to be, and fully is, a Windows 8 event.  There’s far more than enough here this week to get our heads around without diluting the message, but still, many of our questions about the present and future of Windows Live remain unanswered.

We’ve come to expect a cadence of releases from other Microsoft properties, with Windows Phone updates well documented (even if delayed), Bing spring and fall updates, and a regular Xbox release schedule.  Even Hotmail and now more recently SkyDrive have been updating frequently.  With Windows Live Essentials, not so much.

Even if Windows 8 were to be released tomorrow (we’ll be lucky to see it next fall), the user base for Windows Live Essentials will continue to be large and growing, it’s not like Windows 7 won’t be hanging around, maybe as long or longer than XP.

We’d sure like to hear more about the immediate future of Windows Live Messenger and the Essentials applications.  Will they get a Metro treatment, like seemingly everything else at Microsoft, to usher in the new Metro-style era descending upon us?  With the likes of Mail and Messenger apparently being built in to Windows 8, what will become of the other Essentials apps?  And now that the Live Connect APIs are out, are we finally close to getting a SkyDrive client (or do we have to build our own?)

Now that the long awaited Windows 8 cat is finally out of the bag, isn’t it time to hear more about Windows Live Wave 5?