Windows Essentials 2012? Microsoft updates Windows Live Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

By Kip Kniskern | Posted August 7, 2012 101 comments

Today, in a blog post on the Windows Team blog, Microsoft has just announced an update to Windows Live Essentials 2011 for Photo Gallery and Movie Maker.

The new versions are included in “Windows Essentials 2012” which includes the products you’re familiar with in Windows Live Essentials, but also includes one significant gotcha, not mentioned directly in the Photo Gallery and Movie Maker post, but in a companion post:

Windows Essentials 2012, more precisely Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, will REMOVE Windows Live Mesh from your computer and replace it with the new SkyDrive desktop app, so if you’re currently using Windows Live Mesh, DO NOT INSTALL Windows Essentials 2012.

That being said, The new version of Essentials (minus the “Live”) looks like it’s still here for the time being, at least, and will work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.  And Windows Live Essentials 2011 is still available, so if you do want to install Windows Live Mesh, you can.

And for all those Windows Live Writer doomsayers (like, ahem, me), Windows Live Writer has received a bit of an update in this revision, too.

So on to Movie Maker and Photo Gallery.  Although they haven’t received a full Windows 8 style makeover, there are some significant upgrades, including video stabilization, h.264 by default, text effects, and greatly enhanced music capabilities:

Music: The one thing that can really make a difference in a movie is the soundtrack. But it can be hard to find not only the right piece of music but a version with the appropriate rights. And even if you choose a song from your own collection, it runs the risk of being stripped out once it’s published to YouTube for not having the appropriate rights. So we decided to work with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store to make it easy to find music that is not only fitting for video, but also has the proper rights. Now when you go to add music to your movie in Movie Maker, you have the option of getting music from your PC or from three varied music services.

Photo Gallery has added Vimeo too, as a new upload service to go along with SkyDrive, YouTube, and Facebook, and has added a new feature: autocollage.

We’re posting this from the road, and will have more on Windows Essentials 2012 soon, but for now, (as long as you’ve made the move away from Windows Live Mesh) get the download now!

Posted August 7th, 2012 at 4:06 pm
  • efjay

    Any suitable replacement for the features in Mesh, especially the remote desktop feature?

    • jvd897

      SkyDrive replaces Windows Live Mesh’s cloud sync capabilities (but it doesn’t replace Mesh’s direct peer-to-peer sync that let you bypass the cloud). I guess you could consider SkyDrive’s “Remote Fetch” feature to be a replacement of the Remote Desktop feature, as it lets you access the file system of other computers you’ve connected to SkyDrive, but you might also want to consider using a free remote desktop program like TeamViewer, or setting up a virtual private network with LogMeIn Hamachi.

      • efjay

        Thanks, already using skydrive so aware of its limitations. The remote desktop is the more important feature so ill look into your suggestions.

    • Mmmm

      I think setting up VPN with Hamachi is better for Remote Desktop, but there isn’t really a good replacement for the file sync feature.  Any suggestions that work well?  SugarSync, Syncplicity, AeroFS or what?

      So sad to see Microsoft just ditches products without notice… I guess that’s what it means for using it for free for so many years. :(

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        For me, Cubby from LogMeIn replaced Mesh peer-to-peer sync. It also can sync files with cloud (they give 5 GB for free, at least while service is in beta) but I prefer SkyDrive for that as I have 25 GB for free :) I can send you an invite to Cubby if you want.

        • Mmmm

          Thanks for the reminder! I got their invite but never used it because I wish the Mesh will still come back to SkyDrive… I guess it won’t.

          LogMeIn is probably the most trustworthy one of the bunch in terms of a long term solution. Really tired of switching from Foldershare to Live Mesh to SkyDrive to Cubby.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Any suitable replacement for the features in Mesh, especially the remote desktop feature?

    • http://jvd897.blogspot.com jvd897

      SkyDrive replaces Windows Live Mesh’s cloud sync capabilities (but it doesn’t replace Mesh’s direct peer-to-peer sync that let you bypass the cloud). I guess you could consider SkyDrive’s “Remote Fetch” feature to be a replacement of the Remote Desktop feature, as it lets you access the file system of other computers you’ve connected to SkyDrive, but you might also want to consider using a free remote desktop program like TeamViewer, or setting up a virtual private network with LogMeIn Hamachi.

      • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

        Thanks, already using skydrive so aware of its limitations. The remote desktop is the more important feature so ill look into your suggestions.

    • Mmmm

      I think setting up VPN with Hamachi is better for Remote Desktop, but there isn’t really a good replacement for the file sync feature.  Any suggestions that work well?  SugarSync, Syncplicity, AeroFS or what?

      So sad to see Microsoft just ditches products without notice… I guess that’s what it means for using it for free for so many years. :(

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        For me, Cubby from LogMeIn replaced Mesh peer-to-peer sync. It also can sync files with cloud (they give 5 GB for free, at least while service is in beta) but I prefer SkyDrive for that as I have 25 GB for free :) I can send you an invite to Cubby if you want.

        • Mmmm

          Thanks for the reminder! I got their invite but never used it because I wish the Mesh will still come back to SkyDrive… I guess it won’t.

          LogMeIn is probably the most trustworthy one of the bunch in terms of a long term solution. Really tired of switching from Foldershare to Live Mesh to SkyDrive to Cubby.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    Installing it now :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/robinvanveghel Robin van Veghel

    Installing it now :D

  • Tony Taurisano

    No love for Windows Vista. I’m been using Photo Gallery for many years. :-(

    • Calum James

      Windows Vista is over 5 years old. Is there a reason you haven’t moved to Windows 7 yet? Do you not plan to move to Windows 8 any time soon?

  • Tony Taurisano

    No love for Windows Vista. I’m been using Photo Gallery for many years. :-(

    • Calum James

      Windows Vista is over 5 years old. Is there a reason you haven’t moved to Windows 7 yet? Do you not plan to move to Windows 8 any time soon?

  • Andrew_ww

    Nothing worth downloading for right now

  • Andrew_ww

    Nothing worth downloading for right now

  • Menthix

    Seems to be in more of a beta stage. They dropped the “Live” part in the installer, but not in the actual apps? Did anyone notice any changes to Messenger? Only took a quick glance, but didn’t see any changes.

    • damaster

      The rebranding and the more “major” updates was only on Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. Below is what Windows Essentials 2012 includes:

      “Windows Essentials 2012 includes our new SkyDrive for Windows app as well as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Family Safety*, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Messenger, Outlook Connector Pack and Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker.”

      If you’re using Windows 8, Family Safety won’t be installed as it’s included as part of the OS.

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

      I don’t think that’s an accident. Mesh is gone, and I think Writer, Mail, and Messenger are on their last legs. I wouldn’t look for them to be updated moving forward. Windows 8 includes Mail and Messaging apps, and if you can’t bear to use them, you can just suffer on with the increasingly outdated Live-era applications. Sorry, but thems the breaks. :(

      • technogran

        What makes you think that Mail or Writer are going Greg? All users will still need to use Mail essentials because the Mail app doesn’t work with POP accounts nor does it allow you to download RSS feeds, so if you want a fully featured desktop mail program, then its Essential Mail in Windows 8. And seeing as Writer is the best blogging editor out there bar none, MS would be stupid to let that go!

        • damaster

          The Mail app will support IMAP (and probably POP3) in the final version.

          But I agree that there’s nothing on the market that matches Writer at the moment (no, not even Word). So it’d be sad to see that one go. If they’re going for “Metro”-apps, perhaps if they could create a version of Writer that borrows elements from the OneNote MX app (like a radial menu).

          • technogran

            I would sincerely hope so, and what about being able to receive my RSS feeds in Mail? I expect my mail program to be able to allow me to read not only my mail but also any RSS feeds I’ve set up in IE. That’s what my desktop is for, so I don’t have to go scouring for things online. Good idea about Writer and the radial menu. Then of course there’s the Photo app which actually just let’s you view your photos despite the fact that most of us need a photo editing program, hence the popularity of Instagram etc. We all like to edit and add effects. As they stand at the moment, none of the Metro apps are anywhere near as feature rich as the Essentials programs that they are supposed to replace, therefore most users will still rely on the Essentials suite. As for Writer, it is unique, its the one program that Mac owners would give their right arm for, and anyone who blogs and has discovered this wonderful program wouldn’t be without it.
            If MS are silly enough to let it go, I just hope they allow someone else to take it over and give it the attention it so rightly deserves.

      • Calum James

        I was thinking the same, but surely they could at least update Mail, Messenger, and Writer merely to remove the “Windows Live” branding and design?

  • Menthix

    Seems to be in more of a beta stage. They dropped the “Live” part in the installer, but not in the actual apps? Did anyone notice any changes to Messenger? Only took a quick glance, but didn’t see any changes.

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      The rebranding and the more “major” updates was only on Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. Below is what Windows Essentials 2012 includes:

      “Windows Essentials 2012 includes our new SkyDrive for Windows app as well as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Family Safety*, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Messenger, Outlook Connector Pack and Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker.”

      If you’re using Windows 8, Family Safety won’t be installed as it’s included as part of the OS.

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

      I don’t think that’s an accident. Mesh is gone, and I think Writer, Mail, and Messenger are on their last legs. I wouldn’t look for them to be updated moving forward. Windows 8 includes Mail and Messaging apps, and if you can’t bear to use them, you can just suffer on with the increasingly outdated Live-era applications. Sorry, but thems the breaks. :(

      • technogran

        What makes you think that Mail or Writer are going Greg? All users will still need to use Mail essentials because the Mail app doesn’t work with POP accounts nor does it allow you to download RSS feeds, so if you want a fully featured desktop mail program, then its Essential Mail in Windows 8. And seeing as Writer is the best blogging editor out there bar none, MS would be stupid to let that go!

        • Damaster – LiveSide.net

          The Mail app will support IMAP (and probably POP3) in the final version.

          But I agree that there’s nothing on the market that matches Writer at the moment (no, not even Word). So it’d be sad to see that one go. If they’re going for “Metro”-apps, perhaps if they could create a version of Writer that borrows elements from the OneNote MX app (like a radial menu).

          • technogran

            I would sincerely hope so, and what about being able to receive my RSS feeds in Mail? I expect my mail program to be able to allow me to read not only my mail but also any RSS feeds I’ve set up in IE. That’s what my desktop is for, so I don’t have to go scouring for things online. Good idea about Writer and the radial menu. Then of course there’s the Photo app which actually just let’s you view your photos despite the fact that most of us need a photo editing program, hence the popularity of Instagram etc. We all like to edit and add effects. As they stand at the moment, none of the Metro apps are anywhere near as feature rich as the Essentials programs that they are supposed to replace, therefore most users will still rely on the Essentials suite. As for Writer, it is unique, its the one program that Mac owners would give their right arm for, and anyone who blogs and has discovered this wonderful program wouldn’t be without it.
            If MS are silly enough to let it go, I just hope they allow someone else to take it over and give it the attention it so rightly deserves.

      • Calum James

        I was thinking the same, but surely they could at least update Mail, Messenger, and Writer merely to remove the “Windows Live” branding and design?

  • BorborygmyDebacle9
  • Orion

    Does the new Windows (Live?) Photo Gallery include support for the JPEG rotation flag?

    • Aaron

      On Windows 8 the EXIF orientation flag is being used in Photo Gallery

      • Orion

        Oh, good to hear, thanks!

  • Orion

    Does the new Windows (Live?) Photo Gallery include support for the JPEG rotation flag?

    • Aaron

      On Windows 8 the EXIF orientation flag is being used in Photo Gallery

      • Orion

        Oh, good to hear, thanks!

  • wprince

    WHAT’S NEW ON MESSENGER?
     PRINTS PLS

    • Calum James

      Nothing, I don’t think.

  • wprince

    WHAT’S NEW ON MESSENGER?
     PRINTS PLS

    • Calum James

      Nothing, I don’t think.

  • Jfatkinsonjr

    Whats in the outlook connector pack ?  Will that connect outlook and outlook.com?

    • jvd897

      Basically — it allows you to use your Hotmail accounts (which includes Outlook.com) in Outlook 2007 and 2010. (Outlook 2013 has this functionality built-in.)

  • Jfatkinsonjr

    Whats in the outlook connector pack ?  Will that connect outlook and outlook.com?

    • http://jvd897.blogspot.com jvd897

      Basically — it allows you to use your Hotmail accounts (which includes Outlook.com) in Outlook 2007 and 2010. (Outlook 2013 has this functionality built-in.)

  • JSYOUNG571

    Messenger Companion is gone.

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

      I think social sharing via Messenger will be gone soon, too. Just a hunch.

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        It is gone when you switch to Outlook.com I think.

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

          Nah, it’s still around. The WL Home page is gone, but you can still access your WL Profile page. I think it’ll be the next one to get “Metrofied,” and they’ll probably get rid of the Messenger social status updates, so don’t get too used to it.

          Then, of course, there’s the Messenger client (including the latest release), which still lets you post updates to your Messenger status and connected services.

          • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

             They are going to get rid of Messenger status updates? I have my blog’s RSS feed connected to that.

  • JSYOUNG571

    Messenger Companion is gone.

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

      I think social sharing via Messenger will be gone soon, too. Just a hunch.

      • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

        It is gone when you switch to Outlook.com I think.

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

          Nah, it’s still around. The WL Home page is gone, but you can still access your WL Profile page. I think it’ll be the next one to get “Metrofied,” and they’ll probably get rid of the Messenger social status updates, so don’t get too used to it.

          Then, of course, there’s the Messenger client (including the latest release), which still lets you post updates to your Messenger status and connected services.

  • Mario Albertico

    I’ve just fully completed my move off Mesh and have been using the SkyDrive Desktop app for a while now, so downloading these bits as I type.

  • Mario Albertico

    I’ve just fully completed my move off Mesh and have been using the SkyDrive Desktop app for a while now, so downloading these bits as I type.

  • jvd897

    For some reason, after I ran the installer and rebooted, the Windows Live programs that I had pinned to my Windows 7 taskbar (Mail and Messenger) were no longer there. I had to re-pin them manually.

  • http://jvd897.blogspot.com jvd897

    For some reason, after I ran the installer and rebooted, the Windows Live programs that I had pinned to my Windows 7 taskbar (Mail and Messenger) were no longer there. I had to re-pin them manually.

  • stocktiki

    Ran into an installation issue on two separate PCs. Curious if anyone else has…

    Have been using Movie Maker for years, successful, on a Dell XPS 410 system and a separate Dell Inspiron laptop. Decided to upgrade last night to Windows Essentials 2012, including Movie Maker, today following the announcement on the Windowsteamblog.
    All the apps upgraded correctly, except one: Movie Maker. Now when I attempt to start the application, it says (on both PCs): “Sorry, Movie maker can’t start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again.” So, I searched these forums. Made sure my graphics card (Radeon X1600) has the current driver and has Direct X 9.0 or higher and shader 2, which it does. I upgraded the Direct X to Direct X 10. I restarted. Still nothing. Interesting, my other PC, a new Dell Inspiron laptop — that’s only a month or so old. Any suggestions?

    • damaster

      Might not be related, but are you using Windows 7 or Windows 8? From the official blog post the new Movie Maker takes advantage of the new hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8 to do things like video stabilisation. So the minimum requirements might have changed…. We’ll see if we can find anything.

    • JSYOUNG571

      @stocktiki:disqus I have the same issue on my computer as well.  I am running Windows 7 SP1.  AMD , 3.00 GB. 32-bit.  I have never had an issue with Movie Maker until this latest update.

  • stocktiki

    Ran into an installation issue on two separate PCs. Curious if anyone else has…

    Have been using Movie Maker for years, successful, on a Dell XPS 410 system and a separate Dell Inspiron laptop. Decided to upgrade last night to Windows Essentials 2012, including Movie Maker, today following the announcement on the Windowsteamblog.
    All the apps upgraded correctly, except one: Movie Maker. Now when I attempt to start the application, it says (on both PCs): “Sorry, Movie maker can’t start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again.” So, I searched these forums. Made sure my graphics card (Radeon X1600) has the current driver and has Direct X 9.0 or higher and shader 2, which it does. I upgraded the Direct X to Direct X 10. I restarted. Still nothing. Interesting, my other PC, a new Dell Inspiron laptop — that’s only a month or so old. Any suggestions?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Might not be related, but are you using Windows 7 or Windows 8? From the official blog post the new Movie Maker takes advantage of the new hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8 to do things like video stabilisation. So the minimum requirements might have changed…. We’ll see if we can find anything.

    • JSYOUNG571

      @stocktiki:disqus I have the same issue on my computer as well.  I am running Windows 7 SP1.  AMD , 3.00 GB. 32-bit.  I have never had an issue with Movie Maker until this latest update.

  • Mettafox

    No new interface? :(
    I really liked a new interface of WLM, this interface is outdated.

  • Mettafox

    No new interface? :(
    I really liked a new interface of WLM, this interface is outdated.

  • http://ghadzhigeorgiev.wordpress.com Georgi Hadzhigeorgiev

    Another “cannot rely on Microsoft” situation. I used mesh for P2P syncing drives far bigger that the SkyDrive limit and for remote desktop. I do not care there are replacements – it was nice because all was in one package. But again Microsoft disappoints with constant inconsistency.

    Well done Microsoft, well done!

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

      And how much did you pay for that solution, Georgi? Remember, if you’re not paying for a service, then you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

      • http://ghadzhigeorgiev.wordpress.com Georgi Hadzhigeorgiev

        Why, how much you pay?  I’m already paying for the OS and also for MSDN. Obviously this is not enough. Plus we are talking about a removing something that exists already. It works fine and MS could just include it into SkyDrive app.

  • http://ghadzhigeorgiev.wordpress.com Georgi Hadzhigeorgiev

    Another “cannot rely on Microsoft” situation. I used mesh for P2P syncing drives far bigger that the SkyDrive limit and for remote desktop. I do not care there are replacements – it was nice because all was in one package. But again Microsoft disappoints with constant inconsistency.

    Well done Microsoft, well done!

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

      And how much did you pay for that solution, Georgi? Remember, if you’re not paying for a service, then you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

      • http://ghadzhigeorgiev.wordpress.com Georgi Hadzhigeorgiev

        Why, how much you pay?  I’m already paying for the OS and also for MSDN. Obviously this is not enough. Plus we are talking about a removing something that exists already. It works fine and MS could just include it into SkyDrive app.

  • Guest

    No support for Windows Vista? What gives!?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000386235192 Iain Berryman

      Why would anyone in their right mind want support for Vista, let alone use Vista… For me, it’s on par with WIndows ME.

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        I’d still use Vista if I had a machine that uses Vista. It was not Vista’s fault that it was shined in a bad light. For one, it was put on crappy hardware that was not good enough to run Vista the way MS intended.

  • Guest

    No support for Windows Vista? What gives!?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000386235192 Iain Berryman

      Why would anyone in their right mind want support for Vista, let alone use Vista… For me, it’s on par with WIndows ME.

  • Francesco Scordamaglia

    this pack in italian and other language are available? yes or no

  • Francesco Scordamaglia

    this pack in italian and other language are available? yes or no

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Yes other languages are available. Italian web installer: http://g.live.com/1rewlive5-web/it/wlsetup-web.exe

      • Francesco Scordamaglia

        thank you for reply answer, this page for download is not available in italian, and this morning I fell.

  • Nahu

    People, its obvious that when Microsoft releases Windows 8, there is going to be a new version of Windows Essentials. Probably with new versions of mail, writer and messenger.

  • Nahu

    People, its obvious that when Microsoft releases Windows 8, there is going to be a new version of Windows Essentials. Probably with new versions of mail, writer and messenger.

  • graduados telefe

    Question. There is a version in Spanish of Windows Essentials?

  • graduados telefe

    Question. There is a version in Spanish of Windows Essentials?

  • JSYOUNG571

    What is going to happen to Messenger?  With all the changes going on at Microsoft and quite a few not being favorable (The introduction of a big smartphone OS Windows 8 for your desktop, killing Zune, killing Windows Phone 7, killing Live Mesh and reducing Hotmail down to a Playschool email service called Outlook.com), I am scared they are going to subtract features or terminate it all together.  This will prove once again, that Microsoft is not listening to it’s followers.

    A lot of people said that Microsoft would be stupid to kill Windows Live Writer.  Given their past history, the name ‘STUPID” has continued to be worn with dignity by them. I learned that with Windows Phone 7.

    • dbcontext

      killing Windows Phone 7 ? Outlook.com a playschool email ? what are you on man ?

  • JSYOUNG571

    What is going to happen to Messenger?  With all the changes going on at Microsoft and quite a few not being favorable (The introduction of a big smartphone OS Windows 8 for your desktop, killing Zune, killing Windows Phone 7, killing Live Mesh and reducing Hotmail down to a Playschool email service called Outlook.com), I am scared they are going to subtract features or terminate it all together.  This will prove once again, that Microsoft is not listening to it’s followers.

    A lot of people said that Microsoft would be stupid to kill Windows Live Writer.  Given their past history, the name ‘STUPID” has continued to be worn with dignity by them. I learned that with Windows Phone 7.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Portelli/683592092 James Portelli

      killing Windows Phone 7 ? Outlook.com a playschool email ? what are you on man ?

  • AndyD

    Does anyone know how I can get the MSI file for Photo Gallery?  I want the collage feature, but I don’t want to lose Mesh right now.  Any way to extract it from the full installer file?  Or some way to download it separately?

  • AndyD

    Does anyone know how I can get the MSI file for Photo Gallery?  I want the collage feature, but I don’t want to lose Mesh right now.  Any way to extract it from the full installer file?  Or some way to download it separately?