Windows Live Essentials released, more Windows Live news from CES

Hopefully you’ve been following the news from CES, as we’ve been stuck at work (or fast asleep in Europe and the UK, hating the 6:30pm keynote time).  Anyway let’s take a look at what was announced.

Windows Live

Windows Live Essentials is final, and according to information we have, is ready for download at  However I just installed on a couple of machines and it’s the same build number (14.0.8050.1202).  So either we’re just calling 1202 good enough to go, or the new build hasn’t quite made it onto yet.  We’re asking around, and will update as soon as we have more info.

Update: Just got word from a Waggener Edstrom spokesperson that yes, ver 14.0.8050.1202 is indeed the final build, so for those of us with the latest beta, no need to try to re-install.

Anyway, Windows Live MovieMaker will remain in beta, but the rest of Essentials is now (or will be sometime very soon) final.

In addition, Facebook has signed on as a Windows Live feed partner, and “in the coming months” you will be able to get content posted on Facebook, including photos, directly in your Windows Live What’s New feed.  Of course this is a major coup for What’s New, as having it tied in to Facebook, who just announced some impressive numbers of their own today, will go a long way toward legitimizing What’s New and

And (ahem) One More Thing: Dell will pre-install Windows Live Essentials on all new consumer and small business PCs starting in February.  While this is pretty much a no-brainer for Windows 7 machines (considering they won’t have email etc without some sort of add-in), getting Windows Live Essentials on all new machines from now until the time Windows 7 is available (if I was in Vegas at CES, I would be betting heavily on a summer RTM and availability for back-to-school and holiday sales) is a plus for Windows Live.

Live Search

Dell will also ship “a majority” of new PCs (consumer and small business) with Microsoft’s Live Search installed as the default search provider, again beginning in Feb 2009.

As we reported earlier, Verizon Wireless will offer Live Search as well as search and display advertising to all Verizon Wireless subscribers with phones capable of accessing the mobile web, applying to new Verizon feature phones and smartphones in the first half of 2009.

Live Search for Mobile is also being updated (and this update is available now, at least for me,) at , including location detection (for devices without a GPS), predictive query input, and Bird’s Eye mapping in Live Search for Mobile apps.

Note: You can watch a copy of the keynote, or check out some demos, at the Microsoft CES site: