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From the author of Introducing Windows Live Essentials

Introducing Windows Live Essentials

So Microsoft removed these programs from Windows 7—but didn't get rid of the programs altogether. Instead, Microsoft now offers these applications for free download as part of the new Windows Live Essentials program. As part of this program, the names of the programs have been changed (to include "Windows Live" in the title), and a few new programs have been made available.

Here's what you can download—for free:

  • Windows Live Family Safety, for monitoring and controlling your children's Internet access
  • Windows Live Mail, for sending and receiving email
  • Windows Live Messenger, for instant messaging
  • Windows Live Movie Maker, for editing digital movies
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery, for viewing, organizing, and editing digital photos
  • Windows Live Toolbar, for searching the Web (using Microsoft's Bing search engine) directly from your web browser
  • Windows Live Writer, for creating blog posts on Blogger, Wordpress, TypePad, and other blogging services

This is probably a good solution for all involved. Competing software publishers don't face unfair competition by having similar apps included as part of the default Windows installation. Users can still get the free programs by downloading them. And users aren't forced to install all these programs; you can save hard disk space by only downloading the programs you need.

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