WINDOWS LIVE ESSENTIALS

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Windows Vista's Mad, Calendar, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker are missing from Windows 7 but there's no need to panic. They're all available - new and improved – as separate download


WINDOWS LIVE MAIL, CALENDAR AND CONTACTS
Live Mail has been considerably streamlined: net only can you now sign up to email services such as Gmail without having to enter server addresses, but the whole app looks far more attractive. A Quick Views mode lets you filter email using predefined criteria, such as "Unread email" and 'Unread from contacts". And it's more secure than before, with phishing alerts built in. Microsoft has also gone back on its decision in Vista to split Mail and Calendar. Both launch in the same window, and there's more integration' you can now add emails to appointments with a single click, and the "Add contact" option is more obvious. The Contacts application still launches in a separate window, but it benefits from better integration too, and is now linked directly to your Windows Live contacts. Anyone you add here will be available to Messenger - and vice versa - as well as to Windows Live webmail and Windows Mobile users.


WINDOWS LIVE MOVIE MAKER
Perhaps the most significant overhaul of all the previously bundled apps is Movie Maker. The original interface has been completely ditched in favor of a hybrid timeline/storyboard view that's easier to use. It's still no replacement for a dedicated video-editing tool such as Adobe Premiere Elements 8, with support for just the one video and audio track, but there's enough here to enable most amateur videographers to produce quick, polished home movies with the minimum of effort. I There's far wider support for the latest HID formats than: before, including AVCHD, and with more output options too you can produce a straightforward WMV file, for instance, but also burn a DVD or upload footage directly to YouTube. Finally, there's a selection of special effects and a Brightness tool for lifting dull footage, while the AutoMovie tool speeds up the process, automatically fitting your clips and photos to music.


WINDOWS LIVE WRITER
Writer- is a brand-new application designed purely for offline blog posting. You could be forgiven for wondering what such an app would add, especially since most blog services' online interfaces are so usable these days. He obvious and biggest, advantage is that you don't need to he online at all to write and prepare your blog post. You can simply pop in to Writer, add tags, pictures, links and movie s while you're between Internet cafes - and once you've got yours elf web access, all you need to do is hit Publish. The most wonderful thing about Writer is that, once you pointed it at your blog and supplied a username and password, it analyses the website, downloads graphics and other page elements, and lets you preview your blog offline too, so you can be sure the layout is just right. It works brilliantly a worth addition to the Windows toolkit.


WINDOWS LIVE PHOTO GALLERY
The one application in the collection we're not completely convinced by is Photo Gallery. The reason? Gougle's free Picasa application is better - better at searching, browsing, organising quick edits and sharing. The one major advantage of the Photo Gallery is that it makes simple photo-editing and tagging facilities available a view that fits far more naturally into the Windows 7 way doing things. There's also that tight integration with other Windows applications and services again, allowing you to photographs from published albums to Writer blog posts, for instance. Like Picasa. It is also offers face recognition. But with Google Picasa offering advanced features such as geotagging, a more streamlined inter face and far more options for editing, printing and sharing photos, we won't moving away to Photo Gallery just yet.

Source of Information : PC Pro December 2009

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