Windows Live Essentials 2011 Released

Windows Live Essentials 2011 snuck out of beta and was released to a complete lack of fanfare. I finally got around to installing it on both my main Windows PC and my new Dell laptop. I’ve been running the beta on both of them and haven’t noticed too many changes over the beta. The upgrade from the beta apps was problem free.

Windows Live Essentials 2011 LogoWindows Live Essentials 2011 snuck out of beta and was released to a complete lack of fanfare. I finally got around to installing it on both my main Windows PC and my new Dell laptop. I’ve been running the beta on both of them and haven’t noticed too many changes over the beta.

Sync has now been renamed to Mesh, or rather “Live Mesh”. I’m glad they changed the name from sync since it avoids confusion with their other sync product (or is there more than one?). Mesh includes the ability to remote control PCs within the same Mesh network, although I don’t enable this feature.

SkyDrive has also been increased to 5GB (from the beta’s 2GB) although if I remember right it was 25GB some time in the past. Microsoft has always made it difficult to add files to SkyDrive (although there have been third party solutions). I’ve always figured they wanted it to be used by their apps, rather than a pure file storage solution. In any event, I’ve never been drawn to using SkyDrive.

Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 has been a regular app for me. They’ve switched to using the ribbon bar, which is a turn off for me but I’ve been getting used to it in the beta. Like the rest of the ribbon interface enabled apps I get annoyed having to figure out which tab the item I want is on. I’ve begun to make better use of the Quick Access Toolbar for the common selections.

Windows Live Writer 2011 is my favorite app of the bunch and it’s what I regularly use to write my blog posts. Again, they added the ribbon bar but in this case almost everything I need is on one tab and for the rest I added them to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Installation

I use Mesh (formerly Live Sync) to keep my Live Writer drafts and articles in sync across my PCs and the installation upgraded the configuration without a problem. I didn’t have to uninstall any of the beta software and the upgrade went smoothly.

I also only install 4 of the available applications, adding Mail to the 3 I’ve already mentioned, although I’ve yet to use Mail.

I was prompted whether or not I wanted to do a complete install, which I did not so I was prompted with the available options:

Installation screen 1 install2

I made the selections to just install what was already there and then the installation proceeded. A reboot was needed.

Installation screen 3 Installation screen 4 Final installation screen

Sync has been working fine since the installation and if your seeing this post when Live Write is working fine.