March 30, 2010

Windows Live W4: Movie Maker, Live Sync, Family Safety, Bing Bar and Facebook


Windows Live Movie Maker

Remember, this one got the ribbon treatment back in August 2009, when version 14 finally came out of beta. We're not at version 15, and there's not that much difference. The Quick Launch icons are new.

Here's the file menu. If you mouse over any of the options on the left, the right hand-side does not change whatsoever: it's only there to hold recent projects. That's disappointing and rather pointless. Clicking on Options opens a useless window that contains no options.

Even though the ribbon isn't new, here are the four tabs. Even if you're a hardcore Movie Maker user (1080p video support is great), you likely won't spot any big changes.

Windows Live Sync

This is the new addition to Windows Live Essentials with the Wave 4 release. We don't have access to it (yet) but don't worry, we'll be following this one closely as we're big fans of Windows Live Sync and big haters of Microsoft's strategy in the syncing spot.

Windows Live Family Safety

We got a UAC prompt right off the bat and were not amused. The same goes for this application: no memo from Startup Experience and no luck getting past the Employee Sign In. We'll be in touch.

Bing Bar

Say goodbye to Windows Live Toolbar and say hello to the Bing Bar. We don't like toolbars, though we have to say that the shorter name is an improvement. Other than that, it's slow, takes up space, and flashes annoyingly every time you do a search.


Okay, so Facebook isn't part of Windows Live Essentials but integration with social networks is going to play a big part with this release, so we're including the process to sign up for Facebook integration.

Clicking next opens up your browser to Facebook and asks you to give Windows Live permission to access your account.

Then you go back to the application and hit Login, which again sends you to the website. We actually broke this process by hitting cancel at some point and now Facebook in Windows Live errors out.

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