A new version of Windows “Live” Essentials has been released with a few updates and a new name (sorta). With Microsoft altering just about everything in the Windows universe over the past year or so, it makes sense that they would drop the “Live” part of the name. Windows “Live’ Essentials is now *just* Windows Essentials 2012.
There have been rumors that the suite of add-ons would not be updated and would go away in lieu of the Windows 8 app store, but apparently that’s not quite the case. The update provide support for Windows 8, and it’s only supported for Windows 8 and Windows 7, i.e., it cannot be installed on Windows Vista or earlier. Sorry Windows XP users.
The updates provided in the new set of add-ons is detailed by Brad Weed on the Windows Experience Blog. You can read about the new features in Movie Maker and Photo Gallery here: Introducing the New Windows Photo Gallery and Movie Maker
There’s two versions of the download. The full install download is a whopping 131MB! But this version contains all the apps in the download. The second version, the Web Install, is a minimal download – and then you can pick and choose the pieces you actually want to install, further minimizing the number of bits you download and install.
Full download: Windows Essentials 2012
Web Install: Web Install
What’s included in the full install? Here’s the list:
You’ll notice that the word “live” has also been removed from the various application names, even though apps like Windows “Live” Writer keep the “Live” piece in the name. Go figure.
And, a couple other changes…Microsoft SkyDrive replaces Windows Live Mesh and Messenger Companion is no longer needed.
I’m installing it now myself and will provide any additional neat and awesome features I find after install. As with all previous versions, Windows Essentials seems to take longer to install than a full copy of Microsoft Office, for some reason. And, of course — requires a reboot…