Using Windows Live Essentials: my experience

Recently I’ve been asked to share my own experience with the stated in the subject program suite. Actually I was going to do it anyway, because it is a great bunch of programs. Well, maybe not all of them: I don’t know about some, because I’m using only several:

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Others haven’t found any place in my life yet. But these… They just fits me perfectly… Well, almost perfectly =)

Live Mail

It is sort of replacement for old Outlook Express. Ok, I almost never used OE, because it was not too convenient for me and I was able to spend several hours to configure some fancy mail client like TheBat. Now I’m a bit too busy (or lazy, who knows…) so I prefer something more or less good configured by default. This email client allows me to configure all my accounts in an instant. Really. Just like that:

  • LM: What is your email?
  • Me: <something>@gmail.com
  • LM: Oh… Ok… What’s your password?
  • AVery5ecurePa$$w0rd
  • LM: excellent, you can proceed using your account

Just like that! What’s more? I can see what account the email has come to just by color of the subject line:

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You can see that the color is the same as for my Gmail account.

Other features:

  • RSS aggregator (don’t like it because I need to read my news anywhere I am, so only some “cloud” solution can suit me completely)
  • Contacts (Nothing special about it for me)
  • Calendar (I’m planning on starting using it so that to split my personal calendar from one related to my job)
  • Newsgroup (Using it for checking on MS TechNet forums through NNTP Community Bridge)

So, for me it is quite convenient, it is free, it is quite good and I have almost everything I really need from it. 

What’s on wrong side?

  1. It cannot work with my @live.com mail account if I turn on the full security. Oh, come on, guys, you are killing my security! =(
  2. You are to configure settings for messages download in news groups individually. That sucks.

But still it is good enough for being in my “install after setting up a new OS” list.

Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

This one is the least used by me. I use it only for some basic video editing, like cutting out some funny scene from YouTube video. For more complex tasks I use some other software. But for the purposes I assign to it – it is quite good again. And free, as opposed to my “other” solution.

Next two programs are just “must have” for me.

Live Writer

Guess in what program I’m composing this message? You bet it is Live Writer! It rocks. Rich editing, auto-discovery of my blog style, inserting of video, inserting and editing of pictures, several accounts, several blog platform support, you name it. Awesome. In more details:

1) Now I’m writing this message and I can see how it will look on the blog. You can compare what you see with what I sow some time ago in LW:

 

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2) Rich editing: well, you can see that my posts have not only plain text in them =) Not some professional designer work, of course, but it will do at least for me. =)

3) Multiple blog accounts:

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I have only two, but seems like I can have many of them. And they can be from almost any blog platform:

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Configuring a new one is (for me) just a bunch of next-next-finish sequences.

4) and more, and more… Just one brilliant small feature, which I’d like to see on every ribbon tab in every Office product, but found it only on the Picture Format tab in LW:

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This small button saves your current settings in this tab the default ones. Great, really. Very simplistic and though it would be used not very often, it is the “must have” feature for any ribbon interface.

Windows Live Mesh

This program rocks too! I used old Mesh, while it was in beta testing. It was very unstable and sometimes just didn’t work, but I used it. Now it works without interruptions, it synchronizes my stuff perfectly (including IE favorites), it just works. Though I don’t use it for synchronizing my OneNote notebooks anymore (OneNote manages it itself), I still synchronize quite a bunch of stuff, including drafts for my Live Writer. Nothing confidential, of course, just the data which are to become my articles, blog posts, or I need to read about new technologies. But they are wherever I am =)

The only thing which is not stable is remote access. And this is the feature I don’t need.

One more thing to be aware of – there is only 5 GB for your synchronized data on the SkyDrive.

That’s what I use from this perfect suit. If you use something else and are not satisfied enough, or you are looking for something with the functionality, then I ‘d recommend you to have a look at it.

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