Even more Windows Live Wave 4 screenshots leak

Following last week's leaks of screenshots of the upcoming Windows Live Messenger 2010 - part of the next version of Windows Live know as Wave 4 - a myriad of new screenshots of the other applications that make up the Windows Live Essentials suite have now appeared on cnBeta.com.

You can find a comprehensive collection of the screenshots in the gallery at the end of this post, but here we will take closer look at a selection of them.

First up we can see how the ribbon interface is implemented in Windows Live Mail, Movie Maker, Writer and Photo Gallery, as we previously revealed it would be. Most of the existing features and options of these programs have been added to the ribbon quite well (of course Movie Maker already benefited from this style of interface) and it means the applications now share a common interface with most Windows 7 utilities and the new Office 2010.

This screenshot confirms that Photo Gallery will contain geotagging features and reveals that SkyDrive will also become a central place to store and share your videos through Movie Maker, as it currently is for photos through Photo Gallery. As LiveSide reported last year, SkyDrive is set to become the main storage platform for Windows Live software and services and will be the cloud location for anything you backup using Windows Live Sync, which you can see below.

The update to Windows Live Sync seems to provide a similar service to Microsoft's current Live Mesh offering. The screenshot shows how you can choose folders to sync and also your Internet Explorer settings, possibly providing an easy way to synchronise your favourites between multiple computers and the Favourites folder of SkyDrive.

Movie Maker will include more tools and, according to cnBeta.com, has better transitions, special effects and sharing facilities - to both internet services like SkyDrive, YouTube and Facebook and to devices like the Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Zune HD.

The Wave 4 version of the Windows Live Essentials installer will also include a Bing toolbar, similar to the current MSN Toolbar.

More screenshots can be seen in the gallery below and show different views of Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, and the different features of Family Safety. There are also more shots of Windows Live Writer and Photo Gallery courtesy of LiveSino.

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Let's hope it would be much better then the previous one previous movie maker was so basic i couldn't use them to reverse dreamscences from LTR to RTL for my right to left windows seven and then installer
was terrible in windows seven i had to restore an acronis backup just to get rid of all this very basic live
softwares.

Don't be so quick to diss Mesh for not being updated in ages. It still does what it does best.

Besides, it's been reported that all Mesh functionality will be integrated into Windows Live where appropriate: Skydrive gets Live Folders, Sync gets the client, and there will be a new service called "Windows Live Devices." Liveside.net covered this a long time ago.

In the Windows Live Sync program.

Anyone seen the gray IE icon? It's the same icon from the IE9 dev. builds.

hrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmm.

OK, I don't have a problem with the ribbon interface, but I'm really starting to worry that Microsoft is just overusing it. I see no effective gain from using it in any of these circumstances.

Ayepecks said,
OK, I don't have a problem with the ribbon interface, but I'm really starting to worry that Microsoft is just overusing it. I see no effective gain from using it in any of these circumstances.

I guess the argument I can make for MS going with the ribbon interface is to just stay consistent. They have been slammed heavily (by users) for having an inconsistent UI across all 1st party application. If they are going to use the ribbon in all of Office 2010, and in the included apps with Windows 7 (Paint, WordPad), than they should just stick with it. I'm glad they are.

I'm starting to see the ribbon catching on in the industry too with some software I am beta testing. I think it looks and functions great and provides a standardized approach for providing multiple toolbars. The old approach was not working because the amount of functionality just did-not-fit and the icon sizes were seriously limited which made it very difficult for new users.

All that being said, give me Word 2003 with the customization options over icky Word 2007 any day. Hopefully 2010 will pull me over.

Shadrack said,

I guess the argument I can make for MS going with the ribbon interface is to just stay consistent. They have been slammed heavily (by users) for having an inconsistent UI across all 1st party application. If they are going to use the ribbon in all of Office 2010, and in the included apps with Windows 7 (Paint, WordPad), than they should just stick with it. I'm glad they are.

I'm starting to see the ribbon catching on in the industry too with some software I am beta testing. I think it looks and functions great and provides a standardized approach for providing multiple toolbars. The old approach was not working because the amount of functionality just did-not-fit and the icon sizes were seriously limited which made it very difficult for new users.

All that being said, give me Word 2003 with the customization options over icky Word 2007 any day. Hopefully 2010 will pull me over.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Some people can just never be happy.

Ayepecks said,
OK, I don't have a problem with the ribbon interface, but I'm really starting to worry that Microsoft is just overusing it. I see no effective gain from using it in any of these circumstances.
I find it hard to believe that anyone dislikes the ribbon after using it for a couple of days. I see absolutely no negatives about using it at all
1) Common items grouped together (just like a standard menu bar)
2) Super Tooltips - Shows extended info on watch each button does, sometimes including a picture too.
3) Can be hidden to maximise workspace
4) Live Auto Previews - Hover over an effect to see the image/text/transition without having to commit
5) Customizable - Currently only in Office 2010 but that lets you create your own ribbon and I see no reason why that won't be added to Windows Live Apps (but maybe in Wave 5)
6) Consitency - Speaks for itself when switching between apps
7) Extendable - Anyone can add a plug-in or their own tab to the interface (I know you could do that with toolbars, I'm just glad you can still do it)

I'm not saying its a Nirvana, I think the Office 2007 ribbon was nicer looking for one thing, but its great for user productivity after the initial learning curve.
Please reply if you think I'm wrong or can suggest some negatives

Edited by ThomMcK, Feb 23 2010, 11:03am :

I think they all look pretty good. The screen shots of Messenger (from previous news posts) leaves a lot to be desired. Part of that might be because the people in the screenshots are all random. It might look better populated with people that I know (who knows).

Well it was about time they integrated SkyDrive into the system. So many years of service now, and no one at Microsoft felt the need to synchronize their data automatically? Wow.

burnblue said,
So no real improvements in Photo Gallery? Very sad.

iPhoto and Picasa are eating their lunch on face recognition

Don't write off face recognition just yet ... http://www.imgftw.net/img/1241677362.png

burnblue said,
So no real improvements in Photo Gallery? Very sad.

iPhoto and Picasa are eating their lunch on face recognition

Photo Gallery when also was a part of Vista was doing Face Recognition back in early 2007. How is iPhoto eating its lunch when it just got this feature?

thenetavenger said,

Photo Gallery when also was a part of Vista was doing Face Recognition back in early 2007. How is iPhoto eating its lunch when it just got this feature?

As far as I am aware Photo Gallery still can't auto tag people, also an upload to Facebook, etc wouldn't go a miss.

jelli said,

As far as I am aware Photo Gallery still can't auto tag people, also an upload to Facebook, etc wouldn't go a miss.

My Photo Gallery can upload to FB...

Here is the plugin: http://liveuploadfacebook.codeplex.com/releases/view/38083

jelli said,

As far as I am aware Photo Gallery still can't auto tag people, also an upload to Facebook, etc wouldn't go a miss.

If I remember correctly the current version of Photo Gallery can automatically pick out faces (although not auto tag them to the right person) and the new version will have Facebook upload built-in (until then you can use the plugin linked to above)

Edited by the andyman, Feb 23 2010, 1:37pm : type

the andyman said,
If I remember correctly the current version of Photo Gallery can automatically pick out faces (although not auto tag them to the right person) and the new version will have Facebook upload built-in (until then you can use the plugin linked to above)

Yeah, mine will find faces but auto-tagging is not really there. Uploading straight to Facebook (for the snapshots) and Flickr or Picasa (for the good shots you don't want resized) is easily added via plugin.

I also like that once I tag people in Photo Gallery, I can sort photos by who is in them and the tags are preserved when I upload the to Facebook.

Edited by neodorian, Feb 23 2010, 4:07pm :

I like the ribbon being added to all of the applications, but as said before I hope they can be minamised when not being used, especially in Photo Gallery!

What I miss with the current live versions of movie maker was the ability to save movies as just audio, was an easy way for me to extract music from movie files that I liked. Hopefully this can be re implemented.

bjoswald said,
Wow, way too much junk on the screen! I hope there's a way to cut back some of that!

It looks a lot worse on these little screenshots. On a typical monitor these days it takes up little room. I don't mind it as it's yet another thing that is annoying for a few days as you learn it then makes things easier in the long run. Either way you can collapse it if you like the older style.

I usually love the ribbon, but please for love of god why did they have to put it in Photo Gallery?! I think this is quite possibly the first time I've ever been unhappy about the ribbon in an app. It's just unnessesary, the previous interface was perfect and minimal, and didn't particulaly hide any useful features, whilst maximising screen space. This one just wastes it.

Also, I think the visual stlye of these ribbons are too aren't quite as nice as the old ones. It just looks kinda old or basic or a bunch of icons thrown together that haven't really got a cohesive style. It just doesn't look like something that fits in well with my nice shiny Windows 7 :P

The upside to the ribbon is that it's collapsible.

The only UI that looks odd out of the bunch is Live Sync's. It's unnecessarily large.

rm20010 said,
The upside to the ribbon is that it's collapsible.

The only UI that looks odd out of the bunch is Live Sync's. It's unnecessarily large.

There's probably more to it that we don't see, or that window was made bigger?

~Johnny said,
why did they have to put it in Photo Gallery?!

I am over the moon that the ribbon has made its way into Windows Live especially with Writer and Photo Gallery. Apart from consistency with other apps it exposes so much more functionality to the average user. Thank god those awful text-only buttons are gone.
One of my worst experiences with WLPG was having to constantly switch between the Info at Fix panes. Now I can finally do both at once. Hopefully using the ribbon will also allow for live previews of an effect just by hovering over the button.

I'm very pleased with how this is looking. Live apps started off very limited but now they are able to build on the stable platform and just keep on adding goodness (like they have done with WLMM)

ThomMcK said,

I am over the moon that the ribbon has made its way into Windows Live especially with Writer and Photo Gallery. Apart from consistency with other apps it exposes so much more functionality to the average user. Thank god those awful text-only buttons are gone.
One of my worst experiences with WLPG was having to constantly switch between the Info at Fix panes. Now I can finally do both at once. Hopefully using the ribbon will also allow for live previews of an effect just by hovering over the button.

I'm very pleased with how this is looking. Live apps started off very limited but now they are able to build on the stable platform and just keep on adding goodness (like they have done with WLMM)

I'm pleased too, how the Ribbon is more icon-centric, than just text centric. It's one of the reasons I'm not particularly fond of Gmail, is because I have to read every single option, rather than just a simple icon I can tell from a glance.

bbfc_uk said,
Hope the ribbon can be minimised like in Office 2010.

Yeah, they can. Every ribbon can be minimised by double clicking the headers.

bbfc_uk said,
Hope the ribbon can be minimised like in Office 2010.

I think they'll use the same API as MS Paint and WordPad in Windows 7, for the same functionality as those. At least it looks like they do from the screenshots.

bbfc_uk said,
Hope the ribbon can be minimised like in Office 2010.
The current version of Windows Live Movie Maker does. So I imagine the new versions will, too.