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Review: Windows Live Essentials 2011 - Complete overview

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Over the last seven days, Neowin took an in-depth look at all the Windows Live Essentials 2011 products. We covered the main highlights and new features of each program. Essentials 2011 offers a lot to users looking for useful utilities in their day-to-day tasks, and Essentials delivers this, all for free.

During our coverage of each product, including Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Mesh, Family Safety and Writer, we heard a lot of positive feedback from our readers and some great suggestions for insight on specific products.

As our coverage has concluded, we wanted to give a quick overview of all the highlights and features within Windows Live Essentials 2011.

Windows Live Essentials 2011

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Windows Live Messenger 2011

One of the most used instant messaging clients in the world, Messenger brings you closer to your friends and family around the world. Each year, the Messenger team looks to improve Windows Live Messenger with exciting new features, and this year the new big addition is social network feeds.

Messenger now combines Facebook feeds and chat into your client, allowing you to see photos, shared videos and links and even instantly chat with friends on Facebook.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011

Most of us take hundreds and even thousands of photos when we go on vacations or events, and managing all of these photos and videos becomes difficult. Photo Gallery scans your computer looking for photos and videos, organizing them by date, time, geolocation, tagged faces or descriptions, and many other options. Photo Gallery not only organizes all your photos in a single program, but you can edit your photos with some basic effects like straightening, brightness, contrast, and many other effects.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

Most of us aren't video editing experts and just need to quickly touch up a video by adding some text, audio and maybe some pictures from a recent vacation, which makes Movie Maker an excellent tool. This version is definitely a big improvement from past versions. A lot of bugs and annoyances have been fixed and removed and now Windows Live Movie Maker just works, and works well for that matter.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Mail 2011

Windows Live Mail is a great alternative to Outlook, if you aren't already running Microsoft Office. Mail comes with a load of options, even some features that Outlook 2010 doesn't have. You can manage, send, receive and even share photo albums and videos from Windows Live Mail to family and friends around the globe. Mail comes with all the basic features you need to manage your daily emails.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Mesh 2011

If you are looking to keep your files on your home network all in sync, Windows Live Mesh will provide you with an easy tool to do just that job. Mesh can sync up to 10 computers in your home network, including 5GB of SkyDrive storage.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Family Safety 2011

When you can't watch what your kids are doing online, Windows Live Family safety can. This easy-to-use tool can keep your kids safe from dangerous and untrusted websites. The online tools allow you to see what your kids are browsing on the Internet, requesting permission to view and what desktop applications are being used.

Read the full review here.

Windows Live Writer 2011

Writer is an excellent tool for bloggers and journalists. An easy way to manage your online blog from your desktop computers. Add images, videos, maps, emoticons all from your desktop with a one-touch publish button. Writer works with just about any blog on the Internet, and even allows you to use pre-made and custom themes.

Read the full review here.

Neowin hopes you enjoyed our coverage of Windows Live Essentials 2011. You can download it from here for free.

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