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Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta 2 due next Tuesday

Microsoft is planning to release beta 2 of Windows Live Essentials 2011 next Tuesday.

According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the software giant will be issuing a second beta update to address a range of issues found in the recent public beta. The beta will also include updated program icons for the suite and some minor feature changes.

Microsoft originally released a Windows Live Essentials beta on June 24. Essentials includes the popular programs Windows Live Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, Sync, and Family Safety. The Windows Live team have aimed to ensure that the next version of Windows Live Essentials takes advantage of Windows 7 fully. All applications now use the new ribbon UI and integrate further into Windows 7 by using Jumplists. Windows Live Sync is also included which keeps your files synchronized on the web and across multiple PCs.

Microsoft also introduced several new features for Windows Live Photo Gallery, including photo fusing to blend photos together and improved facial recognition. Expect the second beta to hit around 10AM PST on Tuesday August 17.

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