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'Windows Live' Gets a Step Closer to Live

The next beta versions of the products that make up the Windows Live suite were made available today.

Chris Jones, vice-president of the Windows Live team, announced the new betas on a blog. The products include:

  • E-mail, called Windows Live Mail. Live Mail is the successor to the Outlook Express and Windows Mail clients.
  • Photo sharing through Windows Live Photo Gallery
  • A well-regarded blogging tool called Windows Live Writer
  • Parental controls known as Windows Live OneCare Family Safety. It includes Web site management, inappropriate Web site blocking, and the ability to remotely approve or block Web sites your children ask permission to view
  • A new version of Windows Live Messenger (8.5), with performance and security enhancements

Also included are beta versions of SkyDrive online storage, new search tools and more. Although some products have been released before, most have some enhancements.

A new feature of the Live services are that they're available as a single download from one site.

The last beta release of any Live products was May 30, which included Live Messenger, Live Writer and Live Mail.

Windows Live is an important component of Microsoft's "software plus services" strategy, which includes online availability of products, and a subscription model for service delivery. With Microsoft's traditional shrink-wrapped software delivery methods, the company hopes to get the best of both worlds.

Microsoft didn't give a date for availability of the finished products.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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