A new release of the Windows Live Apps Beta has been released. Or as the Windows Live team likes to call them the Windows Live Essentials!
Everything looks smashingly great, Live Writer is as good as always. Though I wish they didn't enable all the smart quotes and other character replacements by default. I feel that'll cause some amount of grief to some people.
Live Messenger looks spiffy! But they removed the signature sound which allows me to set a sound to be played on my friend's system when I get online, I liked that feature even if I did get scared by it sometimes. Hope they put it back in as a setting that can be switched on or off.
Live Photo Gallery... works, interesting point to note is that now the autofix tries to straigthen you photo as well. Somehow I don't think that's a good idea since the problem is that the program doesn't know the intent of the photographer's angle. Or actually understands the subject being photographed.
And then there's Live Movie Maker... oh god... what have they done to the Movie Maker name? I really LIKE Movie Maker, in my opinion it's a very underappreciated program that comes with Windows. It just works! you can easier trim and create movie clips, add captions, etc. etc. You can even customize your own encoding profiles so you can make WMV files for any usage. In the name of simplification.. They've redesigned the whole UI, and basically removed everything that gave Movie Maker it's charm previously. The team mentions that the engine powering Windows Live Movie Maker is capable of great things, and I WANT to believe them, I WANT to believe that there's a program capable of being as good as the old Windows Movie Maker. In it's state right now I call attention to this old Mac vs PC ad.
If you asked me how bad does the output of Windows Live Movie Maker looks right now? It's WORSE than the PC movie being depicted in the Ad! Come on guys, make me BELIEVE that Windows Live Movie Maker works!!!
Other then Live Movie Maker, everything else in the Live Apps suite works great!