The Windows Live Series

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 The Windows Live Team, at Microsoft, have been beavering away to produce a number of 'integrated'programs which, to some may seem irrelevant and, certainly confusing.. Please note that Microsoft is dropping some of these offerings, so please read the article by Leo HERE

Originally there was Hotmail and MSN Mail, which, for years, have been popular as an on line email facility.  Being on line means that the information (address lists and email messages) is being stored on a central computer somewhere, rather than on you own local PC.  This has the advantage that they can be accessed anywhere that you can get on line - from a friend's PC or an Internet cafe.  

In fact the rest of the LIVE series of programs has the same theme - that they are 'on-line' services, accessible from anywhere.  Some people believe that this form of computing will eventually prevail over the local version. It has been named 'cloud computing' as the information and even programs are held 'somewhere up there'.

So, let us look at the programs and see whether any can be really useful to you.

HOTMAIL or MSN MAIL.  To use the rest of the Live Series you do have to have an address of this kind, which they call a 'Passport'.  Once you have a passport and password you can access the rest of the programs.  But also it means you can keep in touch with people with free email. Normally you would have a regular Internet Account with some Internet Service Provider.  But I even once set someone up with a Hotmail address who hadn't even joined an ISP and they were able to pick up emails as they traveled the world.

So, if you haven't got a Hotmail address go to and sign up for one

Most Hotmail users have now converted to the same address but with ending

WINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER.  This program is a sophisticated development of the early Messenger program.  It allows you to text chat with other people who have a the Messenger program on their machine, But, being more developed than the early version (4.7) it also allows for you to see each other, if using webcams and to hear each other.  This is very useful for deaf people as they can write text and also see the other person.  You can even send recorded messages, files and photographs etc.  It is called Instant Messaging because you don't have to wait for a response as you do with e-mails.

WINDOWS LIVE MAIL.  This is an email program similar to Outlook Express and Windows Mail.  So, it allows you to build up a list of email addresses of contacts. It also allows you to send attachments such as snapshots.  In fact it has a more sophisticated approach to these, allowing things like frames.  There seemed to be bugs with my earlier version but this one seems to have cured them.

There are changes afoot with Microsoft's e-mail offerings.  In fact they are withdrawing support for some of these. There has always been confusion about Microsoft's e-mail programs, much of it their own doing.  For years they offered one as part of the paid-for Office package, called Outlook. This is still the favourite of many businesses.  Then came Outlook Express (free).  Nothing wrong with it but it was dropped after Windows Vista. Then they introduced, which has no relationship to the other two Outlook email programs. In his article about these programs, computer guru, Leo, suggests you don't stick with the ever changing Microsoft email programs.Their latest offering, with Windows 10 is called, simply MAIL He prefers Firebird. But, if you have time, read his very full explanation at

For several years I have preferred Google's offering, which is Gmail.  It works in Windows, on an iPad, iPhone or on any Android device.  It successfully filters out 99% of spam, so what's not to like ?

WINDOWS LIVE WRITER   Writer makes it easy to share your photos and videos on almost any blog service—Windows Live, Wordpress, Blogger, Live Journal, TypePad, and many more.

WINDOWS OFFICE LIVE. - an internet service compatible with PCs and Macs which provides a free site, hosting and software for smaller businesses enabling them to create a web showcase that looks and functions professionally."
PLUS Over two million people use Microsoft Office Live Workspace as an online extension of Microsoft Office, to store documents on the web, access them from virtually anywhere, and share them with others.

WINDOWS LIVE SIGN IN ASSISTANT  The facility to sign in to Messenger and Hotmail

WINDOWS XBOX LIVE " the premier online gaming and entertainment service. It’s a worldwide community of gamers connected through Xbox 360 and a high-speed Internet connection

WINDOWS LIVE FAMILY SAFETY  A free facility that enables you to control what youngsters view

WINDOWS LIVE ONE-CARE 37.99 program from Microsoft to protect you PC with anti virus and Firewall programs.  There is a free trial version

MOVIE MAKER Free program to help you edit videos.  Use in connection with the Live Writer to make videos for upload to blogs and Youtube

PHOTO GALLERY  From your camera to the web. With Photo Gallery, it's a snap to get your photos and videos from your camera to your PC. Find your favorite photos and share them with friends and family. Make your great photos look even better, and create impressive panoramic photos too

If you decide to uninstall these programs you should find them under the one heading.  There is a good article about this at and you can uninstall the ones you wish to.

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