Dell goes back a ways with Windows Live applications. We teamed with them originally to offer Windows Live Essentials back in January 2009 and for the past two years have been pre-installing select programs like Photo Gallery and Live Writer on most Dell consumer laptops and desktops. The latest generation of these tools has been in beta since late June, and today, Microsoft made them official with the launch of Windows Live Essentials 2011, and Dell will be the first global PC supplier to include this sweet suite of programs preinstalled on most of our laptops and desktops later this year.
I've been using these tools since before we began shipping them on Dell machines in 2009. (I call the programs “tools” because frankly I find them to be pretty helpful in completing a lot of different tasks.) What's cool about them? They are built to work off the web. That means besides offering a solid level of functionality across the toolset, these applications make it easy to connect the information on your Windows 7 PC to social networks and the web. The pieces of Windows Live Essentials 2011 make it easy for you to create content to share with your friends and family and to publish them on social networks you are already using like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, and as announced earlier this week, the WordPress blogging platform. The other real benefit of using tools in the cloud is that it makes accessing your files across numbers of machines a lot easier than having one copy stored locally. Mesh handles those synching duties.
We've been working closely with Microsoft to test these tools across our product lines for a while now, and the end result is a free comprehensive set of tightly integrated applications that seamlessly connect e-mail, IM, photo and video sharing, and blog publishing – all pre-installed on your PC and ready to go out of the box.
We'll offer these tools on most new consumer systems like the Inspiron R laptops and desktops like the new Inspiron Zino HD. Beyond that, we'll offer them across our Vostro, Latitude, OptiPlex and Precision machines as well. Here's an outline of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 programs we'll be offering across Dell consumer and business desktops, laptops and workstations:
- Photo Gallery: Organize, touch up and share your favorite photos
- Mail: Love the aggregation of multiple e-mail accounts.
- Movie Maker: An easy way to create slick-looking movies and to upload them to sites like YouTube or Facebook. It recently won an Editors' Choice award from PC Magazine.
- Messenger: More cool integration features. Use Messenger to aggregate updates from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and more. The Messenger Companion allows you to comment on links your friends share or share entire webpages if you like.
- Live Writer: We use this all the time to publish to the Dell blog platform. It makes publishing text, photos and videos really easy to do across a slew of different blog platforms.
- Windows Live Mesh: As I mentioned before, this is the tool that helps you synch documents across a number of different devices.
One thing to note is that we will not install these programs on Alienware products because we know many of you buy those strictly for gaming. Ultimately, we'll start shipping Windows Live Essentials 2011 programs across many of these products worldwide in time for the holidays.
Until then, if you want to try some (or all) of the new programs, you can download and install them from Microsoft here. Or you can click on the banner at the top of this post.
Try a few of them out and let us know what you think.