Next version of Windows Live

In just a short while brand new beta versions of Windows Live Photo Gallery and the completely brand new Windows Live Movie Maker will be available for free at!  In addition to Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, this beta release includes significant updates to all of the Windows Live software applications for your Windows PC, including Messenger, Mail, Writer, Toolbar and Family Safety.  You’ll find sweet new features across the products. If you want to hear more about what we’re delivering across Windows Live, check out this blog post from Chris Jones.

Here are some of cool things you can do with the new beta version of Photo Gallery:

  • People tagging: Photo Gallery automatically finds the people in your photos so you can add a name to the face. Then later, all you need to do is type in someone’s name to see all the photos of that person.
  • Photos from friends: See new photos from the people you know as soon as they post them online. Their new shots come to you automatically in Photo Gallery.
  • Photo editing: Adjust exposure, color, or detail by hand, or use auto adjust—either way, your photos look great. You can even create amazing panoramas—Photo Gallery automatically stitches them together for you.
  • More support for 3rd parties!  We’ve heard tons of requests for more publishing options, so this release includes a new Publishing API that enables the community to build plug-ins for virtually any sharing service.  A new resource for developers will be at

And here’s what you’ll find in the Movie Maker beta:

  • Seamless movie creation: Import and edit your movies so they look great, and then publish to the web—all in just a few clicks.
  • All new user interface: Movie Maker has been redesigned to help you combine photos, video clips, and music into movies you’ll be proud of.
  • Posting your movie to the web: It’s easy to publish your finished masterpieces to most major video-sharing sites. So there’s no excuse to keep your work to yourself.

This list really only scratches the surface.  We’ll definitely be blogging a lot more in the coming days and weeks about Photo Gallery and Movie Maker.  Stay tuned!

–Digital Memories team


You can get translations of this blog in several languages by copying this web address into the Windows Live Translator service.

Comments (22)

  1. anony.muos says:

    What a disappointment. No Movie Maker for XP. Limited configuration for WMV. Movie Maker remains a shameful app, they only thing worthwhile now is uploading to online sites. I can’t believe how MS believe everyone is happy with WMV-only output and whether even a V1 release can be considered complete without output to *at least* AVI, MPEG-1/MPEG Layer II Audio, MPEG-2/Dolby, MP4 (MPEG-4/AAC), MOV and FLV. Although AVI and MPEG1 are a bit old, they’re much needed for compatibility reasons. Also DivX and Xvid use AVI. For MPEG-1, licensing isn’t needed from the MPEG committee, for MPEG-2/DVD MS already have the components in DVD Maker, why can’t it simply reuse them, for MOV, they can use the QuickTime SDK (no need to implement their own support). Only remaining are FLV (which is being phased out by Adobe but popular due to YouTube) and MP4/H.264/AAC (which is being adopted as an international standard on devices, Blu-ray, YouTube everywhere and MS has even pledge Silverlight support. Even if MS gets output right in V1, users will be happy. I want to be able to do some serious stuff with my camcorder and Movie Maker, not just upload videos to YouTube-like sites.

  2. anony.muos says:

    Forgot to add: Please have an idea about where your Movie Maker app stands compared to other video editing apps in the software industry. By that scale, Live Mail, Live Photo Gallery, Live Writer, Live Messenger and Family Safety do their job well. Live Movie Maker does *NOT*.

  3. anony.muos says:

    Also, I want to say about Photo Gallery. Why is that Google’s Picasa managed to deliver Vista like themed-slideshow effects on XP and MS’s Live Photo Gallery does not? There should be absolute feature parity between XP and Vista versions.

  4. dan.carter says:

    Whoops! Maybe it is just me, but after updating Live Photo Gallery with the new beta, I can’t open images, not even JPG. I receive "an error is preventing the photo or video from being displayed". Videos seem to play fine.

    Obviously, this could be a major issue.

    Any help would be welcome..

  5. gcoupe says:

    Shame that, nearly a year after I reported it (and it was acknowledged), the bug in Windows Live Photo Gallery publishing to Flickr is still there…


  6. mike_mu says:

    First impressions about the WLPG beta wave 3:

    – clean new layout. Slideshow button disappeared, but added to the menu. Direct starred filtering. Me happy 😉

    – face tagging added. However the following shortcomings apply:

    + The existing tags naming people (people/john doe) cannot be moved to the face tags.

    + No hierarchy is available in face tagging. Problematic if you have lots of people in there

    + The face recognition does not work flawlessly. I have a photo of my daughter with a shirt; the print of which gets 2 face tags added to.

    – Background status updates now always shown.

    – Color profile somehow reinterpreted; photos that used to show nicely are now waaay oversaturated.

  7. Fredrik74 says:

    Congratulations on the Beta but what’s up with doing absolutely nothing about the horrible Slide show feature?

    In XP you could get a high quality slideshow just by pressing the slideshow icon in the image viewer. In Vista with Photo Gallery, it takes forever to start the slideshow and resolution is lowered to match that of monitors from the 1990s. As a result, all high-res photos looks horrible and blurred.

    By adjusting the "Theme" to Classic I can get higher resolution BUT if the image is taken with a high megapixel camera, the resize algorithm you use is just not acceptable, the images get jaggied and do not look anywhere near HD quality.

    Are you lazy, do you just not care… It just totally amazes me that you as the world largest software company is unable to make picture slideshows work when every other photo application can. I could of course use Picasa, Windows XP, Adobe or Irfanview, but the tagging capabilites and the general interface are better in Photo Gallery.

  8. jtbworld says:

    Movie Maker beta should rather be called Movie Maker alpha.

    I hope next version adds more and new transitions as well as effects compared to the real Move Maker that comes with Vista.

  9. mollyfud says:

    Would love you (or Someone else) to make the people tags able to be used as tags when uploading to flickr.

    Is the People Tags available via the API or stuff?



    PS. Love the new release so far!

  10. VinegarDoppio says:

    The new version of Photo Gallery as a bug, in the People tags.

    The first time I saw in the people tag all my contacts

    but after I saw that Windows Live Contacts has duplicated my contacts I decides to erase the doubles contacts

    and now I can’t see in People tags, my contacts


  11. atp says:

    Windows Live Photo Gallery

    I like the new appearance, and the face tagging.  That’s the good stuff.

    But where is GeoTagging support?  

    GeoTagging is a hugely-growing aspect of photography right now.  Picasa has a pretty adequate interface to it; with the power of Live Maps you could do much better (your aerial photos are dramatically better than Google’s in my area).

    I’m hoping this will make it into the final version.



  12. mike_mu says:

    Face tagging, while a good idea, is pretty useless in its current incarnation. I have now let the SW detect all the faces on my 10000 photo collection. It found some 4500 faces in there. Now it expects me to go to each photo and tag the found square. This is unworkable.

    – Why o why can’t it just show the found squares in the browser and let me select a bunch of those and name the tag? Like Adobe Photoshop Elements does this for already a very long time? This, at the very least, is required to make it workable

    – Could it be more like picasa web albums and suggest the tags based on previous enterings (so face recognition, as opposed to mere detection).

    – What’s up with leaving the hierarchy option out of it? I would really like the option.

    – What’s so fundamentally different between a People tag and a descriptive tag that we cannot make existing descriptive tags into face tags? I have already tagged most of the people on the photos as people/Family/Barbara etc. Having to re-do this is like having access to a bike, but still being forced to walk.

    – If we can have a People tag special category, I would also like a Location category, preferrably including a geotag. Again, allowing selection of multiple photos to drop on a map is paramount.

    – The resize option creates a resized duplicate, which is great. Even better would be the option to automatically remove all tags from this file, so it wouldn’t show up as double in the browser (and sensitive information would be stripped from the file). A default save-to location would also be very helpful here.

    – I can’t get the slideshow to NOT change resolution to something non-native on my LCD. This is getting really annoying  (Vista business).

  13. Alun Jones says:

    Okay, so the facial detection feature is a step forward, in that it makes it possible to associate an area of an image with a particular individual, but I was really hoping that the tool could take my first few face selections, and infer (to some stated degree of certainty) the identity of faces detected in other pictures. Is this something you’ll be adding, or not? [I envision it saying "okay, you’ve got a half dozen pictures labeled ‘Alun’ – here are other faces I’ve identified that I think are Alun, from the most likely to the least above a certain threshold. Drag the slider down to select the group of pictures that are definitely Alun (which will make me in future tag any picture with that certainty as Alun), and check the boxes next to any that are less certain by our algorithms, but which are definitely you."]

    Also, it’d be nice to have the ability to mark a face as "unimportant".

    One last note – face-painting seems to completely kill the face detection algorithm. I have several photos of my son at an event where his face was painted with a flag – none of these are recognised as faces.

  14. gcoupe says:

    A showstopper bug as far as I’m concerned is that WLPG only finds IPTC/XMP metadata in image files on a hit or miss basis. This is totally unacceptable. See here for a full description and illustration of the problem:!6AA39937A982345B!5424.entry

  15. avasaralak says:

    Face recognition

    I installed WLPG Beta. I used the people tag options and marked a few photos of myself as a tag.  I was expecting most if not all of the photos with me in them to be displayed when I filtered on that tag.

    However, the filter only showed the photos that I manually tagged.

    Is this the way the feature is supposed to work ? Or am I missing something ?

  16. aasics says:

    I have noticed that while on my computer, even if I have not been running WLPG Beta 3 recently, that the process "WLXPhotoGallery3.exe" will start running at 50% CPU for no apparent reason, and won’t go down unless I kill the process.

    I don’t notice any HDD access during this time, so I’m a little confused as to what is causing this.  Usually the process will hover around 9,700 K of memory, but I have seen it climb to as much as 30 K.

    Again, this is while it is not supposed to be running.

    Any clues?

  17. marauderz says:

    I made a login just for the express reason so I can say this.

    Windows Live Movie Maker Beta right now IS A JOKE!!

    I’ve been using Windows Movie Maker for both XP and Vista for a long time since all I needed was to chop clips and put them together so I could upload them and surprisingly after everything else I’ve gone through (Adobe Primere Elements, various other things I can’t remember) Movie Maker was still the easiest program in terms of allowing me to splice and edit my video clips.

    The latest ‘BETA’ or rather alpha like someone else has mentioned is a joke because it seems to imply that users do not need to edit clips to tirm out the uninteresting bits but rather just need to concat clips together. I’m sorry but I can’t get everything correct at the time of the recording!

    Also.. where are the encoding profiles? One thing I loved about Windows Movie Maker was that while there are preset profiles, I can still tweak my own so I can tailor the output for my needs. obviously a casual user doesn’t require this but please keep the ability to create our own profiles around.

    Please remember that there are people who use movie maker for videos OTHER than for the purpose of uploading to youtube or making DVDs

  18. aasics says:

    I think a lot of people are misinterpreting the position of Windows LIVE Movie Maker.  Maybe I am as well, but I think that the Windows LIVE Movie Maker is NOT trying to replace Windows Movie Maker, but rather is making one tailored specifically for the Live suite.  

    If you need more features, use the Windows Movie Maker.  However, if all you’re doing is pushing out a slideshow or string of smaller clips then this is a program that will do it simply, quickly, and efficiently.

  19. marauderz says:

    but the worry here is that what if Live Movie Maker IS intended to replace Windows Movie Maker?

  20. aasics says:

    Well, marauderz, I stand corrected.

  21. emiliano84 says:

    when a service like integrated with skydrive and spaces…i hope soon!!!

    and change soapbox in the future is everything "live"

  22. emiliano84 says:

    when ???

    when a service like integrated with skydrive and spaces…i hope soon!!!

    and change soapbox in the future is everything "live"