Click Here to Install Silverlight*
United StatesChange|All Microsoft Sites
PressPass - Information for Journalists 
Location   Change | All Microsoft Sites
Results by Bing
News Press Release
Windows Live Fact Sheet
Windows Live enhances your Windows experience with a set of online tools that brings the Web right to you on your PC or mobile device, and lets you communicate and share with the people you care about.

November 2008

Today consumers are overwhelmed with their online lives. Statistics show that the average person has three e-mail accounts and four additional1 accounts requiring a password, including social networks, cell phone contact lists, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail. Consumers today simply need a better way to manage their digital lives. With the latest free services from Windows Live, Microsoft Corp. has built a solution that delivers one universal benefit — bringing the online world under one roof. Windows Live makes it easy to keep your life in sync with a range of services and applications that are designed to work together, across the PC, phone and Web, with the flexibility to let individuals decide how, when and where to best use the services in their online lives.

More than 460 million customers around the world rely on Windows Live for sharing e-mail, messaging, photos and files within their networks of friends, family, business associates and more. Over the coming weeks, the next generation of Windows Live will become available at, bringing enhanced tools to make online activities easier, more integrated and more intuitive. The new Windows Live experience is also enhanced by Microsoft partners with feeds from third-party sites that help you stay up to date on what’s new with friends and family, and see information from other online services such as Flickr, Pandora, Photobucket, Twitter ,WordPress and Yelp — all in one place.

This document provides an overview of some significant enhancements to the Windows Live Web services and applications for the PC, now called Windows Live Essentials, as well as Windows Live for mobile. All of these services are designed to help consumers stay connected and organized online.

The new Windows Live includes the following Web services:

Windows Live Calendar. With the completely revamped Windows Live Calendar, it’s easier to manage multiple calendars (you can even subscribe to third-party calendars supporting the open iCalendar standard), share calendars and to-do lists with family and friends, track tasks, create automatically generated birthday and holiday calendars, sync with Microsoft Office Outlook and Windows Live Mail, and stay wonderfully organized.

Windows Live Events. Create and send out online event invitations and host event-related interactions — even share photos after the event takes place. Windows Live Events will offer ready-made templates for a variety of common events, and integrates with multiple online calendars and the new “What’s New” feed in Windows Live Messenger.

New! Windows Live Groups. This new service allows teams, clubs and friends to more easily collaborate online and engage in discussions, create a shared calendar, share photos and files they create, or simply chat online.

New! Windows Live FrameIt. Windows Live FrameIt allows you to dynamically deliver photos and other content such as news, traffic and weather directly to digital picture frames that are wirelessly enabled. Through one service, you can set up personalized albums that contain pictures and content from any compatible photo-sharing site to be delivered to any compatible wireless picture frame and have that content dynamically updated when new images are uploaded.

Windows Live Hotmail. For the newest version of Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft focused on making Hotmail simpler, faster and more intuitive by combining the Classic and Full user interfaces into one sleek new interface that brings the best of what Hotmail offered before with faster performance. Other new features and enhancements that will be made available to Hotmail users over the coming months include the following:

Integration of “What’s New” feed. After you send an e-mail to a friend, Windows Live displays a page confirming that the e-mail has been sent. If the friend is part of your Windows Live network, you will also see a concise update of the friend’s online activity, on both Windows Live and third-party services.

Better spam protection.Spam in the inbox has now been reduced by 80 percent (as compared with August 2006 Hotmail).

The following new features for Windows Live Hotmail customers will be rolled out over time, starting in early 2009:

POP access. You can access your Windows Live Hotmail inbox while offline using Windows Live Mail or Outlook with POP access. Anyone can use just about any e-mail application, whether it is from Microsoft or not.

POP aggregation. This feature offers one place for your e-mail. With POP access in Windows Live Hotmail, any non-Hotmail e-mail account that is POP-enabled (such as Yahoo! Mail Plus, Gmail and AOL) can be imported into Hotmail for convenient, one-stop access. There are options to see all e-mail in one inbox or have each account filtered into a separate folder that users specify and label.

Instant Access. Instant Access is a convenient tool for quickly finding and embedding Web images, restaurant reviews, maps, directions, movie times and more into e-mail messages — without ever having to leave the compose e-mail page.

Instant messaging in Windows Live Hotmail. The Windows Live Messenger instant messaging service can be used to send and receive instant messages from the Hotmail inbox.

New! Windows Live Photos. The home to your photos on the Web is at You can create Web slide shows and share photos through Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Groups, Windows Live Events, Windows Live FrameIt and Windows Live Spaces. You can even see all your photos from Windows Live Photos on most Web-enabled cell phones. Windows Live Photos includes several great tools and features such as these:

People tagging. You can identify and tag people in your photos, and see other photos that they are tagged in.

Commenting. You can add comments to photos and see comments friends make.

“What’s New” feed. You can monitor the photos that people in your network post on Windows Live.

Shared albums. You can create albums on Windows Live Groups and give friends permission to add photos, tag them, and collaborate to create a shared album that combines the best photos from all group members.

Windows Live SkyDrive. Conveniently access all your files with the increased ease and storage capacity from Windows Live SkyDrive, now offering 25BG of online storage and tighter integration with other Windows Live services. Upload your photos, files and other digital content and access them online from virtually any device connected to the Internet.

New! Windows Live Profile. Quickly and easily broadcast key information about yourself from Windows Live and ultimately more than 50 partner sites to your Windows Live network. Anything that you do on Windows Live or on select third-party services is automatically reflected on your profile as well as throughout most other services in Windows Live — if you choose to share with your network. You are in control to broadcast your activities to the world, share only with designated friends and family, or share with no one at all. The Profile page is also the place to invite your existing friends and contacts from your favorite third-party services, such as LinkedIn, to Windows Live so that they can stay in sync with your latest updates. You can also choose to publish your activity on more than 50 sites into your Windows Live feed, to allow your network to see updates from all your online activities in a single place.

New! Windows Live People. The People page is for storage and management of your Windows Live contacts. It’s a central address book that contains your contacts from Windows Live Hotmail as well as all the people in your Windows Live network (Windows Live Spaces and Messenger contacts). With Windows Live People, you can invite your contacts from third-party services such as LinkedIn (and more services will be added over time), organize contacts into categories, and assign permissions that put you in control of what your contacts can see about you online. The People page is accessible everywhere in Windows Live through the header, so you can add, invite, follow or connect with your contacts wherever you are in Windows Live. You can also chat with your IM contacts directly from the page with Windows Live Messenger for the Web.

Windows Live Spaces. With 175 million customers Windows Live Spaces is a central part of the Web experience on Windows Live designed to be the place where you communicate and share things important to you with your Windows Live network and beyond. With the newest version, Microsoft has focused on improving the experience by making the fonts easier to read, removing advertisements and generally improving the user interface. Windows Live Space is your personal canvas where you can blog and share photos, create custom lists of information, and add fun gadgets from around the Internet.

Windows Live Sync. Formerly known as Windows Live FolderShare, the new Windows Live Sync enables you to keep your files and folders synchronized across PCs and Macs. The new features include Windows Live ID integration for a unified sign-on experience and functional enhancements such as Recycle Bin integration for easy file recovery and Unicode support for working with files from an even broader range of formats.

Windows Live Essentials includes the following free Windows Live applications, available for download from

Windows Live Mail. When you are offline, use Windows Live Mail to access Windows Live, Hotmail, Windows Live Calendar and Windows Live Contacts.

Windows Live Messenger. Windows Live Messenger is one of the favorite ways for Microsoft customers to stay touch with their contacts. With the latest version of Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft has introduced several new, socially oriented features and an entirely new look and feel:

Personalization. Personalize nearly everything: Add a profile picture or video, display a personal scene in the chat window, update the status message with your news, add a favorite link, or add what song you’re listening to.

Integration of “What’s New” feed. With the “What’s New” feed in Messenger, you can stay in touch with the latest updates from your circle of friends at a glance, without any need to log in across multiple destinations.

Photo sharing. Photo sharing lets you share and comment on pictures while you’re chatting. Show and view pictures right in the chat window and still have ample space to chat. To start photo sharing simply drag and drop pictures into the conversation window.

Favorites.Favorites are your most important contacts. Think of Favorites as speed dial for your Messenger contacts.

Groups. Create groups on the fly and chat simultaneously with up to 20 members at the same time. A group that is created in Windows Live Messenger will also be created as a Windows Live Group (see above) with all related features such as shared calendars, photos and posts.

New! Windows Live Movie Maker beta. Movie Maker has now been added to Windows Live to bring that same simplicity to videos. With Windows Live Movie Maker, you can easily turn photos and video memories into great-looking movies to share with family and friends on the Internet, CDs, DVDs, your TV, cell phone or portable video device, using most popular camera types and file formats in the market today.

Windows Live Photo Gallery. Easily find, fix and share photos with the Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Face detection. Windows Live Photo Gallery can recognize the people in your photos so that tagging and finding photos of the people you care about becomes easy.

Slide shows. Slide shows are easy to make, with built-in special effects such as fading and transitions.

Easy photo sharing. Easily share photos via Windows Live Messenger or publish to Windows Live Photos, Windows Live Events, Windows Live or Windows Live Spaces, where friends can comment on photos. Publish to third-party sites, with third-party plug-ins.

Edit photos. Remove red eye, straighten, autofix, crop and even create panoramic photos.

Easy offline printing. Print photos at one of 71,000 retail locations worldwide, or have them delivered to your doorstep.

Windows Live Toolbar. Get an at-a-glance summary and quick, easy access to the people, information and services you care about. With easy access to a variety of Windows Live services — Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Calendar, Windows Live Photos — you can easily find and share information on the Web.

Windows Live Writer. Edit photos, insert videos directly from your PC, and add beautiful photo slide shows directly in your blog entries with Windows Live Writer. Windows Live Writer works with Windows Live Spaces, as well as third-party services such as WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and many other popular blogging sites.

Windows Live Family Safety.2Parents can help keep children safe by managing which Web sites kids can visit, and the list of contacts they can communicate with when they are using Windows Live Spaces, Hotmail and Messenger. Family Safety even generates reports for parents so that they can monitor their children’s activity. Best of all, it lets parents monitor this from anywhere they are online — on their PC or from the Web.

Windows Live for mobile brings the Windows Live experience optimized for mobile devices. You can access Windows Live services via client applications, the mobile Web or short message service (SMS). Go to from your mobile phone’s Web browser to get started on the mobile Web. Windows Live for mobile includes the following services:

Windows Live Hotmail for mobile. Web- and client-based mail on your mobile phone and new mail alerts via SMS. The new version of Windows Live Hotmail for mobile is focused on making Windows Live Hotmail on the mobile Web faster and more efficient to use. Some of the new features, scheduled for release in early 2009, follow:

Mail search.Ability to search within your e-mail

Rich e-mail.HTML rendering of e-mail, including embedded images and links

Windows Live Messenger for mobile. Web-, client- and SMS-based IM from your mobile device

New! Windows Live Photos for mobile. Web-based photo viewing, upload and sharing. Client-based photo upload.

Album and photo viewing.View your own and friends’ photos using your mobile phone’s Web browser. Browse albums, view photo thumbnails, see photo details and add comments.

Photo upload.Publish and share your photos from your Web-enabled camera phone.

“What’s New” feed.See if friends have shared new albums or if there are new comments on photos.

New! Windows Live Profile for mobile. It offers Web-based access to view and update your information and connect with others.

View profile.View your own and other people’s profile information.

Manage friend invitations. Accept or decline friends’ requests to connect with you.

“What’s New” feed. See what’s new for the person whose profile you are looking at.

Invite a friend.Send SMS to invite a friend to connect with you.

New! Windows Live People for mobile. Integrated contacts in mobile phone address book for supported devices. Web-based hub to access contacts. SMS-based search for contact info.

Contact search.Search for contacts in your contact list using your phone’s Web browser.

Get Contact Information. Send SMS to a Windows Live SMS shortcode to look up a contact’s information (coming early 2009).

Windows Live Spaces for mobile. Web-based access to personal Web page and blogging

New! Windows Live Calendar for mobile. SMS-based access to today’s and tomorrow’s appointments

Get calendar. Send SMS with “today” or “tomorrow” to a Windows Live SMS shortcode and get your calendar for the day (coming early 2009).

1 Microsoft-commissioned Harris Interactive Study, October 2007

2 Family Safety software must be installed on each computer your children use. If software is not installed, the safety settings cannot be enforced

3 Standard text and data mobile rates apply.

Press Resources
Related Items
Virtual Newsrooms:

MSN and Windows Live Newsroom

Microsoft Resources:

Windows Live Search

MSN Mobile

Windows Live OneCare

© 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Contact Us |Terms of Use |Trademarks |Privacy & Cookies