Windows Essentials For The Desktop
The Windows Essentials installer package
is still available for Windows 8. It will download and install the familiar Windows Essentials desktop applications on your computer, although many applications – such as the Bing Bar, Outlook Connector, Messenger Companion, Windows Live Mesh (replaced by SkyDrive), and Family Safety (Windows 8 has integrated parental controls) have been removed.
Microsoft is de-emphasizing these applications, although several have no Modern equivalent yet. You may want to install:
- SkyDrive (desktop): Windows 8 only comes with a Modern-style SkyDrive app that allows you to view your SkyDrive and upload files in the new, Modern UI. If you use SkyDrive and want to sync files to your computer and access them in a folder – just like Dropbox – you’ll need the SkyDrive desktop application. It’s available through the Windows Essentials installer, although you can also download the SkyDrive desktop app separately.
- Windows Movie Maker: Microsoft’s easy-to-use movie editing application still has no Modern equivalent. The desktop application works fine on Windows 8 and is available from here, along with a photo gallery application that works on the desktop.
- Windows Live Writer: Windows Live Writer is a much-loved blogging application. It still has no equivalent in the new Windows 8 interface. If you want Windows Live Writer, you’ll need to install it from here.
You probably don’t
want to install:
- Windows Live Mail: Don’t expect Microsoft to focus much attention on this program going forward – Microsoft would rather you use the Mail application in the Modern interface, the full Microsoft Outlook on the desktop, or their Outlook.com web interface. If you still like Windows Live Mail, you can install it and continue to use it anyway.
- Windows Live Messenger: There’s not much point in installing Messenger – Microsoft’s Messenger service will be shut down on March 15, 2013, after which this program will no longer be available. Existing accounts will be migrated to Skype, so you’ll want to install the Skype desktop app if you’d rather not use the Modern app.