If you’re moving from XP to Windows 7, you might be wondering where apps like Movie Maker, MSN Messenger, Outlook Express are. Everything has been moved to a separate download called Microsoft Live Essentials, and today we’ll take a look at setting it up on your Windows 7 computer.

Download & Setup WLE

First head over to the Microsoft website to download Windows Live Essentials (WLE) installer and kick it off as Administrator by right-clicking the file and select Run as administrator.

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In the next screen you can select to go ahead and install everything included, or if you don’t want to install everything, select Choose the programs you want to install.

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Now you can select only the programs you want to use. For instance maybe you don’t want the Bing Bar or you already use a different email client and don’t need Windows Mail.

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For the sake of showing each of the programs included in WLE, we’re going to go ahead and install everything, but of course you don’t have to. To complete the installation process, you’ll be prompted to restart the your computer.

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After you get back from the Restart, you’ll find all of the Live Essentials apps in the Start Menu.

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Here we’ll briefly cover each of the applications that are included with the Live Essentials Suite. If you want to get more info on each program and what it does, head over to the WLE site where they have more details, and even screencasts on how to use the programs.

Windows Live Messenger

Perhaps one of the more popular apps you will want to check out with Messenger. It was included in previous versions of Windows, and seems to be one of the more favorable IM clients for work and at home. The new version allows you to chat, share photos, video message, and check your social network highlights.

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Or you can switch over to the more familiar compact user interface.

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Windows Live Mail

If you’re looking for a free email client that works well for accessing various email services, you might be interested in Windows Live Mail. It’s easy to setup (just log in with your Windows Live ID) and you can add most of your email accounts including Hotmail and Gmail.

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Windows Live Movie Maker

Live Movie Maker allows you to turn photos and videos into customized home movies. There are some nice tools for editing, adding effects, and uploading to different video sharing sites like YouTube.

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Windows Live Mesh

Windows Live Mesh 2011 is an awesome tool for syncing data between your different computers – PC or Mac. It also features an easy to use Remote Desktop Connection for Windows so you can get to your PCs while you’re not physically in front of them.

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Windows Live Photo Gallery

Live Photo Gallery is a photo management tool that allows you to manage and edit your photo collection. It allows you to transfer photos directly from your digital camera, create panoramas, share to sites like Facebook and Flickr, and a lot more.

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Windows Live Family Safety

If you’re a parent and don’t want your young ones accessing questionable material on the web, Live Family Safety can help you out. You can set up different user accounts for your kids, and it will block questionable sites, and if your child wants to access a certain site, you will be sent an email to give them permission or not. For more on Live Family Safety check out their site.

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Windows Live Writer

If you’re a blogger, one tool in your arsenal for creating quality posts should be Windows Live Writer. In fact this post was created in WLW and posted to the WordPress site. It’s very easy to use, has a lot of cool tools, and works with WordPress, SharePoint, Blogger, TypePad and several other blogging services.

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Bing Bar

If you’re a fan of Toolbars, you might interested in trying out the Bing Bar which is Microsoft’s version of a browser Toolbar. It let’s you get easy access to Bing and other services from Microsoft like News, Weather, Sports, Stocks, and more.

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If you are concerned about privacy, you might wan to disable the feature to help improve the service.

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If you’re new to Windows 7 and want to get to know Windows Live Essentials, this quick overview should help to get you know what to expect. Remember that you don’t need to install all of the services, only the one you want to use. If you find that you would like to use another service in the future, you can run the installer again and select the other programs you want.

As we continue with the Home Tech series here at The Average Guy, we’ll be covering each programs in Windows Live Essentials in more detail.

What about you guys? Do you use Windows Live Essentials, and if so, which ones do you use and what do you think of them? Leave a comment and let us know.