Microsoft updates free Windows Live Essentials

Drops support for XP
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Microsoft has released an update to the firm's Windows Live Essentials suite of free utilities for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The update called Windows Live Essentials 2011 updates Windows Live Messenger with features that tie directly into social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

Elsewhere the package bundles Windows Live MovieMaker, MovieMaker having moved out of Windows 7's default installation. Better support for uploading directly to youTube is now provided and likewise Windows Live Photo Gallery now shares nicely with popular photo services such as Flickr.

Also updated in the Windows Live Family Safety filtering app designed for parents to block sensitive web content. The suite of apps now has a nice Windows 7-style task jump lists with access to commonly performed tasks.

However Microsoft also took the opportunity to drop support for Windows XP. Windows Live Essentials 2011 will only work on Vista and Windows 7. XP users are limited to using the old version.

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