Windows Essentials (also known as Windows XP Home Edition) is an extremely popular discontinued Microsoft freeware program which comes included with Windows for the majority of the operating system's pre-installed programs. Windows Essentials has seen much popularity since its early release, though that popularity has been on a steady decline in recent years because of several high-profile Windows Vista "backports" to the older operating system. Windows Essentials offers everything you need to set up and run most Windows applications, including: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Writer, Windows Server, Windows Vista, Windows Media Player, Windows Server Access, Windows Safari, and Windows Reader. Windows Essentials also provides a large variety of add-on software tools which can be used to customize your Windows installation.
Microsoft has announced plans to release two more updates to the Windows Essentials family later this year. These updates will bring the program up to date with the latest technology available from Microsoft: Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, though it will still be able to support Windows Server 2021. Microsoft has, however, released a new Windows Live Software product called Windows XP Service Pack 2. This new version of the Windows XP service pack comes with many new features, such as a new Windows interface, improved taskbars, increased memory capacity, the option to turn off unnecessary startup items, support for Windows Media Foundation codecs, support for the Windows registry, the Windows blue screen error, improved stability, and the ability to create safe backup and restore points.
While Windows Essentials may seem like a redundant, obsolete application, those that have used it often will tell you otherwise. This popular Microsoft utility tool set can make life easier, especially if you're someone who doesn't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for Microsoft's other apps. Windows Live Essentials is very basic and doesn't have many advanced features that you won't find in other Microsoft products, but if you're looking for something simple to use that won't take up too much of your time, this could be an ideal choice. You can download the Windows Live software free of charge through Microsoft's website. You can also join any community of Windows Live users on the Microsoft Answers forums and chat with fellow Windows users about this and other Microsoft products.