Free Mail, Free Storage and Free Security – A Look at What Windows Live Has to Offer
Microsoft, in its most staid tradition, is always coming up with something new to try and improve the computer and online experiences. The proprietary online service suite of Microsoft, Windows Live, is full of improved and totally new features to improve user experience and bring more computer users totally online in their software usage.
Hotmail Microsoft's email program, Hotmail, has been around since the earliest days of free email for the public. In the fifteen years or so since its inception, Hotmail has only improved - and it was more than decent to start with. The latest version of Hotmail has a simple interface and includes built-in security features to fight spam and to block viruses and scams. When you sign up with a Hotmail account, you'll have 5 gigabytes of storage to start, and that number can grow if you need it to. MSN messenger, another service offered by Microsoft, is linked through Hotmail so you can easily communicate with your email contacts through chat.
Also included with the email program are shared calendars. You can easily set up a calendar for your family, your study group or your special group of friends and easily update them for everyone to see. You can also subscribe to the calendars of your favorite teams or organizations to be sure you never miss a game or meeting. The calendars can be used while you're online or off thanks to the Windows Live Mail desktop application. Hotmail also lets you consolidate all of your email accounts in a central location - including accounts that aren't Hotmail accounts. Organize and sort through all of your emails simultaneously.
MSN Messenger MSN Messenger lets you stay connected with friends, family and colleagues from any computer. When you download MSN Messenger, you have access to more than just a chat program. Through Messenger you can organize your contacts and arrange them into groups to chat with more than one person at a time. Not only can you send messages through Messenger, you can also send files and post photos on Windows Live. When you post new photos, your friends and contacts are alerted to the change and can view your new photos easily.
Microsoft gives you the option to customize your chat experience by personalizing the background scenes, avatars and sounds of Messenger. You can even take Messenger on the road using Windows Live Hotmail or by using Messenger on your mobile phone. Staying connected is simple and easy - even if you're almost never home.
SkyDrive - There's no need to frantically save documents on flash drives to take in for presentations or to try to work from different locations on different days. Nor do you need to port around your own laptop to keep your work close by. You can use any computer to access your files if you store them in Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive allows you to store 25 gigabytes worth of files and folders online where you can keep them safe or share them with friends or the world. By setting a folder to public or shared in your SkyDrive, you easily make files in those folders available to others - an excellent way to work on a project simultaneously or to promote your ideas and thoughts on a particular topic.
SkyDrive contains 25 free gigabytes of storage space that includes a password-protected login. The files and folders can be substantial, and they are completely in your control for backup, sharing or publishing your work. SkyDrive works on any computer with internet connection, and it works on mobile devices as well making it far simpler to use than even the smallest pin drive. Accessing SkyDrive is as simple. When you're ready to save files in the SkyDrive, simply drag and drop them into the open window and you'll be able to access them from anywhere. Each folder in the SkyDrive has its own URL as well to make accessing the right folder simple for you and for anyone with your permission to enter.
Microsoft Security Essentials Need protection? Windows Live offers you free protection against spyware, pop-ups and slow performance with its Security Essentials. Security Essentials is free software provided for download by Microsoft. With Essentials, you can block, find and eliminate spyware and programs you don't want on your computer. Once eliminated, you can even get programs back if you realize you've deleted the wrong one, making the detection and removal of problems reasonably fool-proof.
To keep Security Essentials up-to-date and current in fighting all of the latest threats, dedicated researchers from Microsoft scour the internet in search of potential threats. In addition to this, volunteers from the huge network of Essentials users (the MS Live "Cloud") flag programs that are suspicious as well. You can elect to download updates for Essentials that counteract the newest threats as they are detected, but before they hit your machine, keeping you safe and your computer operating at peak performance.
Microsoft Office Live Ready for an online version of Microsoft Office? It's already there. Microsoft Office Live has a virtual workspace in beta form that will let you store up to 5 gigabytes of files online to keep private or to share. Most impressively, you can work with any of your favorite Office programs including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Create files online through Office Live and store the completed files virtually. When you're ready to use or continue working on the file, simply open the virtually stored file in the right application on your desktop and you'll be up and running without any complicated conversions.
Microsoft currently offers a wide range of extras through Windows Live, and Microsoft continues to update and create new products to make working and playing online simpler. The enhanced communication tools and online applications make your personal and professional life much simpler. And like all Microsoft products, soon you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.