A pack of crucial tools from Microsoft
Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7
Windows Essentials 2012 is that year's version of the Windows Essential software suite, which is a series of Windows apps that includes a number of highly useful apps like Photo Gallery, Live Mail, Movie Maker, and SkyDrive. It also includes some apps that have less appeal, but Windows isn't about to give up the market in the areas where their apps are weak. These include apps like Live Messenger and Live Writer.
The two highlights of this software package are certainly Movie Maker and Photo Gallery. They have been updated significantly from their previous versions, and they are optimized in this version for Windows 8 systems. The controversial Ribbon interface from Microsoft is used in these apps, but it has been streamlined into near perfection.
While SkyDrive seems like it could be an exciting app in the suite, it's surprisingly boring considering that it actually does its job well. It's basically Microsoft's version of Dropbox, and it sets up a folder on the cloud that can be accessed by multiple systems.
Unlike Mac OS systems that natively come with the Apple Mail app, there is no default mail app that comes with Windows. However, this software package includes Windows Live Mail, which is a great alternative for those who don't want to use Outlook or who don't have the option.
If you had to name the single best app in the suite, in terms of features and performance, it would have to be Windows Movie Maker. It is technically only a basic tool for editing video content, but this version comes with many upgrades and a plethora of helpful tools. Thanks to the power of hardware acceleration, this app can optimize and hasten the encoding and exporting processes. For those who use equipment that lacks stabilization features, the software has a stabilization function built-in. The UI has been upgraded with audio integration. An audio wav form mirrors the timeline of the video so you can visualize the audio.
Live Messenger didn't change much from the previous version, and it has essentially become irrelevant in the market of chat clients. The software has some fairly standard yet useful features like chat logging, Facebook integration, and tabbed chatting. Unfortunately, it just doesn't stand up to industry benchmark chat apps.
Live Writer is another area this suite falters a bit. It's basically a blogging tool that has extremely basic text editing functionality. It does feature the ability to integrate a blogging service like SharePoint, Blogger, or WordPress, and you can use the software to edit your blog's theme, add posts, and insert photos into your posts. Of course, there are a number of blog writing apps that are better, and most simply use the client of the service they use.
Windows Essentials 2012, which a free download from Microsoft, is an antivirus software program that protects your computer from viruses, spyware and other types of malware, including Trojan horses, rootkits and more. Although not yet compatible with Windows 8, Windows Essential 2012 runs on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Special Features of Windows Essentials 2012?
Windows Essentials 2012 offers many features that make it popular with users beyond just being an effective antivirus program. It also provides your computer with protection against spyware, Trojans and various types of malicious software. It offers the user the option of running quick or full scans as well as scheduled scans.
With scheduled scans, the software will automatically start scanning at the designated time. It runs so quiet and efficiently, you’ll barely know it’s running. This contrasts with the many antivirus programs that bog down your system and use a lot of system resources.
Since it automatically keeps itself up to date, you’ll never have to worry about downloading and installing updates. If the program suspects there may be malicious software entering your computer, it will block its entry and notify you so you can decide how you want to handle it. If, for some reason, you’re not available when an issue arises, the program will handle it in the manner set in the default settings.
When you first install the program, you can go to the settings and make changes to how you want things handled. You’ll never have to worry or wonder if your computer is clean between scans because Windows. This is because Essentials gives you a “green light” indicating that all’s good with your system. The software may also create a System Restore of your computer if this was the designated action in the default settings.
Additionally, Windows Essentials sends a report of all suspicious activity to Microsoft Active Protective Service to see if there were other reports of this malware and to ensure they get the latest virus definition, which is instantly downloaded to your computer. You don’t have to do any of this yourself – Windows Essentials 2012 does it all for you.
This antivirus software not only provides protection for your computer but also keeps you informed on when the last scan and update was done just in case you choose manual scans. Users can also enjoy the Help section, which answers any questions they may have. Windows Essentials 2012 is compatible with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
Pros of Windows Essentials 2012
Cons of Windows Essentials 2012