A moment of silence, please, for a dear old friend: Microsoft will end support for Windows Essentials on January 10, 2017, and without viable replacements for its most still-valuable tools.
I’m not sure if this is news, or “new”: I discovered that this morning when I navigated to a URL that is fixed in my brain—get.live.com—and was redirected to a new support page instead of the old Windows Essentials site.
Note: The page does report that it was last reviewed on September 9, so maybe I just missed this. But I wrote about the need for an update or replacement for this suite back in February.
You can still download Essentials from this support page, but now I’m wondering if that is temporary. Will the download disappear once January 10 has come and gone? I suppose it will.
And that’s bad on a number of levels. The most important being that Microsoft has not issued new tools that satisfactorily replace the ones found in this long-neglected suite of desktop applications.
Consider what is/was available and what Microsoft now offers in Windows 10 as replacements:
Photo Gallery. A powerful tool for organizing, editing, and sharing your photos. Replaced by Photos, a toy app.
Movie Maker. A simple but power video editor. Microsoft offers no replacement for this tool in Windows 10.
Windows Live Writer. A front-end to various blog engines, this one is now open source.
Windows Live Mail. This email, contacts, and calendar solution was like Outlook for consumers. And it’s replaced by Windows Mail, People, and Calendar, which are either toys or decent, depending on your needs or perspective.
OneDrive. This is now integrated with Windows 10. And after a rough start, I think it’s working well.
Windows Messenger. This has been replaced by Skype, which I think we can all agree has never lived up to its promise.
So, rest in peace, Windows Essentials. I miss you already.