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Windows Live Wave 4 is hitting the streets soon and it looks to be a significant improvement over the
Wave4Start Menu1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview previous version.

The new(ish) “ribbon interface” makes life much easier, heightens productivity and gives the UI a general, cleaner and logical feel while not being too intrusive or overbearing (OneNote is a culprit of this).  And the Windows Phone 7 Series look and feel popping up in some places is also a refreshing change too.

This is just going to be a quick overview of the new Beta as I’m sure many things will change between now and the final release.  When the suite has been a little more finalized I’m sure we’ll go into more detail of the applications then.

Installation

Lets start the screenshots with the installation.  The installation wizard is much cleaner and nicer looking that it’s predecessor.

We have a couple of new additions to the installation in Wave 4.  Notably; Companion and Bing Bar.  We’ll talk more about those later .

Double clicking the WLE launcher starts the familiar splash screen.

Wave4Installation 1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

I always recommend doing a ‘custom install’.

Wave4Installation 2 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Uncheck any applications you don’t want, go ahead and click install.  Microsoft have been quite sneaky here with their toolbar I think.  We’ll see if it’s still the same in the final!  Also, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker are now bundled together… why isn’t the icon consistent with the rest??

Wave4Installation 3 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Installation progress window.  As informative as ever.

Wave4Installation 4 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Wave4Installation 5 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Once the installation has finished you’ll be asked to login with your Windows Live ID.

Wave4Installation 6 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Once you’ve logged it it’ll take you to this frankly, awkward overview of your account.

This certainly needs some work.

Wave4Installation 7 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Windows Live Messenger

The login screen to WLM hasn’t changed much.  But the IM interface certainly has a Windows Mobile 7 look and feel about it.

You can choose whether to see your social highlights or your friends list once logged in.

Of course the necessary ads are still there and the boring slogan “that you care most about” is never too far away!

Wave4WLM 1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Wave4WLM 2 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Social Pane.

Wave4WLM 3 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Friends Pane.

Wave4WLM 4 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

It looks like we’ll also have the ability to connect other social networking accounts with WLM.

Wave4WLM 5 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Windows Live Writer

WLW has undergone some pretty nifty changes too, the ribbon toolbar which Office 2010 also sports, is integrated nicely with the new Wave 4 Suite.  Options and settings that were otherwise slightly hidden or out-of-the-way are now right in front of you!  For those of you who are not keen on the ribbon, there is a way of minimizing it.

The Blog Setup Wizard is exactly the same as the current version.

Here’s a shot of WLW with the Home tab activated.

Wave4WLW 1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

The Insert tab.

Wave4WLW 2 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

The Blog Account tab

Wave4WLW 3 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

And without the ribbon.

Wave4WLW 4 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Insert a picture and the Picture Tools & Format tab appear.

Wave4WLW 51 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

A nice new feature is the ability to crop images and get a live preview.

Wave4WLW 7 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Unfortunately, the live preview isn’t everywhere, for example, hovering over the font size doesn’t show the preview.Wave4WLW 6 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Windows Live Photo Gallery

The Photo Gallery seems to be the least finished of all the applications.

As you’ll see in the shots, a lot of icons haven’t been decided upon and we have some horrid orange rings.

Not too much seems to have changed, all the features in the old version are still here plus a few more.

The Home Tab:

WLPG 1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Find Tab:

WLPG 2 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Edit Tab:

WLPG 3 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Create Tab:  A couple of interesting features to note here; Panaroma and Photo Fuse.

The Storytelling section makes it even easier to share “the things you care most about!”

WLPG 4 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

And the View Tab:  Click the Info pane button and yes, you’ve got it, an Info pane shows up displaying heaps of information about the selected image.

WLPG 5 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

The usual edit tools:

WLPG 6 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Windows Live Movie Maker

In this early Beta, Windows Live Movie Maker is far from functional.

I was unable to get a video to work, therefore the shots here a very limited.

Anyways….

Home Tab:

Wave4WLMM 1 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Animations Tab:

Wave4WLMM 2 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Visual Effects:

Wave4WLMM 3 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

View Tab:

Wave4WLMM 4 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Video Tools – Edit:

Wave4WLMM 5 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Text Tools – Format:

Wave4WLMM 6 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Windows Live Mail

I’m loving the look of Windows Live Mail so far, it looks as if it’s come a long way since the previous version.

It almost makes me wonder why I have Outlook installed!

Account Setup:

Wave4WLM 11 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Wave4WLM 21 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Home Tab:

Wave4WLM 31 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Folders Tab:

Wave4WLM 41 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

View Tab:

Wave4WLM 51 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Accounts Tab:

Wave4WLM 6 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Open Message:

Wave4WLM 7 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

New Message:

Wave4WLM 8 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Wave4WLM 9 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Wave4WLM 10 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

I was also unable to get the Windows Live Family Safety to work, also Windows Live Sync and Windows Live ID was unable to login.

The Microsoft Default manager isn’t very interesting!

26 03 2010 14 52 09 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Bing Bar & Companion

Bing Bar is exactly what your perceive it to be.  It’s a toolbar installed in IE.  As far as toolbars go, this one is actually quite nice.  It’s quite chunky (a little like the Windows 7 Taskbar) and very functional.

Untitled Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Companion is a new service which seems to aggregate your social networking.  The small Globe icon is in the IE toolbar, click it and this pane will fly out from the left hand side.

26 03 2010 15 17 27 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

Taskbar Icons

To finish we have a shot of all the “new” Taskbar icons;

26 03 2010 14 53 32 Windows Live Wave 4 Beta Screenshots & Brief Overview

As previously mentioned, this is a limited Beta of Windows Live Wave 4.  As more information and builds are released we will endeavour to update and keep you informed.



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Comments

  • http://www.twitter.com/swizzlerz swizzlerz

    well wave 4 is cool i think it will be better in 2 months once its finnished and released to customers. updateing status in messenger didn't work for me also there is a bug when sync is installed and mesh loses remote desktop for that computer :S see how it is in 2 months :D

  • http://mintywhite.com RSVR85

    I agree, most things didn't work for me either. Not that i expected it to…. it was just nice playing around bit with the new tools/features.
    The final release of wave 4 will be a goodun' i'm sure!

  • Jay

    I am a fan of the new roll outs, but the main issue for me is Messenger. The social view or whatever it's called just looks too 'in-your-face' and the decision to stop the 'Send Webcam' feature, limiting it to just Video Calls is utterly stupid.


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