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The Windows Live Apps is a six in one package to manage all the emails, photos and blogs that you may have. It is a free download that helps parents’ control web surfing for their children. The advantage of this package is that it works well with third-party email and photo tools. Moreover the package comes with a free email and web support that can be handy in case you get stuck somewhere. You can also access an online knowledge base for troubleshooting.

The Windows Live Apps package includes features like the Messenger, Windows Live Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Toolbar and One Care Family Safety. Using Windows Live Mail lets you send and receive emails from Hotmail and other IMAP and POP email services. However Yahoo charges $20 to activate the POP while there is free support for Gmail and Comcast accounts. All accounts are listed on the left while the mails are stored in a central section of the screen. There is also a provision to receive customized RSS feeds for news and you can modify the Mail as per your tastes.

There is a provision to add an email account and the Mail lets you add photos to emails using the Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can also post blog scraps directly from the message composition function. There is a provision for encryption and attaching your digital signature to the sent mails. The Mail also protects your system from phishing and spam and it is possible to change the settings depending on your requirements.

The Windows Live Messenger integrates with the Hotmail and the Live Mail. So you know instantly when your contacts are online and can chat them up. There is a facility to upload, edit and manage photos using the Windows Live Photo Gallery that comes with features like cropping, red-eye removal and exposure adjustment. It arranges photos date wise and you can upload them to sites like Flickr.

It is possible to view videos in the photos using the Quick Time support. However you cannot resize the pictures to thumb nail size before sending them across as emails. Secondly the pictures are not too clear as you go over them in the folder. Remember to set the default email service in Windows before selecting photos across as emails. The Live Writer lets you access blogs on third party websites and is a handy tool. The Family Safety Tool lets you monitor your kid’s access to Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces and other websites and are activated only if requested.

The package takes some minutes to download and install. It appears as an icon in the Start menu of Windows and you need to click on the Windows Live Home page to start using the applications. Windows Live apps also work well with Wap2.0 and several cell phone models. You can add contacts and upload photos to the Windows Live Spaces from your mobile.

Overall Windows Live Apps is a useful management tool .The only drawback is that it modifies the browser settings and you need to be connected to the Internet at most times to use it.

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