When Wave 3 of Windows Live Wave 4 was released last year, I took a look at the new install experience in that release. Users will note that there was a lot more going on in comparison to the new Windows Live Essentials wave 4. Specifically, the slide show has been replaced by a more conservative installer.
Windows Live Essentials version 1
Windows Live Essentials’ wave 3
Wave 4 Install experience
Windows Live wave 4 uses the same approach as version 3, just go to Explore Windows Live Essentials beta page, and click the download link and it will prompt you to download the 1 MB web installer. I notice there is no option to access the offline installer like wave 3 allows you to. I hope this is temporary, although I understand Windows Live is more integrated with the web, features like Photo Gallery and Movie Maker still work great in an offline world.
Windows Live Essentials 4 setup experience
Programs that come with Windows Live Essentials wave 4
Immediately you are taken to the Programs to Install page (no Service Level Agreement this time around), which displays all of the programs that are included in the suite. If you have a previous version of the suite installed, programs such as Messenger, Photo Gallery/Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, Family Safety are automatically updated. Optional components include the new Windows Live Sync, Outlook Connector Pack and Messenger Companion.
Installing Windows Live Essentials
Very minimal experience indeed, the installation itself was way quicker than version 3 and this was over the Internet too, so there are some definite performance improvements here. I do hope a offline installer is provided with the final release, I have access to a few computers that are not connected to the Net, but would be just great with these updates. Once completed, I was prompted to restart my computer and I was good to go.