9 things to know about new Windows Live Essentials

5. Saving photos in high definition

This is an obvious addition but a welcomed one. You can now save your images so that they are primed for watching back on either a 720p or 1080p television.

That's not to say that your photography will stand up to that sort of detailed scrutiny.

HD images

HD IMAGERY: Now you can hi-def your images

6. Email account aggregation

Microsoft has finally got wind that we use more than one email system and is now allowing you to synch up all your accounts and view them straight from Mail.

Instead of bunching all the emails into one space, the accounts are given their own tabs so you can flick between them as and when you wish.

7. No image clogging up of inboxes

There's nothing worse than getting a 100MB image file from someone, only for it to clog your inbox and slow your email right down.

Microsoft knows this and has created a Photo Mail feature that allows you to add thumbnails of images to an email and then add a link to the full size images on your SkyDrive account – where you get up to 25GB free.

email integration

YOU GOT MAIL: Link rather than clog up your inbox

8. Calendar co-operation

In the new Essentials update, it seems that your calendar works with you and not against you, with new features including the sharing of calendars, offline access and an instant view, so you don't have to leave your inbox to see what appointments you have that day.

9. Introducing Windows Live Sync

Microsoft now allows remote access to your computers from wherever you are and even if they are offline.

This is another aspect of Microsoft embracing the cloud and means that if you forget to email yourself a document, then you can go into Sync, access your home computer and get what you need. It will even work with Apple Macs.

A beta version of Windows Live Essentials will be released in the coming months. A UK release date for the software is still to be confirmed.