Free Alternatives to Windows Live Essentials 2012

Microsoft recently announced on January 17 that it would definitively pull the plug on Windows Live Essentials 2012. Many programs were already out of use, such as Windows Live Mail and MSN Messenger. Fortunately, there are alternatives to these old Microsoft programs.


Microsoft accounts are no longer supported in Windows Live Mail since last summer. Microsoft would of course like to see you switch to the Mail app in Windows 10. Fortunately, there is a better alternative that also works for those who don't use Windows 10: Mozilla Thunderbird. In this workshop we explain how you can switch effortlessly.


For Microsoft, Skype took over from MSN Messenger a while ago. But Skype is actually more designed for video conversations. Not for typed messages. It is best to contact Signal for this. That is available as an app, but also for your PC as a Chrome extension. The advantage of Signal is that it is the safest messenger, which is also user-friendly.

photo gallery

The alternative to the photo gallery has been around longer than Windows Live Essentials: Irfanview! The program is very easy to use to view photos. But you can also perform simple edits with it and extend the functionality with plug-ins.

Cloud Storage

The cloud storage of OneDrive was also included with Windows Live Essentials, which was even called SkyDrive during the introduction. Of course, OneDrive is still very much alive and can be downloaded for every Windows version.

Video editing

The hardest part is finding a good alternative to Movie Maker. This program is so simple and free that it makes itself almost irreplaceable. A free alternative is EZvid or VLMC (from the makers of VLC).

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