webDotWiz talks Windows Live

A daily list of links to interesting sites

What are your friends doing? webDotWiz column Feb 12 2009

Windows Live enables you to keep up to date with what your family, relatives and friends are doing if they’re on your contacts list in Live Messenger or Live People.

For example, if family or friends publish some new photos from their recent trip overseas into an album on their Live Photos page (and they set the appropriate permission on this album) then you’ll see a notification on your Live Home page in the form of thumbnails of some of the photos. So, rather than waiting for an email or having to visit their website to find out when the new photos are viewable, you’re notified almost immediately on your Live Home page.

Live Essentials and Live Internet Services

Before going on, a reminder that Windows Live consists of two parts: Windows Live Essentials and Windows Live Internet Services. Live Essentials is made up of several free programs you download and install on your computer: Live Mail, Live Messenger, Live Movie Maker (for Vista only), Live Photo Gallery, Live Toolbar and Live Family Safety. So, for example, if you want to edit some of your photos, you go to the Windows start button to open the start menu, find Windows Live Photo Gallery in the list of programs and click it’s name to load it.

The other part of Windows Live is called Live Internet Services because these services are online and you access them as web pages in your browser such as Internet Explorer. Each Live Internet Service page has a common menu across the top of the page so you can easily flip between pages: Home, Profile, People, Mail, Photos and More (to get to your other online services such as your Live Space and your online storage at Live Skydrive).

The reason for this common menu on each Live Internet Service page is to make it convenient for you to get to whatever service you want to use whenever you need to do something. For example, you’re reading and sending some emails and wonder if one of your friends has put some of their photos online – just click on the Home link and you can check. Then you can return to your Live Hotmail inbox by clicking on Mail.

One advantage with the online services part of Windows Live is that updates and new features can be introduced without us having to do anything, that is nothing to download and install. So keep an eye out for some new features to appear in your Live Hotmail and Live People where you’ll receive news on what your friends are doing and even be able to use Messenger to chat online.

One of the webDotWizards described Windows Live as a system and that’s a good way to think of things. Windows Live is not a complicated system and it’s organised in such a way that you can easily move between different parts depending on what you want to get done.

Permissions and your profile page

You need to take some time out to check what permissions you have set – you do this from your Live Profile page and when you go to this page there’s a large reminder at the top of the page to manage your permissions.

The permissions you set on your profile page for different pieces of information about yourself result in what people in your network can read about you. For example, if you only want people in your network to see your first name but not your surname then it’s possible to do this.

Remember that what you see on your profile page is not what the rest of us can view. The only way to check out how this works is to come into the Rushworth Community House where you can see your profile permissions in action on other computers.

A reminder, too, that you’re able to set permissions on the photo albums you create on your Live Photos page. If you don’t want everybody to view an album then set the permission accordingly. You’re able to only allow one or two people to view an album so there are plenty of options.


Come into Rushworth Community House on day, walk up to a computer and without doing anything else, start up Internet Explorer and go to http://profile.live.com. What happens?

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Posted using Windows Live Writer 2009.


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