Windows Essentials is a package of freeware programs that are meant to be used seamlessly with each other and with Microsoft's Web-based services. As of 2014 the package includes photo editing, movie making, blog editing, email and storage programs.
Windows Essentials is a free download through Microsoft's website. The package contains Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Mail and OneDrive.
Photo Gallery allows the importing of pictures from other devices, editing with a variety of tools, and the creation of themed slide shows. Movie Maker allows the importing of movies and slide shows, movie editing, and the application of themes and audio editing. Windows Live Writer is used for creating and editing blog posts and integrates with popular formats like WordPress and TypePad. New bloggers can also create their own blog and host it with Microsoft.
Windows Live Mail allows for managing multiple email accounts as well as creating calendars and contact lists. OneDrive syncs files between different computers and devices and also allows for syncing with online storage. It also comes packaged with Office Online, one of Microsoft's word processing programs.
The software package was previously known as Windows Live Essentials. As of 2014, the most recent release is Windows Essentials 2012.